Microsoft releases "C" and "D" updates to people who click "Search for updates" in Windows Update. Those people become inadvertent beta testers. January 2019 C update has a rare distinction: Microsoft tested it with Windows Insiders first.
C and D updates were released during the third and fourth week of most months. They include non-security fixes and are only installed for people who click the "Search for updates" button in Windows Update. These people are essentially beta test updates before the fixes are included in next month's stable patch Tuesday updates. These patch Tuesday updates are called "B" updates, as Patch Tuesday is the second week of each month.
These C and D updates have caused problems earlier. A "D" update recently caused blue screens on Microsoft's own Surface Book 2 hardware. Only people who clicked the "Check for updates" button would have installed it and encountered the problem. Microsoft calls these people "searchers" and thinks they are looking for more updates, but we think most people who click this button have no idea that they are choosing unstable updates.
There are finally some good news! As Woody Leonhard points out on AskWoody.com, this month's C-update-Windows Update KB4476976 has actually gone through thorough Windows Insider Release Preview testing earlier this month:
It's finally out. The first Win10 patch (in my best knowledge) that has been thoroughly tested in the Windows Insider Preview Ring – and I would be prepared to bet it is quite stable.
… Raise a glass of cheers. We can take part in an action in Microsoft's focussed fixation method.
This is still a C update and it is still only installed if you click on "Search for updates" but "searcher" who clicks on the button will get a fix has already gone through a test round with people who know what They come in. Windows Insiders are of course people who have chosen to be beta testers.
As Woody points out at Computerworld, Microsoft first ran a trial version of a cumulative update to the Release Preview ring back in November 2018. But this time, Microsoft added two buildings through the test cycle by using Insiders to actually find problems before the stable release.
It is only a month after the first release was released by the disastrous October 2018 update, which deleted some people's files. Microsoft was so convinced in this major update that the company didn't even bother to put it by trying to remove the preview before it was released on the unfortunate "searchers" who clicked "Check for Updates":
It's not irrelevant. We just made a small change in our approach. 1809 goes to RP today and will be crucial to help with kickstart. Slow was helpful in helping IDs to stop bugs this time around.
– Brandon LeBlanc (@brandonleblanc) October 2, 2018
As Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc pointed out, Microsoft released the patch to release preview simultaneously it released it to "searchers".
Now, Microsoft has been chased, and it is even to add smaller patches through proper testing before they roll out. It's progress!
We just want Microsoft to stop their shenanigans with the "Check for Updates" button. That button should never choose users in additional, less tested patches without warning. Don't click "Search for updates" if you don't want unstable Windows 10 updates
Image credits: KC Lemson / Microsoft