No more Windows build strings for you: BuildFeed has turned off the lights

Blames 'internal pressures' rather than a software giant getting stroppy about foldables

Stop sign in front of a bush. Image via Shutterstock

As Windows 7 tipped over into its 12-month march to oblivion, the popular Windows tracking site, BuildFeed, issued its final update.

It's an ignoble end for a handy resource for those trying to work out what is happening within the bowels of Redmond with regard to the many and varied versions of the Windows operating system.

The site had run since 2014 and relied on build strings seeping from the leaky Microsoft Windows machine to keep users up to date on the latest operating system goodness. Those build strings, as well as containing the familiar build numbers, also hinted at the status or purpose of those builds. We noted one last week that pointed to the next version of Windows 10, 19H1, moving from pre-release to release.

While Microsoft was undoubtedly not overly happy about the situation, with the Windows team preferring to play its cards very close to its chest, the site pottered along happily over the years.

Founder Thomas Hounsell handed over the reins of day-to-day running to a "few trusted friends" and the site developed into a useful portal covering the inner workings of the Microsoft build process during the frequent periods of silence from the Windows team.

However, a slew of build strings that appeared on the site over recent days indicated that at least one source had become a little loose-lipped or perhaps over enthusiastic.

Build strings, such as one indicating an OS for foldable devices was in the works, fed the fever dreams of Windows fanboys.

The Twitter orifice for the site felt obliged to comment.

Shortly after, BuildFeed itself was summarily terminated by its creator with a slightly rambling statement (updated this morning) that said the "timing of this closure has everything to do with the internal pressures I mentioned and nothing to do with the external pressures such as Microsoft". He added: "Were Microsoft not placing any pressure on BuildFeed, I doubt there'd be an issue, but it's also true that had I not made some mistakes in the past, there would be little to no internal pressures and we wouldn't be looking to close either."

So there you have it.

It seems a bit odd that the new, open-source-embracing Microsoft seems to guard its build numbers quite so jealously and that sites like BuildFeed are even required. Many in the open source world will cheerfully fling out nightly builds to any that would like them (with, of course, a hefty health warning).

Few that follow the adventures of the Windows team would disagree that more openness, rather than less, should be where the company needs to go. ®




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