This week, Microsoft released the first major update to Windows 10, called the Anniversary update. This release will be the only feature update this year, according to a TechNet post, and there are two updates scheduled for next year.
While not an official roadmap for Windows 10, this is the first indications that information I had been sharing in my podcast and in various post is correct, an update is slated for roughly the first half of 2017 with another release later in the year. Unless the company has changed the codename recently, they are still referring to these releases as Redstone.
In the event that Microsoft scrubs their TechNet post, the following line notes the feature updates coming to Windows 10: “Based on feedback from organizations moving to Windows 10, this will be our last feature update for 2016, with two additional feature updates expected in 2017.”
Redstone 2, which is currently slated for a Spring release (likely late Spring) is expected to accompany a hardware refresh. Redstone 3 is currently penciled in for a release around the October timeframe but as always, these dates are paper-milestones and will likely change as the development process firms up and we approach the release window.
What will these new builds include? While specific details are not ironed out quite yet, the goal is to make Windows more modular as the company truly pursues the Windows as a Service model. This doesn’t mean a subscription fee but, even Windows 10 in its current form, is still not fully modularized and requires large build updates to introduce new features. The company would like to make delivering updates a continuous process but for that to happen, they need to make it easier, on the backend, to update each component in isolation so that an entire new build is not required to modify the functionality of the OS.
For businesses looking to roll out the Anniversary update, Microsoft says build 1607 will graduate to the Current Branch For Business in about four months’ time.