Microsoft commits to major Windows 10 releases every 6 months
Get ready to receive major Windows updates faster than ever. Just a few weeks after shipping the Creators Update, Microsoft says it now plans on releasing new versions of Windows in a “predictable twice-per-year” pattern: once in March, and once in September.
The announcement came quietly packaged with a blog post on Office 365 ProPlus – basically, Windows 10 update will align with Office’s enterprise apps now. It seems the change was mainly made to appease enterprise customers who may not be so happy with Windows 10 getting a big feature update at seemingly arbitrary dates. A six month schedule at least sets expectations and provides some stability for IT departments who need to deploy these updates to numerous PCs.
But it also sets expectations for consumers. If future Windows releases are anything like the Anniversary Update and Creator’s Update, users will have a lot to look forward to (or dread) twice a year.
It’s quite the change from the old days when we had to wait years for significant new Windows features, and even macOS only gets big updates every year or two. But it’s part of Microsoft’s goal to establish Windows 10 as a service and respond quickly to user feedback. It’s not unprecedented though; Ubuntu and other Linux distros also commit to six-month release schedules.
As for what’s coming in the next version of Windows – codenamed Redstone 3 – the most exciting bit is probably the UI overhaul dubbed Project Neon which Microsoft teased back in February.
Windows Insiders are already trying out builds in the Redstone 3 track, though they’ve been fairly sparse in terms of new features so far. The most exciting thing so far is a power-throttling feature for background apps that should aid longevity on laptops (it can reduce CPU power consumption by 11 percent, according to Microsoft).
You can expect to hear a lot more on Redstone 3 – and perhaps even future releases – at Microsoft’s Build conference next month.