They say it’s big, feature-packed, rolling out in 2016, but not that big.
In case you hadn’t guessed, Windows 10 is likely to be around for a while. We mean the name first and foremost, as well as the operating system’s core functionality, radically improved looks and cross-platform support.
Phones, tablets, convertibles, laptops, PCs, even wearables and virtual reality contraptions, they’ll all run essentially the same version of Windows. With “universal” app compatibility, deep Cortana integration, a neat, extremely intuitive notification system and Spartan browsing in lieu of decrepit Internet Explorer.
Currently in final stages of pre-release testing and stabilizing, 8.1’s two-step upgrade should hit RTM as early as August. Maybe July. It goes without saying Microsoft’s been prepping the monumental OS renovation for a long time, realizing it has to make amends for the Win 8 mess ASAP.
As such, everyone’s excited to check out a firmer, handsomer, simpler, more powerful iteration of the world’s number one PC platform. But MS can’t possibly get everything done by summer. Not when the stakes are so high.
Ergo, a minor update is rumored to roll out in the fall with mostly stability-enhancing tweaks and bug fixes, followed by a larger “service pack” next year. This latter one is allegedly codenamed “Redstone” (Minecraft fans will understand), and while it’s expected to “provide new functionality and support for new classes of devices that aren’t already part of Windows 10”, it’s by no means version 11 or 12.
Perhaps it’s Windows 10.1? We wouldn’t rule that out, though Microsoft is more likely to keep the market name clean and simple, regardless of behind-the-scenes optimization. That is, of course, if they hit it out of the park from day one. After all, nobody planned 8’s failure. Or Vista’s. They just happened, and Redmond was forced to quickly regroup.