Windows is still Microsoft’s most important product. After a tough year, the company has managed to fix many of the issues that bugged users, businesses, and anyone else who came across Windows 10.
Microsoft is busy working on the update to Windows 10 — internally codenamed “Redstone” — that will refine many of the features and improvements that were introduced in 2015.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Release date: It is rumoured that “Redstone” will be released in two halves: One in June and then one later in November. Microsoft has given no indication of when the update will be introduced beyond a vague 2016 time frame. Given the time it takes to code, test, and roll-out an entire operating system, the June timeframe makes sense.
A small update in June: According to reports, there will be a small update earlier in 2016 that will include a new Skype app, extensions for Microsoft Edge, and various other smaller — but essential — changes.
A hub for your life: Microsoft has really worked on making Windows 10 the digital hub for all your activities. The operating system works on almost any device — from the Internet of Things to a PC to a server — and this theme will continue in the “Redstone” update.
It will not be called Windows 11: Microsoft skipped on Windows 9 and it looks like it will skip on Windows 11 for the time being, according to ZDNet. The smaller update to Windows 8 was given a “point” name — 8.1 — and its likely that Microsoft will take the same tact for Windows 10.
Windows 10.1 will likely be free: Microsoft has shifted to a “Windows-as-a-Service” model which means the operating system is free and all of the services that come with it — such as the Windows Store — are used to make money. This, in many ways, is similar to how Apple delivers OS X, the operating system for Macs.
The best of Windows 10, but more: Microsoft will likely continue to work on its new Windows features, such as Universal Windows Apps and Microsoft Edge, the replacement for Internet Explorer.
More information about HoloLens: Since Microsoft’s futuristic headset is set to launch to developers in 2016 and will runs Windows 10, just like a PC, Microsoft will likely be looking to optimised Windows Holographic apps — which is every app — to work on the headset.
To summarise, the “Redstone” update to Windows will be an attempt by Microsoft to make the operating system better, without changing everything around. The Windows 8 and 10 updates took away and introduced a lot of features but it seems Microsoft has found a formula — part tablet-optimised, part PC-optimised — that it likes.