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.”
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.