Microsoft offers some clarity on how and when Windows 10 builds are released

Windows 10 on Surface Pro 3
Windows 10 on Surface Pro 3

Micrsoft's Gabe Aul is a busy guy, and that isn't going to get any better when he's getting constant questions from Windows fans asking about when the next build of Windows 10 is coming. It's never fast enough for some of the excited fans out there, and honestly, it'll always come when Microsoft is good and ready to push it out.

Today, in a post on the Windows blog, he's offered a good degree of transparency on how the process works internally and how the team decides when and what to release.

"Let's play that out hypothetically for the next build coming out. Today is 3/9 and we want to ensure we get a build out in March. If we communicated a target date, to be sure we could meet our commitment we'd likely pick a date like 3/26. It gives us time to stabilize and it's on a Thursday (we usually like to avoid Mondays and Fridays.) Between now and then we'd still be getting new feature payloads, but we'd fork to a stabilization branch somewhere around 3/17 or so and only take selective changes. It's easier to stabilize without a lot of additional new code, so we'd cherry pick key fixes. On 3/23 we'd have a candidate build, and we'd flight that out broadly within MS to make sure we could find any gotchas and meet our date with confidence. Hey, that doesn't sound too bad does it? Except in the 'worst case scenario' where we miss the date and people are let down, it means a predictable date about once per month with kind of up to date code."

Ultimately Windows 10 is a continuing work in progress. Microsoft is probably handling it in the best way it could right now, by not talking about dates and instead using the ring promotion process to push out when ready. Ultimately dates work both for and against in a situation like this. Fans would be happy, because they'd have something to mark on their calendars. But, if Microsoft for some reason couldn't meet that date (highly possible, we are talking about preview code here) then there's the inevitable backlash that happens when people feel "let down."

It's a really good, detailed post, and it's great to see Microsoft offering this level of transparency on how the Windows 10 process is being dealt with. It's well worth your time to read, and maybe take into consideration while being oh so (im)patient for new things to push out.

