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Has Microsoft Paused Windows 10 Preview Builds As Preps Are Underway For Windows 11?

The teaser image for the next Windows release (Image: Microsoft)

The teaser image for the next Windows release (Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft is preparing to release the next big update for Windows on June 24 and is expected to be the biggest refresh for Windows as a whole, since Windows 10 released in 2015.

Microsoft has paused the release of regular Windows 10 preview builds for the time being, which means that the periodical rollout of test builds for Windows Insider channel will not see any new action at this time. The last test build, the Cumulative Update Build 21390.1010 (KB5004092), does not include any new features or functionality for Windows 10 and is designed to test the servicing pipeline. The timing piques the interest, and these changes could be part of the preparations for the release of the next big version of the Windows operating system for computing devices, later this month. It is expected that the test builds for Windows 11 or Windows Sun Valley, as the next Windows may be called, will be rolled out via the same channels, soon after.

The changes to the Windows 10 preview build availability were announced to Windows Insiders as follow-up to the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21390 which rolled out late last month and has since seen the new Cumulative Update Build 21390.1010 (KB5004092) pushed for Insiders. “This update does not include anything new and is designed to test our servicing pipeline,” says Microsoft, as part of the announcement, for the test build. It was in 2015 when Microsoft had released Windows 10 for PC users, as the company embarked on what it has called a “Windows as a service” journey and promised a live and regularly updating operating system for PCs. It remains to be seen if the next updates for Windows, which Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella teased as “the next generation of Windows” at the Build 2021 keynote, last month.

It is expected that Microsoft will be implementing significant changes to how Windows works as a whole, including a visual overhaul. One of the hints perhaps reside in the job listing that the company had posted earlier in the year, and the software engineering role was initially described as follows: “On this team, you’ll work with our key platform, Surface, and OEM partners to orchestrate and deliver a sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows experiences to signal to our customers that Windows is BACK and ensure that Windows is considered the best user OS experience for customers”. Microsoft has been working on new visual elements with Windows 10 over the past few months, including new system icons as well as File Explorer improvements.

The Windows Store for apps and games, is also expected to receive an overhaul, in line with the company’s promise to app developers and creators, for a better app store experience on Windows PCs. “Our promise to you is this: we will create more opportunity for every Windows developer today and welcome every creator who is looking for the most innovative, new, open platform to build and distribute and monetize applications. We look forward to sharing more very soon,” Nadella had said during the keynote. At this time, not all apps are available for distribution on the Windows Store, including rival web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Vivaldi. It was in May that Microsoft had released the first of the two big updates that usually roll out for Windows 10. The Windows 10 21H1 feature update has now became available for PCs, with the Windows 21H2 update expected to roll out ahead of winter this year.

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