The first major update for Windows 10, which is known as Threshold 2, is expected in November. Threshold 2 is a code name, so its name will be changed by Microsoft once it is released. Threshold 2 is expected to be available via Windows Update.
Existing Windows 10 users will get it as a cumulative update to the installed operating system. Users of Windows 10 RTM will be able to update directly to Threshold 2 thanks to Windows Update.
The most recent public Windows 10 Threshold 2 build is Windows 10 build 10565, which is currently in the testing stage and available for Windows Insiders. In that build, we already saw new information in the "About Windows" dialog aka winver.exe. It says "OS version: 1511". Neowin reports that the number 15 indicates the year, and 11 indicates the month (November).
What we can expect in the Threshold 2 update? Here is a brief list of changes:
- Activation improvements: Now you are able to use your Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 key to activate Windows 10 directly. You need not upgrade the installed Windows version to Windows 10. All you need is a genuine key of the older release. Type it in Windows 10 and you are done.
- Plenty of new icons. Users who already tried previous builds might be familiar with these icons:
- Cortana is able to understand your inked notes - setting reminders based on locations, times and numbers that it can understand from your digital annotations.
- Updates to the Microsoft Edge browser feature the following changes:
- The ability to sync Favorites and Reading list items in Microsoft Edge between your devices.
- Tab previews. All mainstream browsers have this feature, now Edge has it too.
- Updated interface for the Download manager.
- Updated interface for Developer Tools, which can be docked now.
- Skype messaging, calling and video capabilities are integrated in Windows 10 through new Universal Windows apps - Messaging, Phone and Skype Video respectively.
- Return of colored title bars for users of Windows 10 RTM (Build 10240). For those who're part of the Insider program, you can have colored title bars already since Windows 10 build 10547. You can adjust the color by going to Settings > Personalization > Colors. Colored title bars will appear only if “Show color on Start, Taskbar, Action Center, and Title bars” is enabled. This is how it looks:
- The Start menu got updated context menus with icons:
- New behavior for printing that makes your default printer the last printer you used. This change helps ensure the best printer is pre-selected in default print dialogs. You can change this behavior to make it work like the previous way Windows handled default printers from Settings > Devices > Printer & Scanners. The ability to set a default printer by network location which was added in Windows 7 has been removed.
- New Lock Screen backgrounds
- Nested virtualization.
- Jump lists for Metro/Universal apps.
- Ability to locate your device with GPS and Location tracking.
- App access to call history and emails can be controlled by the user. More details HERE.
- Improved memory management with data compression.
- An updated environment variables editor.
Besides these changes, we can expect various bugfixes and performance improvements. Microsoft is working hard to fix all glitches users reported via the Insiders program and after the release of the RTM build 10240. Those who decided to move to Windows 10 should definitely like the upcoming release.