In an update to its Windows 10 build 10166 post from last week, Microsoft today announced it is suspending the availability of Windows 10 builds in preparation for the Windows 10 launch on July 29. That doesn’t mean testers won’t be getting Windows 10 builds for the next few weeks; instead, they’ll be delivered through Microsoft’s production channels (translation: how most users will upgrade to Windows 10).
This means that starting tomorrow, the more than 5 million Windows Insiders will no longer be able to get the latest builds (10162 and 10166) via Windows Update. If you’re a tester, whatever build you’re on will show as “up to date” when you check for new builds.
It also means Microsoft will not be delivering any additional ISOs (grab the last one here before it’s pulled) and prerelease keys will no longer activate builds. The company explains this is necessary because it really needs testers to be “using, stressing, and validating our distribution and upgrade processes” — if you install Windows 10 via an ISO, you’re circumventing all that.
ISOs will be made available again in the future (after all, the Windows Insider program will continue even after Windows 10 launches). When the next build is released, it will only be available via Windows Update, as that’s how Microsoft will give Windows 7 and Windows 8 users their free Windows 10 upgrade.
Microsoft last week shared its plans for how it will upgrade users to Windows 10: gradually, in waves, and starting with testers first. In other words, you probably won’t be getting the new operating system exactly on July 29.
A lot is riding on Microsoft’s ability to deliver Windows 10 to existing Windows customers without a hitch. The company has to get this part right; after all, it’s aiming for 1 billion devices running Windows 10 in “two to three years.” If the upgrade process fails for many people, Windows 10 will arrive with a very poor first impression.