While Microsoft used the Windows Blue codename for Windows 8.1 and Threshold for Windows 10, the software giant is planning to use Redstone for its 2016 plans. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that the company is planning two updates to the core of Windows in 2016, one in the summer and one in fall. These updates will largely be designed for new hardware and devices that run Windows, and will be targeted at the Xbox, Surface Hub, phones, HoloLens, Microsoft Band, Office, and other products that rely on the core of Windows. Redstone is the codename for the updates and a reference to Minecraft, the game Microsoft acquired last year. The Redstone name was first revealed by Neowin.
Windows as a service begins, but Redstone for core updates
Microsoft is currently planning to push regular monthly updates to Windows 10 in the meantime, and the company has already revealed its "Windows as a service" plans that accompany this. Windows 10 will ship this summer, but Microsoft will continue to update it and components that aren’t core to the operating system on a regular basis. As part of those plans, elements like Project Spartan, Microsoft’s new browser for Windows 10, will be updated through the Windows Store to ensure features can make their way to users at a more rapid pace. Microsoft moved a lot of the core features of Windows Phone to this model last year, and it’s something the company is increasingly doing across Windows as a whole.
The Windows Redstone updates won’t be seen as a Windows 11 or Windows 12, but more of a Windows 10.1, with new features added to the core for all difference device types to take advantage of. Microsoft is currently planning to detail more of its HoloLens and Windows 10 development plans at Build later this month, and it’s possible the company may discuss Windows as a service and Redstone. We understand the Redstone name was first used around two months ago inside Microsoft, so it may still be a little early for the company to share its plans.
Verge Video: Hands-on with Windows 10