Windows 10: changes coming with the Redstone update

Following up on Windows 10 November Update/Version 1511, the next major update - codenamed Redstone - is expected some time next year for all Windows 10 users. It is already in development. Here is the list of changes you can expect in the Redstone update.

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For many users, the only features of value in Windows 10 version 1511 are colored title bars and the ability to use Windows 8/Windows 7 product key for activation directly. The rest of the features are mostly all on the Metro side which many users choose to avoid completely. Redstone is expected to extend Cortana to make it a system-wide assistant.

Windows 10 login screenThe Redstone update will also feature some additions to the Notification Center / Action Center. Besides showing notifications, it might support widgets, offering quick snapshots of data, synced across your Windows 10 devices.

cortana iconThe big improvement is rumored to be Cortana's expanded assistance to you as a user. Rumor has it that Cortana will be able to track user activity as they navigate around the operating system, and surface useful information based on what users are viewing on-screen. I wonder if this might be similar to the Office assistant you had in older versions of Office. It also seems to be inspired by Android Marshmellow's Now On Tap feature which works the same way.

The Uber cab app on Windows 10 was recently updated to book a taxi using Cortana. Widgets or Cortana functionality might allow you to do such tasks which Google Now allows in Android using cards.

Microsoft is also believed to be looking at deeper integration between Office 365 and Windows 10.

Microsoft Office iconAnother interesting feature is Task Continuation which will allow users to start a task on one device and then resume and finish it on another. This is clearly inspired by Apple's Continuity and Handoff features already present in OS X. However, all these are rumors. The RTM release of the Redstone update may not include them. Some of them can even be postponed for the update after-Redstone.

Skydrive SyncRecently, Cortana got the ability sync its Notebook with your interests, weather preferences and more between your PC and the Cortana app on iOS or Android. Cortana also allows PC owners to send and receive text messages (SMS) from their desktop OS which is eventually routed through the Cortana app on Windows and Android phones. Call notifications from your phone might also show up in the Notification Center on Windows 10 in Redstone.

Obviously, these new features will be gradually introduced in upcoming Insider builds for Windows 10. Users who are still part of the Insiders program giving feedback to Microsoft should start getting new builds throughout the next year.

Overall, these features all seem to be Microsoft's moves to catch up with what Apple and Google are doing with iOS/OS X and Android. They are not particularly groundbreaking unless you are excited about Windows turning into a mobile OS and ditching or dumbing down more desktop functionality.

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9 thoughts on “Windows 10: changes coming with the Redstone update

  1. Kruno

    Thanks for the update report. :)

    BTW. Is there any mention or alternative to the abysmal File Explorer. Something that didn’t get an upgrade for ages, even though most Win users are using it every day for so many things. Maybe adding tabs would be nice. What do you think?

    Reply
    1. GenialityOfEvil

      Only alternatives. Explorer++ has things like tabs while retaining some of the Windows aesthetic. Others like Free Commander and Xplorer² are somewhat more powerful but don’t have the most user friendly interfaces.

      Reply
      1. Kruno

        Thanks. I’ll check it out. :)

        Reply
    2. Budgie

      Explorer in Windows 10 is abysmal compared to the fast XP Explorer but hey it’s better than a Metro app.

      Reply
    3. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      I am using Total Commander, it provides the incredible set of features which Explorer never had.
      I have no idea why Microsoft keeps Explorer simplified for many years. It is unknown yet if some changes are planned for Redstone.

      Reply
      1. Kruno

        Thanks. :)

        Reply
      2. EBIN

        I use it too. Great program.

        Reply
  2. cappybob

    I have determined that if you leave Cortana alone and let Windows 10 and Cortana exist as developed, used, and accept it as a stand alone option “All is Great”. What needs to be done is use Cortana to access your favorite “Home Page”. Enter into the drop down IE 12 to enter into the IExplorer. Look to the Task Bar and Pin You IE. I then use this exclusively for Personnel Browsing and everything is working the way designed. If you use Cortana “EDGE” you end up changing many options in Edge which work with Cortana.

    cappybob

    Reply
  3. David H Johnson

    If you strip Windows Explorer of Quick Access, and all its recent folders, etc. it runs very fast. I have no problem with it.

    Reply

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