With Microsoft’s first major update to Windows 10 ‘Threshold 2’ now available, the focus has turned to the next chapter in the story of Windows as a service model. Its codename is ‘Redstone’, and is the next major Windows 10 update expected in 2016. Windows Build tracking website buildfeed.net has posted build tags for the latest versions of Windows 10 coming out of Microsoft Labs now in the 11xxx series. When Microsoft announced Windows 10 on September 2014, a major part of the upgrade is the change in how it delivers its desktop operating system, ending the days of predictable upgrade cycles and version numbers.
Windows 10 Redstone
In our Understanding Windows 10 Editions, Architectures and Builds article, we discussed how versioning is now handled under Windows 10. The kernel version made a significant jump from Windows 8.1’s version 6.3 to 10, but the build numbers increased rapidly. Most recently, with the November Update, Microsoft changed to a build slicing methodology for how it has incremented the build number. If you check the Windows 10 About Dialog in the latest update, it is now described as OS version (1511) 10586.29. The number after the decimal point reflects the amount of revisions of Windows 10 that have been produced since build 10586 was released in early November. Instead of incrementing the build number, this method was used instead.
Moving beyond the numbers not much is known about ‘Redstone’ but rumors so far have indicated tighter integration with Cortana and the possibility of making it more pervasive in the operating system with a floating widget that you can call up, on command. Integration with Office is another speculated promise of the update. Users will likely see a preview of the planned extensions feature in the new Microsoft Edge browser. With Windows 10 Mobile seeing close integration with the desktop version for the first time in regards to the build numbers, it is expected that Redstone Mobile will likely see greater improvements with its update mechanism and continuum technology that makes it easy to convert a Windows Phone into a desktop computer. The .29 update for Windows 10 Mobile saw its first carrier-independent release, something that has so far been elusive on Windows Phone and Android.
As for when Redstone will launch officially, rumors speculates the first anniversary of Windows 10 which would be around late July 2016. According to sources close to the company, Windows Insiders might be able to start testing Redstone as early as this month. Windows 10 is estimated to be running on over 200 million systems worldwide. The mobile version recently launched on the company’s new flagship Lumia devices, the 950 and 950 XL. Businesses are expected to accelerate their deployments of the operating system in 2016; Microsoft recently enabled the ability for volume license clients to now be able to upgrade to Windows 10 using Windows Update. Windows 10 continues to be available as a free upgrade to existing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users until the end of July 2016.