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I have been asked by several customers about testing Windows Insider builds within their organization… not for everyone, but for the IT staff, or maybe just a couple of them. With Windows Insider builds you get to work with what is new before it is released to the general public. There are great advantages to it… but there is a reason we refer to it as the bleeding edge.
There are two Windows Insider release channels for the Windows Insider Program for Business:
Fast Ring is really living on the bleeding edge, with builds released every week (or more). These are great for exploring what’s new, but at the cost of stability.
Slow Ring releases come out about once every month, and they are certainly more stable than the Fast Ring releases. These are better for most users because they are more stable, and you get to spend more time working, and less time updating… and dealing with bugs.
The first thing I would do if I wanted to test Windows Insider builds in my organization would be to create a security group and place the appropriate devices into the group. Once that was done, I would create a Windows 10 Update Ring in Intune. Let’s go through it.
1) Navigate to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center (https://endpoint.microsoft.com).
2) In the navigation pane, click Devices.
3) In the Devices | Overview screen click Windows 10 update rings.
4) In the Devices | Windows 10 update rings screen click + Create profile
5) In the Basics tab of the Create Windows 10 update ring screen, enter a name and a description of your new update ring. Click Next.
6) In the Update ring settings tab: In the Servicing channel dropdown menu select Windows Insider – Slow (or Fast, per your desires).
Remember that this ring will not be for production machines, so you do not need to configure delays or deferrals or deadlines, so you can just click Next.
7) In the Assignments tab, select the group to include, and then click Next.
8) In the Review + create tab, make sure you have everything configured as desired, then click Create.
It should only take a few seconds for the new ring to appear in your list:
Remember that insider builds can be great, but they can also be unstable. Be careful of which computers you are assigning to the insider groups. Make sure that you do not include any production and especially critical machines, because not only can the Insider builds be unstable, this will also force reboots on a more regular basis.
There are real benefits to being a Windows Insider. There are also risks. If you are careful and plan properly, those risks can be mitigated, and you can truly be in the know!
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