With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft is moving to a new servicing model for the OS that includes constantly updating the platform as well as introducing new tools for the enterprise. To help keep you abreast of the roadmap ahead for the OS, using information from trusted insider sources at Microsoft, I have created a roadmap that will be updated each quarter with what is known about the future plans of the OS.
Windows 10 Threshold Wave 2:
This fall, currently slated for November, Microsoft will be releasing the first large update for Windows 10. Currently named Threshold wave 2, the update will bring with it a couple of new features as well as further refinement to the interface.
We have already started to see some of these changes in the Insider builds that have been released, including colored title bars and new icons. In addition, extensions for Edge should arrive along with the updated Messaging application for the desktop too; the Enterprise SKU will get three new features.
There will also be plenty of under-the-hood updates to improve the performance and stability of the platform.
Windows in 2016:
Microsoft is currently in the planning process for it’s next set of updates, currently under the codename of Redstone. The update, much like Threshold, will come in two waves during 2016, which appears to be the theme of how the company will deliver updates to the OS in the new Windows as a Service model.
At this time, the actual feature set for Redstone is still being considered but what I am hearing from insider sources is that they want to continue down the path of making Windows 10 the hub of all the digital things in your life. This means expanding support for other platforms to make sure they integrate into Windows 10 so that even if you have a competitor’s product (like an Android tablet), you still get a great experience with that device when you connect it to your PC.
Redstone is targeted for June/July and October/November release timeframe but as always, these dates could slip.
Windows 10 Mobile:
In the coming weeks, Microsoft will be releasing Windows 10 Mobile, this is the OS the company will be using for its phones and is the replacement for Windows Phone 8. Expected in the month of October are two new flagship phones, the Cityman and Talkman (read more about them here); these two devices will kickoff the release of the new mobile OS.
Not long after the announcement of these new devices, Microsoft will begin rolling out the new mobile OS to Windows Phone 8 users but when it will be received on your device may depend on a number of variables including the model of phone you have, location and carrier.
The other Microsoft OS that will receive an update in the very near future is Windows RT. This OS is running on devices like the Surface 2 and the Lumia 2520. For the most part, this OS is a dead-end as this upcoming update will be the last release (aside from security updates) to the platform.
The update will bring with it a Start menu, although it is said to be different from the one that is used in Windows 10, and a few other minor enhancements to the OS as well.
As with all things Microsoft, their plans may shift but I don’t believe it should be substantially different from what I outlined above. As I continue to hear more about what the company has on its agenda for Windows, I’ll update the roadmap each quarter to help keep you informed about the inbound announcements from the company.
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