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Windows 10 Redstone Update: Launching Over 2016-2017 In Two Phases

New reports suggest the fabled Windows 10 Redstone Update will roll out in two phases, with the second phase pushed to early 2017. More details after the jump.

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We have already several Redstone-branded builds released to Windows Insider Preview program. The latest being the recently rolled out build 14271.

After the Threshold series of major updates to Windows 10 – TH1 (version 1507) in July 2015 and TH2 (version 1511) in November 2015 – Microsoft is expected to release the new major update to Windows 10 in two phases, starting in summer 2016. These major updates will be codenamed Redstone.

The news comes from the folks over at WinBeta who cite unspecified sources. These sources go against our previous knowledge of the matter, claiming instead that instead of one big Redstone update, there will be two phases.

The first Redstone update will be tagged “RS1” will a release in June, while the second Redstone update – tagged “RS2” – will be released sometime in Spring 2017.

Reasons for this splitting up have not been specified. However, it is clear that launching a major upgrade to such a huge, complex software is proving to be a gargantuan task for Microsoft. I side with the folks at Redmond in this case: it is better to launch a robust operating system with few features, than to hastily release shiny but buggy, unreliable software.

Apple realized this lesson with OS X Yosemite. Year after year of new features weakened the OS X core, resulting in a less-than-robust experience. For 2015, Apple decided to put a stop on major new features, and work on performance and stability improvements instead. The result – OS X El Capitan – is an amazingly solid desktop operating system that never leaves you high and dry.

What to expect in Windows 10 Redstone RS1 in June 2016

WinBeta believes it will “focus mostly on the convergence of different Windows 10 devices”. That means you can expect Microsoft to solidify their ‘Universal App Platform’ that powers apps that work all the way – down from Windows 10 Mobile, to Xbox One, to Windows 10. The Windows Store will come to the Xbox One, acting as a single store for all your games, movies, TV shows, and music.

Continuum – Microsoft’s name for the set of features that will make it easier to shift from Mobile to Desktop to Xbox. Imagine talking a call on your Xbox One, then seamlessly shifting to your Windows 10 Mobile, or vice versa. I believe they are emulating Apple here, which does a decent job with Handoffs / Continuity in all their first-party apps.

As publicly hinted in build 14267, we’ll see useful new features in Microsoft Edge as well as Cortana.

Seeing as how Windows 10 Redstone RS1 is expected in June 2016, it will likely have the version number of 1606.

What to expect in Windows 10 Redstone RS2 in Spring 2017

Details on Windows 10 Redstone RS2 are relatively murky. WinBeta just basically says it will cover whatever ground left uncovered by Redstone RS1 along with unspecified new features. We’ll write more about it as soon as we have more information.

Miscellaneous expectations…

Other than that, you can expect Microsoft Edge extensions real soon. It will of course roll out to developers first so they can properly test their extensions. Chances are, there will be a way for the general public to enable Microsoft Edge extensions to test them out for themselves. We’ll cover that too!

Keep in mind that this only covers what we KNOW. Microsoft is for sure working on a number of new features that haven’t been leaked out yet, which we will know about when their BUILD conference starts later this month.

(via WinBeta)