Windows 10 Threshold 2 is now available for everyone, so Microsoft's ready to start the work on the next chapter of the operating system, which is believed to be none other than Redstone, the big update supposed to arrive in 2016.
Microsoft has never publicly acknowledged the Redstone project, but today the company made the very first step towards a preview build of this version with a completely new branch for insiders.
Starting today, Microsoft has begun changing the release branch for users participating in the Windows Insider program to rs1_release, which is believed to be the very first wave of the Redstone update coming next year. To check if your computer has already been switched to this branch, launch the registry editor and navigate to the following path:
If the BranchName value in the right side of the screen reads “rc1_release,” then your computer is ready to get the first build of Redstone.
Gabriel Aul, head of the Windows Insider program, confirmed on Twitter that “this is a prep thing,” but said that for the moment, “there's nothing to see here.” This means that right now, the company hasn't yet decided when to push the very first Redstone preview build to insiders, but it's only making the first steps towards this moment.
Redstone is believed to be the actual first major update for Windows 10, much more significant than Threshold 2 because it should include key feature additions, such as extension support for Edge browser.
This next update is expected to arrive in two different waves for insiders, and the rs1_release branch is a sign that this is very likely to be the case, with Microsoft ready to start working on the first version.
The rollout could take place sometime in the summer while the second wave is due in the fall. There were reports, however, which claimed that Redstone wouldn't be here before the summer of 2016, but again, nothing has been confirmed so far.
Redstone will also come with improvements for Windows 10 Mobile, but for the moment, very little is known about this particular project.