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Microsoft already looking ahead to Windows 10 revision

Two updates in 2016 would indicate a similar update path as Windows 8.

windows 10 number
Credit: Mark Hachman

Microsoft is already working on updates to Windows 10 even though the OS isn't even completed. The updates seem to somewhat mirror what the company did with Windows 8 in shipping incremental updates rather than holding off for a big Service Pack.

The folks at Neowin have struck again with an interesting scoop, claiming that an update codenamed "Redstone" will hit in two waves, in June and October of 2016. This is somewhat like Windows 8 in that it went through steady updates rather than let it get way out of date while waiting for enough content to justify a service pack.

These updates could be timed with the release of Windows Server Next, the update to Microsoft's server product. It's on track for a 2016 release, and Microsoft does like to keep the releases closely in sync, not just because the two share a lot of code but because many client features tie into the server.

The thing is, WS Next has really lagged in public tests when compared to Windows 10. While Microsoft delivers new builds of 10 monthly, there has been one release of the Server Technical Preview, and that came in October of last year.

The current Server Technical Preview is due to expire on April 15, although Microsoft is now saying it will extend the deadline for the current build and have a new build of the server software sometime in May.

It's common practice for betas to have a time limit, since after a while beta builds get out of date, bugs get stomped, and new features are added, so Microsoft wants you to stop using old code. But they always have a replacement out before the expiration date. This is an interesting development. I can't recall the last time Microsoft had a gap between beta expirations and new builds of any software. That's not to say it's never happened, just that I don't remember it. Either way, it makes me wonder what's happening with Server.

Windows 10 is already being designed with many cloud features, but there will likely be new features in Server Next, or Server 2016 as most people are calling it. So it seems likely that the June and/or October patches will go more toward bringing the client in line with the server offerings.

Microsoft goes slower with the server product because it's less tolerant of bugs than the client, and because customers aren't known to drop their current servers and upgrade to the new one immediately. You can still get Windows Server 2008, after all.

So I can see how Microsoft is putting the bulk of its efforts into the consumer side of Windows 10 and will bring things like server-side integration that the IT world will want a year later.

And if the name "Redstone" sounds familiar, you obviously play "Minecraft," the game Microsoft bought last year. Redstone is an ore people use for construction in the game.

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