We’ve been hearing for a while that we’d get a Windows 10 update come this spring. The Creators Update is set to arrive in April and will come packed with things like powerful 3D drawing functionality and better augmented reality support.
But the rumour mill had whispered of a second update in 2017. And now Microsoft is confirming it’s true. Details are sparse but we can expect to see the second update get a public release toward the end of the year.
The confirmation came from Director of Program Management, Bill Karagounis, while speaking at a recent Microsoft technical conference in Australia. Karagounis explained the release cycle specifically so as to clear up recent “confusion and discussion” concerning the company’s release cadence. Based on a slide he presented with the talk, we can see the second Windows 10 update will be available to Windows Insiders by April or May with a larger release in what looks like November.
A given update's mainstream release is indicated by the plus sign
Just as they’ve been doing so far, this means Microsoft will be supporting two versions of Windows 10 simultaneously. But if you were looking for more details on this second release, we didn’t get much more intelligence than what’s shown in the timeline.
We do know it’s currently being referred to by its codename Redstone 3. We also know Microsoft has been experimenting with a design makeover called Project Neon which is also set to launch later this year. It keeps much of the same flat design as before with a touch of transparent and gradient accents added in. So there’s a good chance this UI facelift will come packaged with the second update.
In affirming the second release this year, Karagounis touched on the idea that Microsoft is committing to this faster release cadence in order to respond to user needs faster, especially as they relate to updated security features. “The release cadence helps us bring these advancements to the world quicker,” Karagounis stated.
When Windows 10 launched in 2015, the company talked about sticking to a “three times per year” cadence on updates. But 2016 saw just one lone Anniversary Update. Microsoft’s official statement on why we only got one that year was that it was “based on feedback from organizations moving to Windows 10.” So we basically shouldn't look at 2016 as a model for what the release cadence will look like. Good that's cleared up.
Still, we’ll need to wait a while longer to learn more about what’s coming as part of Redstone 3. Microsoft will probably have more to say in May during their Build Conference.
You can find Karagounis’s full talk on the Creators Update and the release cadence on Microsoft's Channel 9 website.