We've known for some time that Microsoft is already working on a huge update for Windows 10 that will arrive sometime next year, but the company has never publicly acknowledged this.
In fact, Redmond hasn’t even confirmed the Threshold 2 update that’s just around the corner, so it’s no surprise that the company seems to like this whole secrecy saga as far as its new products are concerned.
But the 2016 update, which is reportedly being codenamed Redstone, has made its first shy appearance these days, when the development branch that it’s actually part of has showed up out of nowhere on a number of PCs.
WinBeta writes that the rs1_release is available on several Windows 10 PCs running the insider preview, but subscribing to it doesn’t seem to make any difference for now. Most likely, Microsoft is internally testing this branch, so we still have to wait a little bit longer until the first build arrives.
Although Redstone is expected to arrive in the summer of 2016, Microsoft is very likely to accelerate its development and start shipping preview builds after Threshold 2 comes out, so this could be the moment when the switch to rs1_release actually takes place.
Redstone will bring significant improvements to the OS, including extension support for Microsoft Edge, which was originally supposed to be part of Threshold 2 but then delayed until the next big update as the company needed more time for development. Extensions might, however, be part of the preview builds that could be released to insiders in early 2016.
The upcoming Redstone could see daylight in two different waves, but no specific dates are available at this point. People familiar with Microsoft’s plans initially said that one could arrive in the spring and another one in the fall, but the company is yet to back any report. As a result, you should take everything with a healthy pinch of salt until confirmation is provided.