Windows 10 is set to launch in the coming months, but Microsoft is already working on the software that will come after that. According to Neowin and ZDNet, the next major update for Windows 10 is coming in 2016, and it’ll be code-named “Redstone.”

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That’s just a code-name which Microsoft will probably stop using once the software is officially released. Windows 10, for instance, used to be known as “Threshold.”

Does that mean Redstone is Windows 11? Probably not. It’s expected to be an update for Windows 10 and it’ll be available as a free, automatic update just like smaller updates, bug fixes, and other incremental improvements.

But Redstone will be a larger download than a typical Windows automatic update and it’s expected to add new features to the operating system and ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley says it could also add support for new types of hardware that wouldn’t have been supported by earlier versions of Windows 10. It’s not clear what kind of devices those would be though… wearables? Autonomous robot overlords?

One thing is clear though. Microsoft is picking up the pace. Windows XP was released in 2001, and it took Microsoft more than 5 years to launch the poorly received Windows Vista. Windows 7 came out just two and a half years later, and Windows 8 came three years after that… followed by Windows 8.1 a year later.

Windows 10 is launching this summer, and it might be a while before Windows 11 or whatever’s next rolls around. But Microsoft has committed to offering regular updates for its flagship operating system and it’s unlikely that we’ll see a 5+ year gap between major releases again anytime soon.

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18 replies on “Reports: Microsoft to launch Windows 10 “Redstone” update in 2016”

  1. I don’t think they’re picking up the pace – Windows XP had several updates (what they used to call service packs); just as Redstone is an update for 10, and 8.1 and 8.1 Update 1 were updates for 8. Not to mention Windows XP Media Center Edition, released 2002.

    The version “XP” as a whole did stick around a lot longer than more recent versions, but Redstone is still Windows 10, and I thought their intention was to stick with 10 for the forseeable future. Earlier releases were also more frequent (95, 98, Me; or NT 3.5, 4, 2000), so it’s more than XP was the anomaly in terms of staying around for ages.

    1. Uh, no… sorry but you’re operating under a misconception that the Service Packs were equivalent to what they’re doing now but that’s far from being the case… Here, let me lay it out…

      1) Service Packs were mainly just the accumulated updates that Windows normally gets every month that were all packaged together for easier updating of a installation, eliminating redundancy in the process and removing the bad updates from the list, and barely changed anything aside from patches and fixes that weren’t available at the original launch… XP was actually pretty unstable when originally released and it wasn’t until the second service pack release that it was considered stable enough to recommend upgrading from the previous Windows releases…

      2) It took over three years to get the first two service packs out for XP and they still needed a third before they were done… So we’re talking about around 7 years of updates altogether…

      3) All three service packs combined are only equivalent to number of changes that MS did to Windows 8 when they released Windows 8.1 update but that was only 1 year after original release versus the multiple years it took to get the same done for XP… Thus the difference from a incremental update and Service Packs can be quite significant on top of the shorter release schedule… Though, update 1 for 8.1 was a bit minor but that’s why it’s still 8.1 and not an additional increment to 8.2…

      4) Don’t confuse alternate versions of Windows with a update… MS releases multiple versions of their OS and not always at the same time… Like Pro, Basic, Enterprise Edition, Server, and mobile versions…

      MS mainly experimented with XP, so they offered the Media Center Edition, Tablet PC edition, XP Pro, basic, etc. but they weren’t updates but alternate versions of XP, just like Pro, Basic, Enterprise, Server, etc…

      Whether MS will offer as many versions as they have with Windows 7 for Windows 10 remains to be seen…

      Right now we’re only expecting the regular Windows 10 and the mobile version to be released soon, with the Server edition coming out sometime during the last part of the year and is one of the reasons they’re going to call it Server 2016… But MS is also suppose to come out with a Internet of Things version of Windows 10 and that release date hasn’t been given yet and may be part of this Redstone they plan for next year…

      Though, as they have done with Windows 8… Nothing is stopping MS from doing incremental updates to Windows 10… So MS may wind up doing something similar to Apple with OSX with 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, etc. but otherwise you’re right, it will remain Windows 10… there just may be a number after the period and a codename to go along with it to help tell them apart… or they could be doing both and somehow integrating the IoT version with the whole Windows 10 ecosystem… We’ll see once they release more information than just the codename…

      1. XP SP2 was supposed to be a separate new priced release of Windows, but it got released as a free SP because of fears nobody (mostly business) would upgrade.
        Vista was delayed and some of its woes stemmed from the Longhorn effort that had been driven off the rails by an insistence the .Net should be integrated into the OS. When that failed a lot of time was lost backpeddling away from one of the poorest decisions Microsoft had ever made.

