Microsoft is pushing out a new test build of Redstone 5, the next major upgrade to Windows 10 that will likely release this fall, to members of its Windows Insider program. The latest preview build (17672) is relatively minor in terms of new features, though it does contain a host of bug fixes.
In case you're not familiar, Microsoft's goal is to upgrade Windows 10 twice a year with major updates. Here is a list of the major builds that have been released to date, starting with the launch of Windows 10 three years ago:
- Windows 10 (Threshold 1): July 29, 2015
- November Update (Threshold 2): November 10, 2015
- Anniversary Update (Redstone 1): August 2, 2016
- Creators Update (Redstone 2): April 5, 2017
- Fall Creators Update (Redstone 3): October 17, 2017
- April 2018 Update (Redstone 4): April 30, 2018
Redstone 5 is the codename of the next big update to Windows 10, and based on the release cadence above, it should arrive around October or November. In the meantime, Microsoft is already pushing out preview builds, and has been for several weeks now.
For the time being, the new builds are only available to Windows Insiders who are in either the Fast ring or have opted into Skip Ahead. Once Redstone 5 is a bit more polished, Microsoft will make them available to Slow ring subscribers.
The latest preview build contains an important fix that was causing some PCs to appear stuck at "Preparing to install..." somewhere between 80-100 percent completion of the update. That's the biggest one, as it's a showstopper, though there are several minor bug fixes as well.
If you're using a mixed reality headset, you should probably avoid installing Redstone 5 for the moment, as there is a known issue affecting compatibility.
"After completing the Windows mixed reality first run experience, OOBE is black. Motion controllers are also not recognized in exclusive apps. If you need your mixed reality experience to be working it is advised you not take this build until these issues are fixed," Microsoft warns.
At this early stage, Redstone 5 introduces a handful of new features, such as extending the dark theme to Explorer, updates to Microsoft's Fluent Design language, and a better clipboard experience that allows you to past from the clipboard history, to name a few. There doesn't appear to much of anything that's aimed at gamers, at least for now.
If you to receive preview builds, open up Windows Update and click on Windows Insider Program in the left-hand column, then click on Get started and follow the prompts.