Source: Windows Blog

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

176 Comments
  • What about windows phone? I'm tired of lag , bugs and anger.
  • How are your two sentences linked. Cos you are obviously talking about Android in your second sentence.
  • Sin you are obviously talking...
  • LOL no Windows 10 on phones is sorta laggy. He used the voice feature it adds commas like that every time I use it
  • If he is talking about Windows Phone 10, then he should not of ran Beta code on the phone.  He ahould not have anger except at himself for installing it.  I have it on a backup phone, it is buggy and laggy, but whatever, it is beta so what.  I will not touch my main phone (even though it is not supported yet) till closer to launch.  For him to complain is stupid.
  • +929
  • ^This
  • Lags? What are you using?
  • I'm using windows 10 on Lumia 730
  • so you installed a PREVIEW version on your phone and you expect it to run perfectly fine? better go back to 8.1 and stop pretending you are using a final version and then complaining how it doesn't run fine. I wonder why people like you even installed this Windows 10 preview, if you don't even understand the meaning of preview, and how these builds are made for feedback, not for your phone to run without bugs and you feeling cool for having a recent windows phone version. Stop being a clown. ^_______^ and use your brain next time you decide you want to PREVIEW version, especially if it's on your phone. it's obvious a PREVIEW is not for you. if you really think it's like a final version or something.   oh yeah I said PREVIEW many times, maybe you will look it up in a dictionary. oh but yeah, Stupid Microsoft for not providing a better PREVIEW /s I wonder if you at least have leave some feedback or you are just complaining like another clown on internet.
  • No offence but I've expected everything no so good except the fact that it could make my phone could freeze and I've to press and hold power button for 10 f-ing seconds. Never expected this from a windows phone device..
  • Welcome to the world of beta testing. Sometimes you get burned. If it is not working for you then go back to win8.1 and wait patiently for the next build. That is really all that you can do. This is perfectly normal and expected for a first build of beta software.
  • Yours was the best reply.. I will surely do it but I have to make backup because it will erase my data
  • And this is why the preview should never be available for folks like you :) 
  • Its called BETA.  They even warned us about it.  So deal with it and stop complaining.
  • windows 10 prieview developer version is software that is being created as you use it.  It isnt a complete working os and therefore have bugs and other issues, those problems were highlighted to people by microsoft.  They also dont recomend you install it on your main phone.   Personally i knew some people wouldnt understand this and i was very surprised that microsoft gave us such early access to the os, i love it well i would if i could put it on my 930 unfortunatly i think people like you are the reson they shouldnt have offerd this method to joe public. I bet microsoft have read your post and are saying, well this is completely the attitude we expected from people that didnt understand what we were doing.
  • Lol. I can't even...
  • Man maybe you have not actually used it and of course I have left feedback s. What do you know about windows 10 It feels like lagroid. Calling me a clown I mean seriously??
  • Sorry pal but you're an imbecile.
  • I am not imbecile but this update has pissed me off I should never had installed it.. But I was very excited for Windows 10.. That's I installed it. But now can't even put background wallpaper. I looks like windows phone 8 with notification center..
  • Key words:" I should never installed it"
    My friend, those key words keeps me from installing that preview on my phone ( the only windows phone available for me now ), as others reply to you, you should have been aware of such behavior as I'm, and away from unstable software. That's why I never rushed the launch of Denim for my icon.
  • You are not gonna get a full working OS from a preview one..it's meant for testing..it isn't an update..update will come once it's ready
  • You're an Imbecile.
  • It's _not_ an update..sjees.. You are either a thick-headed and rather dumb person or a troll. Possibly both.
  • Hi. Sorry you're getting a rough ride here, but the best thing for you to do is roll back to WP8.1. It is important for you to understand that all the warnings issued here on Windows Central and by Microsoft about not installing the preview on your main device were not for nothing. There is a potential for this software to brick your phone and you have already voided your warranty. If you want to run the preview, the best thing to do is see if you can find a cheap Lumia 630 and run it concurrently with your 730(?). I understand your enthusiasm, I'm currently burning for the preview to become available on my Lumia 920 (Enceladus, for that is her name :) , but THERE IS NO WAY I'm going to risk Amalthea, my Lumia 930. (I name mobile devices after moons and PCs after planets. :) If you don't roll back to 8.1, understand that the next build is unlikely to run smoothly either, because once the OS is finished, is is then optimised for each device and this is an important reason WP runs so well. It will be interesting to find out whether all these new OEMs will be as good at optimisation as Nokia/Microsoft were/are. For you personally, take the strong language as a life lesson: that strong emotion, even positive ones like enthusiasm, can lead to error. It's rare that decisions actually have to be made on the spur of a moment, so you can afford time to be critical. Good luck. :)
  • You are a clown for complaining about a beta, especially since they told us.  Really grab a grip.
  • You are one though...its a TECH PREVIEW. Imbecile.
  • To be fair, my 920 is kind of choppy with 8.1. So it's not limited to windows 10.
  • Really? Mine isn't choppy, it feels better than wp8.0 are you sure you don't have magnification gestures turned on in ease of access?​ ​ ​
