Microsoft officially christens 'Redstone 5' as the Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Microsoft will begin rolling out to mainstream users on 'nearly 700 million' Windows 10 devices its latest feature update starting in October 2018.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

It's not much of a surprise, but Microsoft made it official today: The next Windows 10 feature update, codenamed "Redstone 5," will be known as the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. Microsoft will finalize the specific build it will designate as the October 2018 Update in the coming weeks.

I say this isn't a surprise because a year ago, Microsoft officials said that they'd be rolling out the twice-yearly Windows 10 feature updates in the spring and fall of each year. Specifically, those builds this year were known as "1803" (for the March, 2018, date when the code is RTM'd) and "1809" (for the September 2018 RTM date). After Microsoft officials select a build as "final," they continue to patch and update it and typically roll out both the final build and a cumulative update (or several) to mainstream users starting the following month.

Credit: ZDNet

Microsoft officials didn't specify today on exactly which day in October the October 2018 Update will start rolling out. The Windows 10 April Update began rolling out on April 30, 2018. The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, a k a Windows 10 1709, starting rolling out to mainstream users on October 17, 2017.

The October 2018 Update rollout will likely be staggered, as in past feature releases, with machines known to be able to best handle the new bits getting them pushed to them first.

Microsoft also will likely begin rolling out the server complements to the October 2018 Update -- Windows Server 1809 and Windows Server 2019 -- on the same day in October as the client build goes live.

The part of today's announcement that is a bit more surprising is that Microsoft is still saying that the October 2018 Update will be going to the "nearly 700 million devices" running Windows 10. Microsoft has been using this same 700 million figure since March 2018 and hasn't provided an updated momentum figure.

I asked a spokesperson why Microsoft is continuing to use the "nearly 700 million"figure. Is it because the rollout of Windows 10 has stalled? Or because Redmond is done providing us with Windows 10 momentum updates? The official response: "(The) nearly 700 million number stands and that's all we have to share at this time."

My guess is Microsoft could be waiting for a bigger event, such as its upcoming Ignite IT Pro conference at the end of September, to announce a new momentum figure. Any new uptick is likely the result of enterprise migrations to Windows 10 at this point, rather than a ton of new consumer ones. And larger migrations from Windows 7 to Windows 10, due to the end of support by Microsoft for Windows 7 in January 2020, may not have yet begun in earnest.

The Windows 10 October 2018 Update will include the Cloud Clipboard, dark-mode File Explorer option, a number of new Notepad features and other tweaks and updates. It also will deliver a number of new security and enterprise features, as well as a new Windows 10 Enterprise Remote Sessions edition. Microsoft will likely detail these enterprise features at its Ignite show.

The next Windows 10 feature update, currently known as "19H1," is in early testing now. It is expected to be finalized in March, 2019 and begin rolling out to mainstream users starting in April 2019, if Microsoft sticks to its own schedule.

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