What other Windows 10 updates can we expect this year?

What other Windows 10 updates can we expect this year?
Credit: Microsoft

The Anniversary Update was a major update in 2016 to Windows 10. But what else can we expect this year?

Well, the short answer to this question is nothing. After the impressive and (mostly) stable Anniversary Update in 2016, your Windows 10 system should be sitting at version 1607.

To answer the important question of what's next, let's review the different update approaches to Windows 10 that exist out there.

The mainstream consumer release of Windows 10 that most of us have updated with the Anniversary Update is called the Current Branch (CB). Understand that the Current Branch for Business (CBB) lags behind the CB by several months. This is an excellent idea, since most businesses want there to be extra time while any issues with the CB are ironed out with bug fixes. That's right—Microsoft experiments a bit with us home users.

Currently the CBB is using the November Update from 2015, version 1511. Sometime around November 2016, Microsoft plans to move the CBB up to version 1607, putting both CB and CBB on the same major version. Nice! 

+ Also on Network World: Windows 10 Redstone: A guide to the builds +

You should remember as well that there is a Long Term Servicing Branch. This is an enterprise-only version. The idea behind it is that new features are not rolled out to it, just major security fixes and stability enhancements. This provides an opportunity for businesses that must absolutely ensure stable desktop platforms. Currently, Windows 10 LTSB is essentially the Windows 10 RTM release with certain features, such as the Edge browser and Windows Store permanently removed. On Oct. 1, 2016, a new Windows 10 LTSB build will be released, starting another 10-year support window.

Microsoft is not planning another major update this year. It looks like two will release in 2017. These are rumored to be code-named Redstone 2 (rs2) and Redstone 3 (rs3). Note that the Anniversary Update is code-named Redstone 1.

Rumors indicate that rs2 will have a heavy mobile focus and be shipped simultaneously with new Surface-branded hardware. Microsoft has already started making internal rs2 builds. Unfortunately, Microsoft is keeping very silent on what the major features of the rs2 and rs3 releases will be.

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