Hi, Xbox Insiders! Throughout the tenure of the Xbox Insider Program, we’ve noticed our community is always eager to preview new features, apps and games in the pursuit of helping make Xbox an even better place to play. Right now, the Xbox Insider program gives Xbox Insiders a chance to try out console builds before they become widely available, but we’d like to further this effort and borrow a concept from our friends with the Windows Insider Program, namely branching our Alpha ring to preview RS4 and RS5 builds simultaneously.
The “Alpha – Skip Ahead” ring, which will become available to all Alpha members in the coming weeks and later by invitation to Xbox Insiders in other rings, will offer Xbox Insiders early access to advanced builds, specifically those in RS5. These builds will typically be months out from release to GA and will enable Xbox Insiders to view new features, apps and more. By piloting builds well in advance of their release, Xbox Insiders will play an even bigger role in shaping the future of Xbox and will be able to communicate their sentiment and suggested changes to members of the Xbox Feature Team via Quests and Surveys found within the Xbox Insider Hub. Community and fan feedback has never been more critical to helping craft the future of the Xbox ecosystem – and we thank you for your time and thoughts!
We’ll be opening the “Alpha – Skip Ahead” ring to current Alpha ring members later this month, who can then choose whether to remain in their current ring on an RS4 build or to enroll in “Alpha – Skip Ahead” and begin trying out RS5; Xbox Insiders with more than one console might even consider enrolling each console in a different ring! As always, enrollment status can be changed via the Xbox Insider Hub, and those changes will take place nearly instantaneously.
Xbox Insiders who choose to join the “Alpha – Skip Ahead” ring will be able to learn more about the builds they’re running via release notes on the Xbox Insider Blog and Xbox Insider Hub Announcements, just like before, though features will not be announced broadly and some features may not be announced at all. We appreciate patience as we work with teams across Xbox to determine the best methods for introducing features, fixes and known issues present in all “Alpha – Skip Ahead” builds.
If you’re invited and choose to opt into the new “Alpha – Skip Ahead” ring on Xbox One, please be aware that RS5 builds may be less stable than builds previously open to the Alpha ring. If stability issues concern you, you are welcome to remain in your current ring. You are also welcome to switch into and out of the “Alpha – Skip Ahead” ring at your leisure. Thanks once again for the continued fan feedback – keep it coming!