Windows Insiders chief Dona Sarkar has taken to Twitter to explain what's taking the Slow Ring version of Windows 10 so long: It's all about the gamers, apparently.
In a sequence of tweets, Sarkar admitted the problem was a bug caused by gaming anti-cheat codes. Since it wasn't hardware specific, a staged release is apparently more trouble than it's worth and the team isn't keen on releasing something likely to blow up in the user's face.
Those tasked with picking up the pieces after 1809 or unbricking Surface Pro 4s might disagree.
(1/2)Many of you are asking why we haven't released a #SlowRing flight in a while. We have a GSOD that's caused by a very common scenario around gaming anti-cheat codes. Unfortunately the fix is in the hands of our 3rd party partner company that we're working with them on...— Dona Sarkar (@donasarkar) February 25, 2019
(2/2) Looking at our #SlowRing population, MANY of you play these games so your machines would be very difficult to use--we are committed to releasing Slow builds that are high quality so this is why we're holding the build— Dona Sarkar (@donasarkar) February 25, 2019
Sarkar pointed to a third-party company dealing with the fix, without naming the naughty people, and said that Slow Ring users would not get the build until the fix is in because "MANY of you play these games."
Yes indeed, the gang does scrutinise that telemetry you volunteer to hand over when you join the Insider programme. Sarkar added that "a LOT of you apparently play games at work! (I won't tell your boss)" Not at all sinister then.
The lengthy absence of the build is becoming a concern since the release of Windows 10 19H1 (also referred to as 1903) is drawing near, and code will need to be locked down within the next month if the OS is to follow the usual pattern of an April release.
Getting the code exposed to as many Insiders as possible would therefore be prudent. Hence the worry about exclusion of Slow Ring testers.
Clearly Fast Ring testers don't play games so much, although Microsoft has been requesting users have a crack at State of Decay while being coy as to the reason why. A Green Screen of Death (GSOD) triggered by games using anti-cheat software has long been on the known issues list.
Firing up the speculation machine, Microsoft has had issues with antivirus software doing things at a low level and upsetting Windows 10. Anti-cheat software, by its nature, also needs to lurk in the background to ward off nefarious activity.
19H1 remaining wedged in the Fast Ring also goes some way to explain why Microsoft has yet to release 19H2 (due in the October time frame). Doing so would require the creation of yet more test rings. Things are already confusing enough, and what to call it?
The Ring Of Fire? Home, home on the Ring? Ringo? ("Best OS in the world? It isn’t even the best OS from Microsoft.")
We'll get our coat. ®