Major Windows 10 update due in June

The update known as Redstone will focus on "device convergence."

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REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

While Microsoft has been pumping out updates, small and large, for Windows 10 since its release, the big update known as "Redstone" has been in development for some time. Initial reports said it would come in two stages, both to be released this year. That has apparently changed.

According to WinBeta, a Windows news site with a pretty good track record, the first of the two Redstone updates will come in June and the second will come in Spring 2017, a significant push back from its original fourth quarter of 2016 release date. It's not known what caused the delay.

The first Redstone builds have already been released to the Windows Insider Program for testing. This update -- known as RS1 -- will reportedly "focus mostly on the convergence of different Windows 10 devices such as PC, Xbox, and Phone."

This means a focus on the Universal Device Platform for things like the launch of the Windows Store on Xbox One, Project Centennial, which makes installation and conversion of Windows apps to other platforms more secure, and Project Islandwood, which helps port iOS apps to Windows. There will also be an expansion of Microsoft's cross-device gaming efforts, getting PC games on Xbox and vice versa.

None of this sounds particularly interesting to the IT world, but there will be a few bones in there for business use. RS1 will offer tighter integration across devices. One example would be that if your Windows Mobile phone's battery runs low, Cortana on your PC would alert.

Also, the Continuum feature that integrates Windows 10 Mobile devices and PC will get a nice new feature. Users will be able to make phone calls and send texts from their PC and through their phone, something I've wanted forever. Pity it will only work on Windows 10 Mobile.

The big question mark at this point is when will extensions for Microsoft Edge show up. It's now several months overdue with no planned release date. I would hope they arrive with RS1 if not before, because Edge needs all the help it can get.

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