Microsoft is quickly approaching the release date of Windows 10 and ahead of that release, they are tightening up how they deliver builds to Insiders. As the company continues to squash bugs and polish up the OS, they are introducing new tools to deliver builds to your machine which means a Microsoft account is now required.
If you are currently participating in the Windows Insider program and running a build of Windows 10, starting with the next public release, you will need to pair your install with your Microsoft Account. If you fail to do this, you will stop receiving new builds. The company is making this change to ensure that they are only delivering builds only to people who have opted into the program.
It's important to note that a new Windows 10 RTM install will not require a Microsoft account, it's optional for consumers and only required for Insiders who want the preview releases.
On July 29th, as we have already said, Microsoft has once again confirmed that Insiders will receive the final build just like any other build flight. If you want to perform a clean install, Gabe Aul states the following:
Once you have successfully installed this build and activated, you will also be able to clean install on that PC from final media if you want to start over fresh.
Based on the wording used, once the Windows 10 final release is on your machine and linked to your Microsoft account, then your MSA becomes your key to re-installing the OS from the final media at any time. The key here is that you have to take install the RTM build first before cleaning your machine and starting fresh.
The Windows Insider program will continue on after the RTM build is released, which means if you stay in the program, you will continue to receive preview builds with new features. There will also be an option to remove yourself from the program as well, if you want to stick with only the public releases.
In the next release, Microsoft is removing the Insider Hub as they prepare for RTM. The company says that after July 29th, the flights will once again ship with the feedback mechanism. Also, in the next build, as Microsoft moves to the Edge branding, if you need to keep your favorites, check out this link here to make sure you don't lose any links once the branding switches.
Microsoft is gearing up for the release of Windows 10, which is no small challenge, as this OS needs to run flawlessly to create a good first impression. With the company pushing for one billion installs in the next 2-3 years, they are expecting a significant wave of downloads to occur in July which will be the first big test of their new delivery mechanism.