  • You must be low on space because my two 920's run fine
  • ditto, no lag on 920 with wp8.1 here
  • Nope. I'm pretty sure it's related to using 3 columns. I can also note a decrease in smoothness when I use a transparent background to the tiles.
  • I bet he is using the technical prev wp10.
  • What about the obvious fact that you had no idea what you were installing when you signed up for the preview? You should've expected that and more, so maybe you should go back to 8.1 and and wait for a more stable W10 build
  • Please man. I'm tired of people complaining. It's a tech preview. It's not finished. Its beta. In fact you could even call it alpha because of how unfinished it is. Unless its a preview for developers build, do not, I repeat do not complain about lag.
  • All I'm asking about is a f-ing update that all. I am really pissed off Microsoft should have provided regular updates but they f-Ed up everything . Atleast should have f-ing informed about the next update for phone. I love windows phone and Microsoft too. Microsoft will not be spared for this act.. Hate you for this Microsoft.. But love you for everything else. F#$% off
  • Get a life, dumbass.
  • Please don't call me that douchebag.. Oops I shouldn't had said that.. But please mind your words Sir.. We are having a sophisticated conversation here.
  • We are trying to have a sophisticated conversation, and then you come in with such a stupid comment and ruin it all.
  • You can't have a sophisticated conversation with a bunch of morons.   I understand your question and it was a valid question.   You'd like to continue testing the new OS but are getting tired of the lagginess of it.   However be careful what you wish for, in beta testing the next version might be worse. WD
  • Thumbs up to you mate.. You are one of many who is not calling something bad..
  • There's nothing "sophisticated" about what you're doing. If you didn't understand it already, let me break it down to you: 1- This is a fucking technical preview. It's supposed to be buggy and laggy, at least in the first revisions. GET OVER IT. 2- You're not entitled to updates whenever you like. Just because you live a sad, boring life, it doesn't mean Microsoft will release updates just to entertain you. They will release them when they're ready. It's a previlege that Microsoft is letting us customers be a part of the new system's development process. So be greatfull. 3- Are you frustrated? Just reinstall Windows 8.1, or go ask your parents to buy you an Android/iOS device. 4- All this being said, if you have something to say, to complain, to help, to contribute, there's the proper way to do so and give feedback through the right channels. And you should fucking well know it's not by coming here to this site and cry like a little bitch. Please grow up.
  • I know what a preview Is.. You are no one to call me like boring.. I am happy with Windows phone but sad w10. If you have to comment like this don't comment here.
  • What the hell ? Do you live in a cave ? Because Microsoft does provide us with regular updates. Or did i dream of my Lumia 920 being updated constanlty for more than 2 years and it will still get win 10 , and my 930 got the best out of awesome denim. What more could i wish for ? Gdr2 is on its way so stop whining, if you installed alpha version of something. Preview should never be available for people like you. 
  • I'm talking about update for windows 10 tp
  • waahhhhhhhhhhhh
  • How do idiots like him exist in this world?? :O People are trying to get some sense into this guy and yet it's all bouncing off him... Begone fool...!
  • You are fool.. Don't know bout yet commenting shit
  • Download their recovery tool and get your phone back to 8.1. I tried Windows 10 mobile for about a month on a secondary phone (Lumia 635) and then went back. In general, it's worse than 8.1 in terms of performance. I'm still exited to try out another Windows 10 update. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Fucking troll. I never call anyone out but that's what this one is. Leave it alone guys.
  • Words you use depicts the environment you belong
  • Restore your phone to 8.1 and dont put on widows 10 Testing software because its not all working for you  lol. Then go out and buy a second cheap windows phone and put windows 10 on that if you really wana try it out.  But remember thers gona be alot of issues there too. Windows 10 is not a update dude. No offence but if you dont know that i sugest you wait till the completed os is available for your phone, it isnt gona be too far away, and im sure youll be alot happyer with it when its out.  I have the tester on my pc and it took less than a day to love it. Cortana is great well what works does lol.
  • Maybe there is a reason they havent provided a update... As in its not ready yet.. As others have said if you cant live with bleeding edge, you  have to downgrade to stable.. I feel your pain, I want it too, but we have to be patient.. I bought another phone just to run it so I wouldnt have to worry about dealing with it on a daily driver basis if it was unstable, I use Win 10 as a daily driver on my laptop and its fine, be patient...
  • Psycho!
  • You are psycho
  • It's technically not a beta. Betas are feature complete but need bug testing. I don't even know if Microsoft would call it an alpha yet.
  • True, I always think if it was released to us to try it would be a Beta, but I think you are more correct after thinking about it.
  • What part of "Do not install on your daily driver" did you not understand?
  • At least I expected that it would not freeze my f-ing phone. I understood every single line but didn't expected this.
  • A Technical preview whether it be on the phone, pc, laptop or tablet is not for people like you. End of line.
  • Maybe you are right I should never install the preview of preview.
  • You didn't expect this? Ummm the terms explicitly state that unexpected problems can arise including bricking your phone. They also said that they aren't liable for any of these problems. Also what does black cock have to do with Microsoft and windows phone. Save the racism for Stormfront k?
