If at first you don't succeed, you may be trying to install that Slow Ring Windows 10 build
Click your heels together three times and say 'there's no OS maker like Microsoft'
Having finally inflicted a 19H1 build of Windows 10 upon Windows Insiders on the Slow Ring, Microsoft has admitted that the minty-fresh test code has some problems.
Build 18342 was pushed out earlier this week, having spent some quality time in the hands of Fast Ring testers. The latter found themselves blocked if they were using certain Intel CPUs, something Microsoft swiftly fixed with Build 18343.
However, those preferring life in the slow lane got 18342 this week. 18342.8, to be exact, as Microsoft back-ported the CPU fix.
The issue that has delayed the Slow Ring build for so long, anti-cheat code for video games making Windows 10 poorly, is also still present. However, the gang at Redmond appear to have lost patience with the company responsible. A roadblock has been thrown up to stop the update being received by systems with the most common games afflicted by the Green Screen of Death* (GSOD) error.
The team has also blocked PCs with the base language ZH-CN due to a problem making many common Chinese games crash on launch.
Getting Slow Ring insiders on board is becoming critical as the final release of 19H1 nears and Microsoft seeks to maximise the number of configurations on which the code is tested.
Things aren't going well. It appears that some users must adopt the Beetlejuice approach to running the build. Say "Brandon LeBlanc" three times, and presumably the Insider supremo will appear, along with a working 19H1 Slow Ring install.
The issue, which is hitting a subset of users, manifests itself during the early part of the install and boots the user back to the previous build of Windows 10. The Insider gang has said that on the fourth go, the upgrade path should change, and everything will be gravy.
Add this to the array of known problems, including the aforementioned and Windows Sandbox falling over intermittently. However, Windows Subsystem for Linux lovers in the slow lane will be happy to see Linux files inside the Windows File Explorer, and the Light Mode in 19H1 makes a pleasant change from the Dark Mode with which much of the tech world seems obsessed.
And as for the borked installer? As Microsoft would be the first to point out, it is a test build after all.
All the cool kids use 20H1
While Slow Ringers were joining the 19H1 party, Microsoft gave us a peek at build 18845 of the 20H1 branch of Windows 10, due for release just over a year from now.
Guinea pigs enjoying grappling with the known issues in that build, including wobbly Windows Sandbox and (yes, still) anti-cheat games software, will be positively over the Moon to learn that Emoji 12.0, finalised in February, is now present and correct in the Windows Emoji panel.
Need a picture of an ice cube in your text? Worry not! Fancy unwinding with a game? Er, that might still be a problem. ®
* Test builds have a green failure screen rather than the cheerful blue of "stable" Windows 10.
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