Microsoft has just released the first Windows 10 Redstone 5 build to Windows Insiders enrolled in the Skip Ahead ring, officially kicking off work on the next major update for its desktop operating system.
While the debut of Windows 10 Redstone 4 is just around the corner, and expected to happen in April, Microsoft has also started paving the way for Redstone 5, which is projected to launch in the fall of this year.
The first release as part of the RS5 update is Windows 10 build 17604 and is shipped in the RS_PRERELEASE branch, while everyone else in the Fast ring gets updates in RS4_RELEASE.
Entering the Skip Ahead ring, however, isn’t possible at this point because there are limited seats in the program, and they’re all taken since the company launched it before the debut of the Fall Creators Update. Microsoft promises to let insiders know if registration is opened at some point in the future again.
It goes without saying that Windows 10 build 17604 doesn’t bring any new exclusive features as compared to existing builds of RS4, as it’s only the first release and the focus is now on getting everything ready for bigger changes, most likely to land after the official launch of Redstone 4.
“Please be aware that builds from RS_PRERELEASE will get less stable as teams start checking in new code. So, things will likely be a little rough as they normally are at the beginning of the development cycle for a new Windows 10 release. If this concerns you or makes you uncomfortable, you may want to consider opting out of Skip Ahead and simply wait for the Fast ring to transition back to RS_PRERELEASE down the road,” Microsoft explains.
When Redstone 4 is finalized in March for insiders, Microsoft will start shipping Redstone 5 builds for the Fast ring as well, and at that point the Fast and Skip Ahead rings will be brought back in sync.