How many times do you remember having received Windows 10 update notifications in the last few months? Quite a few times, we reckon. Windows provides such updates more often than not which are security-related. However, any rumors or announcements regarding improvements or the launch of apps has invariably aroused the curiosity of technology-enthusiasts and kept them agog and guessing about how much the technological wizardry will enthral us.
Microsoft is ready to take on its ambitious project of launching an evolved version of the current Windows 10 Redstone, and has just kicked off its preview for the same. It plans to go live in March 2017. For this next blockbuster update, with Operating System version 1703, the software giant is likely to introduce some new features to their upcoming OS, codenamed Redstone 2, besides trimming down on some of the current features existing in Redstone.
According to some sources, Version 1703 does not attribute to the month and year of its release. While, for others, the upcoming version denotes the time of its release. The current OS Version 1607, referred to as Windows 10 Anniversary Update or Redstone 1, was launched in July 2016, and its previous version 1511, or Threshold 2, appeared in November 2011. Going by the historical trend, it would perhaps not be unreasonable to assume that Version 1703 has been named so, based on its time of release in March 2017.
According to a report published in Petri in early January 2016, Microsoft has allocated several weeks to OneCore and other internal systems, for which they had set a deadline of first half of 2016. This has compelled them to postpone the release of their present OS to March 2017. ZDNet, distinguished for its uncanny ability to prove rumors right, has clearly indicated that March 2017 is “indeed the current ship target for Windows 10 Redstone 2.”
Until Microsoft confirmed that it is aiming for the release of its next update in March 2017, speculations were rife regarding Windows 10 Redstone 2. The Petri report did not extensively specify the features that Microsoft will be experimenting with. Many in the IT industry believe that the software giant will introduce a number of upgrades to Cortana. Microsoft may enable Cortana to follow users’ onscreen activity, based on the information collected. The new feature is a substantial step towards helping Microsoft delve deeper into the psyche of their users and offer a path-breaking technology that we are yet to experience.
Just as the technology enthusiasts had predicted, Microsoft has just confirmed its plan to introduce two new features the March 2017 release. It has also been communicated that the feature update will be similar to the Anniversary Update for Windows 10, which it had released in August 2016 for the Windows 10 devices, but we are yet to receive clarity on this.
The assumptions about the changes that the current Windows 10 version will undergo is based on the announcements made by Microsoft themselves, from their event on 26th October 2016, and Insider Preview Builds. A sneak peek into some features that may get incorporated in Redstone 2 indicates that ‘Microsoft Edge’ may be enabled with an Application Guard, bulk update devices may be enabled through USB, and the functionality of Version 1703 may resemble F.Lux. There will be technological upgrades to rectify software crashes, and Continuum improvements like proximity feature and independent ‘Start’ Menus as well as Bluetooth GATT support functionality. ‘OneDrive Placeholders’, which enables all files to be displayed and stored on OneDrive, including files that are unavailable on the local machine, may get relaunched. This feature had been discontinued due to user confusion, though later, it was revealed that the reason was technical glitches.
Some unique features that are reported to become an integral part of the new version are ‘Microsoft Paint App’. Another new feature is ‘OneClip’, which will enable users to seamlessly copy between Window 10 devices and Office 365. ‘Contextual Syncing’ may sync app data between different devices and allow a user to continue exactly from where he had left off in another device. ‘Office Hub’ is rumored to integrate Office 365 more effectively with Windows 10 for streamlined and seamless accessibility to available information.
Microsoft is also debating on a ‘HomeHub’ feature for managing smart devices. Further, ‘Working Sets’ is believed to enhance efficiency in Project Management through creation of working sets for every project, which includes documents, calendar and contact information. What’s more, ‘People Bar’ may display a list of contacts with whom the user has been in touch with recently. This will appear in the Windows 10 taskbar. A File Explorer App is also believed to be in the offering.
Microsoft has already started testing some of their new features for Windows 10 on their blog, Windows Insiders. It plans to introduce a blue light reduction feature and upgrade Cortana to bridge the apparent gap between PCs and mobile devices. Additionally, it has also started rolling out its Anniversary Update to its Smart Hub devices since October 13th 2016, as evident from their blog post. This includes Flash support for Microsoft Edge, inking support, simultaneous pen/touch support, OneDrive, preloaded PowerBI and photo apps.
Microsoft’s internal ship target may also usher in some smaller changes. All that the IT enthusiasts can do now is wait with bated breath till March 2017 for a hands-on experience on the next revolutionary technology to be launched with much fervor and fanfare.
Updates like these may be heavy on gigabytes. As discussed in previous blog posts, 1E’s Nomad helps in the seamless upgrade of Windows Software, with business as usual.