Microsoft confirms Windows 10 'Redstone' 1 will be available this summer

Microsoft execs say the latest collection of new features will be available to Windows 10 users this summer, and will be known officially as the Windows 10 'Anniversary Update.'
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

It's official: Microsoft's next major update to Windows 10, codenamed Redstone 1, will be available this summer.

Microsoft officials confirmed the date on the first day of Microsoft's Build 2016 developer conference, March 30, which is happening in San Francisco.

Microsoft is planning to refer to the Redstone 1 release as the "Windows 10 Anniversary Update," as it will be available a year after Microsoft initially released Windows 10.

This isn't how most users or technical professionals will refer to the release; instead, we'll likely call it something like Build 1607 if it is released in July 2016, as some recent documentation seems to indicate. It's more of a marketing name, akin to the "November update" of Windows 10, a k a Build 1511/Threshold 2.

To date, my sources have said that Microsoft has been aiming to complete and release Redstone 1 in June 2016. Earlier this year, Microsoft officials decided to release only one update to Windows 10 that includes a bunch of features in calendar 2016, according to my sources. Hence, it's unlikely there will be anything like another November update to Windows 10 delivered this year, sources say.

Microsoft officials haven't confirmed publicly that Redstone 2 was pushed back to 2017. My contacts say the reason it was delayed was to line up with a set of new Windows 10-powered devices that will be running Redstone 2.

The Anniversary release will go to existing Windows 10 users for free, whether they are using PCs, tablets, IoT devices, HoloLens and Xbox. Microsoft execs didn't say whether the company plans to extend its "free upgrade" cutoff date of July 29, so that those on Windows 7 and 8.1 also will get it for free, too.

Microsoft also is making it easier for third-party developers using the Universal Windows Platform to build Windows Hello biometric security, Windows Ink and Cortana into their apps and services.

Microsoft is releasing to developers today, March 30, Visual Studio 2015 Update 2 and the Windows 10 "Anniversary Edition" software developer kit so they can start working with the more than 1,000 new programming interfaces coming to Windows 10 "Anniversary."

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