Microsoft pushes ahead with Redstone 3, the next big Windows 10 update

Redstone 3 will include a lot of new features, if they all make it.

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The Creators Update to Windows 10 hasn’t begun wide rollout yet, but already Microsoft is pushing out test builds of Redstone 3, the next major update to the operating system due sometime this fall.

The Creators Update was initially called Redstone 2, and last year’s Anniversary Update was simply codenamed Redstone. This third update will feature some ambitious new technologies, some of which Microsoft tried to have ready for Creators Update but could not pull off.

Windows Insiders have started getting Windows 10 build 16170, but it isn’t the first Redstone 3 build. Microsoft has been compiling Redstone 3 builds since February, but this is the first for Insiders. The Creators Update was Build 15063, so this is a big jump numerically.

However, the first build of Redstone 3 doesn’t actually include anything significant. That you can see. And it turns out at least one big feature, called My People, is actually there but hidden. Though the crew at did some tinkering and got it to work.

My People was one of the features that got cut from Redstone 2. Judging by the report, it’s in fairly solid shape. You pin a contact to the task bar, just like you would an app, and are presented with multiple ways to contact that person, like email and Skype. While it worked, the writer described it as rather clumsy, so the app’s UI still needs some work.

Something else due in Redstone 3 is transparent live tiles. This feature is already on Windows 10 phones for the half dozen people who have one. However, the Start menu on PCs currently limits tiles to full opacity. Transparent tiles will be part of the Project Neon initiative to redo the Windows 10 UI and make it more customizable.

Microsoft is also working on the OneCore technology, where one build of Windows runs across all kinds of devices, and the full x86 app emulation on Qualcomm ARM processors is believed to be a part of Redstone 3.

There are also reportedly a number of Continuum improvements in the new build, along with a new adaptive shell user interface that scales across phones, PCs and other form factors.

Microsoft is likely to provide more details on Project Neon and Redstone 3 in general at the Build 2017 developer conference in Seattle next month.


Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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