        1. Uh, no… .Net aside, MS never charged for any Service Pack and rumors aside they never planned to… There was just some confusion at the time because they also updated the installation image, so you wouldn’t have to download all the updates after a install, but they didn’t normally provide new installation discs for free…
          The actual compromise was that MS provided the updated image online that you could download and burn to a disc yourself at no additional cost… So you only had to pay if you got an official new installation disc… or otherwise just downloaded the SPs after you installed the OS… or only pay if you wanted additional License Keys… while replacement discs, which could be for a updated version, could be had for a more reasonable price…

          While people also quickly learned how to slipstream the Service Packs with nlite, etc. to provide their own updated images for free as well that they could also customize… Like making a XP fit onto a 2GB SSD, etc… So it was never really a issue…

          Really, there was never a reason to charge for the Service Packs because they were mainly just the packaged version of the previous updates/patches Windows normally gets every patch Tuesday, etc. that they always provided free… Just in one big install instead of many, and eliminating the bad and redundant updates from the list… So it never really made sense for them to charge for them when it was never part of their business model…

          Rather, they would have charged for an actual significant OS change… Like an incremental OS version update that gave new features, etc. and the main reason for the rumor was because SP2 covered the USB fixes that XP wasn’t originally released to support… but that was never more than a rumor and none of the SP releases ever covered a incremental OS update and you had to pretty much combine them all to get the number of changes you would have gotten with a incremental OS update without going to a whole other version…

          Besides, MS gave up any chance of that happening when they released the Windows 8.1 update for free and that was definitely a incremental OS update… and then went on to Bing Discounted version and even free version for certain mobile devices they wanted to promote… There’s even a question of whether they will extend the free upgrade period for Windows 10 as MS hasn’t officially decided yet what to do after the first year is up…

          Btw, another difference is under MS’s previous update system the OS steadily became more bloated over time, after 14 years XP ran a lot slower than it did new, but while updates still get added under the new system what’s new for the last few major updates is they’ve been optimized to be less bloated and to even reduce the minimum requirements of the OS and make options like keeping most of the install compressed for the lowest install sizes we’ve seen since XP… and Windows 10 takes it another step forward in that direction…

      2. I’m not saying it’s exactly the same, I’m just pointing out that xp did receive updates, and it’s a bit arbitrary to count by version numbers. I don’t see why the fact that they were previously rolled out in individual updates means it doesn’t count (OK, let’s instead count all those updates instead of the service packs). If you want to argue that ms is now rolling out more substantial changes as updates, fine, but that’s not the point I was addressing. (But I’d say stability fixes are just as important as ui changes.)

        MCE became commonplace on consumer PCs, whilst not a new version like xp to vista, it wasn’t simply a different edition like home vs pro, and had new features added to xp. The point being, MS have had various ways of updating and improving a released os, it’s not true that we had unchanged xp for years, compared to regular updates now.

        7 could just have well been released as an update to vista; and 10 as 8.2. Suddenly the long rule of xp doesn’t look so different, but all we’ve done is change the labels.

        1. I’m just pointing out that xp did receive updates, and it’s a bit arbitrary to count by version numbers.

          Not the point, those updates were mainly just the standard updates that all supported OS get… Mostly consisting of things like security updates and patches… The Service Packs just grouped them into a single package to not require hours to catch up your system with all the updates after a fresh Install…

          The analogy would be like taking a comic book series and turning the entire story arc into a single graphic novel…

          While what MS is doing now is more like going from Vista to Windows 7, which you are correct that MS could have just released Windows 7 as just an update to Vista but renamed it as a new OS release instead… It’s still essentially the same OS but they made significant changes to how the OS operates that exceeds the accumulated updates and what’s new now is they’re providing that much change in a single year instead of multiple years… what we now consider a incremental OS update…

          Basically, MS has essentially switched to the same model as Apple has been
          using for their OSX, except MS doesn’t give each incremental update cute codename like Apple does :-p

          So the original point is then made clear that MS has accelerated their update cycle and prioritized changes that they may have otherwise waited for a new OS release before implementing to rather be released as soon as it’s ready… and that’s a lot more than just changing the labels…

          MCE became commonplace on consumer PCs, whilst not a new version like xp
          to vista, it wasn’t simply a different edition like home vs pro

          No, it did help give birth to the Windows Media Center but that didn’t become a default feature until Windows 7… So doesn’t count as a XP OS update as it never changed any of the other XP releases…

  2. Windows code is so old it BARELY runs on the latest hardware made today. OEM’s have to create outdated backwards hardware just to make Windows run since its core software design was to run on calculator microprocessors yet they still insist the world is better off using software written fifty years ago. Now that they screwed all the developers with certified apps, windows is all but useless now since no programs will run on the thing anymore. The planet would be better off, seriously.

    1. What are you even talking about? Since 8.1, system requirements are almost as low as they were on XP. Windows 10 is even lower. It is getting faster and faster every release. You are up in the night.

    2. Lol wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut. The reason Windows is the standard is BECAUSE it will run old applications. Business drives the world and a business wants their program they paid to develop in house to work on the version of windows it was made in and 15 revisions after that.

      Windows invented backwards compatibility and is the only name in the business. Without them we’d lose billions to waste and excess in the industry. They also drive standards like C++ and Visual Studio, compliance and security requirements.

    3. Old? Well sure, it’s derived from NT that’s been around since 1994. But what alternatives would you suggest – Linux (or Android, which is based on Linux), that’s been around since 1991? OS X, that’s derived from NextStep that’s been around since 1989 (and based on Unix, which is from 1969)?

      Seems to me Windows is the newer ones of the bunch.

      And yes it makes perfect sense, this must be why the most powerful processors on the planet are made by ARM, because Intel hobble themselves with Windows compatibility.

    4. Yeah, Windows smells Old and stale at this point.

      MS belongs in the 20th century, they just don’t seem to get the new Mobile era, sadly.

    5. SUPER TROLL! Look at her disqus history. Don’t believe everything you read folks.

    1. Probably more than a coincidence now that MS owns Minecraft… Maybe it’ll be the Internet of Things version of Windows 10…

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