  • I aint no racist. My apologies
  • Then clearly you didn't understand every single line. Otherwise, you'd have realized that anything and everything can happen when you install unfinished software. Stop blaming MS because you pretended you knew what you were getting in to.
  • Mauve you are right... I should wait for the final build but it's too laggy to called a windows phone..
  • If you have these issues you then report this through feedback to the relevant place so Microsoft can look at it and look at implementing fixes in the near future. You can't expect it to just 'work'. Read up on it first before diving in head first.
  • What do you think I have at least submitted 7-8 feedbacks.. Bit I like you saying.. read up on It first before diving in head first. Its my new whatsapp status. Thank you for that
  • Feel better now? What do bro is just revert back to WP8.1 I understand the frustration when you are excited about something but keep the anticipation realistic. The software is for testing purposes only and not everyday use. Dont become dismayed or upset, dive in and allow your feedback to be positive in helping Windows 10 become the best OS for phones.
  • Its not a finished build brother..restore your phone to WP8.1..when the W10 update will come knocking the door, you can happily install it
  • Ok wow, all of you need to relax. First off the insults being thrown around are anything but necessary. Secondly I agree with 007htg cuz it isn't like Windows Phone to be so laggy, whether or not its a preview. ESPECIALLY because Microsoft and Nokia were one the first to have 60fps refresh rates on a smartphone. All builds of Windows Phone up to 8.1 have been buttery smooth and it just seems like a step backwards for Microsoft to come out with a preview that's as buggy as this. Key word: SEEMS. Don't start blowing up on me now because I feel the same way about the preview.
    I'm sure a lot has changed under the hood for Windows Phone but the way the TP works so similarly to 8.1 doesn't justify the amount of bugs in the update. On the surface they look practically the same which is why I feel 007htg feels the way he does.
    On a side note: The whole Windows community needs to take a step back and come back to reality. We are hands down the worst tech community when it comes to whining, especially within our own community. We argue with each other more than we constructively debate with other companies and it's really ridiculous. Support your community and maybe we'll see some good fortune come our way from developers, third parties and maybe even Microsoft. Blessings come with patience, people.
  • That's because they were basically the finished article! MS has never released unfinished builds like this before. If you keep saying dumb things like this and have a go at MS when they've done nothing wrong why shouldn't you be insulted? It's alright for others to have a go at MS for no valid reason and expect no come back? That's the problem with people nowadays. Happy to have a go at others but then can't take it back.  Annoys the hell out of me!
  • You are the man.. Thumbs up to you mate.. These people are just disrespectful.
  • 007htg, If it's not obvious by now, there is a reason people are ridiculing you. Your comments give the perception that you do not understand fully what to expect with preview software. If you don't like the experience, don't use it on your primary device, buy another phone to test with. I picked up a Go Phone for $50. All - The whole discussion with 007htg about his Windows 10 experience is ridiculous. The back and forth banter is obviously pointless.
  • There are some who are educated enough to comment. Like sophisticated gentlemen like you. There are faults I every person but you should correct them instead of critisizing.. Ohh god there people are insane
  • Interesting. I read a warning about the possibility of a frozen phone. For that reason, I deferred from the W10 for phones. I enjoy reading the info on the builds and the feedback. It sounds like you wandered into water over your head. Wisdom is knowing when and when not to. :-)
  • Try reading the terms and warnings before you use a pre beta version of an OS., it is actually stating it _will_ have bugs, msy crash and be generally unstable. This update is not expected to officially be released for at least 8 months.
  • I've never had an issue with mine.  When I ran the nokia 520, yes it may have lagged a bit at some points.  Optomizing amount of tiles on start screen and other things helped.  But it's low memory, power device.  Now with my 830 everything is super smooth.  So don't tell me about lags.  For the 520 would probably die running android.  Windows 8.1.1 latest build has no bugs as far as my experience.  If you are on windows 10 that is your own perogative.  And you don't complain about pre-beta software. 
  • lag on a windows phone?  I have a 830 and a 930 i still havent experienced lag issues with 8.1 though id love to try win 10 on my 930 and cant gurrrr lol.
  • WP 8.1....WP 10 is BETA and you should expect to have these issues.  If you are so tired of it, then go back to what works.....
  • Oh my dear. That's one big conversation. Lol
  • Yeah but one hopeless and shitty one
  • What a bunch of idiots out here !!
    He was only asking when the next update/build was ...i have It Too on my daily phone ..it can get laggy but nothing serious here ..anyways apparently nothing know about the next build ...i read we could except a monthly update ...probably by the end of the month I guess
  • Transparent about transparency. I like that
  • Still won't help with some around here.
  • ... Or are they being translucent?
  • Furst
  • Stephen? Is that you? Haven't heard much about you since Babylon 5.
  • Ahh...Babylon 5, last and best hope for mankind :)
  • How are you furst????
  • any updates about windows 10 programming APIs? are they gonn be any better ?
  • But when will come window phone 10
  • Are you joking?
  • U chose "dengue fever" as ur username????!
  • Well, combine mine with yours and we got trouble...:)