Ever since Window 10 shipped (in 2015), Microsoft have been giving codenames to their next version of operating system, Redstone.
Redstone 1 or RS1 was shipped as Anniversary Update in August 2016, followed by Creators Update in April 2017 dubbed RS2. The sequel to Creators Update, the Falls Creators Update (RS3) just released couple of months back in October 2017.
Windows Insiders have been enjoying the buggy ride, test releases of Windows 10 RS4. So what is stored for us and what do we know so far about the next version of Windows 10, that should be releasing sometime in Q1 this year.
- Timeline: It allows switching between multiple devices and allows continuing whatever you were doing with your previous device. Effectively, it will let you Pick up where you left off if you are switching between devices. For those who have Cortana on their PCs, and even mobile devices such as iPhones and Androids, it will even work for them. Unfortunately Cortana does not work in Kenya as of now on mobile devices.
2. Fluent Design: Microsoft revealed at BUILD 2017 (Developers conference) the new design language for Windows 10. Microsoft Fluent Design Language is made up of several things – Light, Depth, Motion, Material and Scale. This new design language is something that will be added to Windows in several upcoming versions, it is like Work in Progress until it is fully complete in the next 2, 3 versions.
So far what is already available to us with Falls Creators Update is the Light and Acrylic (material) designs. Reveal Highlight or Light, this is a new way of highlighting that works in list views and navigation views within apps. For example in the image below, number 7 in the calculator app has lit up. And as you move your mouse within the box of number 7, there is be a reveal highlight effect moving along with your mouse cursor.
Another element to the Fluent Design is Acylic (material), this gives the translucent effect in the apps. It is like the transparent effect of Windows Vista – AERO but more refined and polished. The image below shows, how the Calculator app is showing a blur effect of Paint 3D and Windows Explorer in the background within the app.
There is also focus on Cortana, for example Cortana is getting Collections. That is, you can now create lists in Cortana Collections which will be available across devices running Cortana. It is also reported that Cortana will get a new home, under Action Center.
We shall also see new Settings section for Fonts. Yes, Fonts is now coming to the forefront and taking a stage in the Settings app and will be getting serviced from Microsoft Store.
3. Microsoft Edge: In the upcoming version of Windows 10, Edge is getting a lot of attention too. For example, you can mute audio coming from a specific tab, which has been there in Chrome for a while now. Edge also allows saving EPUB free books. Edge also now allows to annotate on PDF files which was earlier limited to only web pages. Edge is getting the new Acrylic treatment too with improved Reveal affect and acrylic title bars. Websites can now send Notifications and refresh in the background even when Edge is closed.
Redstone 4 hasn’t been finalized yet so some of the features mentioned above can be removed or other unannounced features getting added.
We’re not so far from getting the next version of Windows 10, so we are again getting into interesting times.