Along with the release date for the next Windows 10 update, codenamed Redstone 3, last week Microsoft also announced that from now on, the company will release two major updates for Windows 10 and the Office apps suite. The first update will be released in March and the second one rolled out in September. This will help enterprise customers and IT specialists to be ready for updates at the same time every year and better plan their testing and adoption stages.
The original RTM version of Windows 10 was released on July 29 back in 2015. Since then, Microsoft has released 3 major updates for the Windows 10 platform, including the recently released Creators Update (version 1703). At the same time, the original Windows 10 has received a bunch of cumulative updates, including security fixes and stability improvements. However, Microsoft is now supporting its frequently updated products for 18 months or 1.5 years, and the time for Windows 10 ver. 1507 support to end is almost up.
Microsoft has already released a bunch of preview builds for the next major Windows 10 update (codenamed Redstone 3) to Windows Insider Program members. They are now actively working on adding new features as well as those features which were postponed from previous releases. This includes the Project Neon system-wide redesign and the MyPeople bar. However it is unclear at this stage when Microsoft is planning to release the final version of this update to the masses.
If you're following Microsoft news, there's a chance you've already heard about Microsoft and Qualcomm partnering on bringing the full Windows 10 experience to ARM64 CPU-powered devices. This Windows edition will support running all UWP apps but will also introduce support for running x86 applications on devices with ARM processors. We haven't heard much about it since the first introduction back in December 2016, but Qualcomm officials have finally announced the date of arrival for the first bunch of devices with Windows on ARM64.
Windows 10 Creators Update has started to roll out on April 11, 2017 and some OEMs have updated drivers and other software for their hardware products to support it. Chipmaker AMD just released a new version of its Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition suite for GPUs: version 17.4.2 is now recommended for all Windows 10 users with eligible hardware products.
Earlier this week, Microsoft finally ditched the preview branding for its Universal Skype app after almost a year in testing. The app is available to Windows 10 users on both PC and Mobile, but the third platform with Universal app support, Xbox One, was lacking an updated Skype client. Well, not anymore: Microsoft has made its app available for every Xbox One user to install and try out.
Microsoft is constantly working on improving the way their Insider Program members are sharing feedback about any of their products. Making the Feedback Hub on Windows 10 even better is clearly a part of this effort. Recently, the company has started rolling out a new Feedback Hub app update (version 1.1703.971.0) for its Windows Insider Fast ring users. It includes sharing improvements, new settings for notifications and some general improvements and bug fixes.
Microsoft has launched the Office Insider program for Mac and iOS users not so long ago. They are keeping it updated at a frequent pace. The company has recently released a new Office Insider build for Mac and iOS, bringing more performance and stability improvements to its users. On mobile devices, the changes are focused on improving the user experience for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, while Office for Mac has received some additional tweaking in the Outlook mail app.
Microsoft Office has been frequently bashed for its security: a huge number of vulnerabilities were found in the suite of Office apps over the years, and many of them were critical. Microsoft is continuously working on improving the security and stability of Office apps and delivers updates for them as frequently as possible. But it seems not all of the vulnerabilities can be fixed right away. A recent report from a security research firm, FireEye, reveals that users may still be attacked with a simple RTF-file opened in Microsoft Word.
According to Microsoft's own tests, at least, Edge in Windows 10 Creators Update has the best battery life compared to other popular browsers — Chrome and Firefox. The company had done the same testing earlier, but yesterday Microsoft published an updated video comparison of how long you could use your device using different browsers. The scenario stays the same: all three Surface Books used in this video are configured identically, not plugged in and were running the same OS version, showing the same video content in the browser.