On the 2nd of August Microsoft rolled out their Windows 10 Anniversary Upgrade, or in other words Windows 10 Version 1607. To address the needs of the various customers, Windows 10 has multiple tracks.
The full-fledged consumer release which received the Anniversary Upgrade is named the Current Branch (CB). To provide more time for adjusting to the upgrade and receive another few rounds of bug fixes, The Current Branch of Business (CBB) trails the Current Branch (CB) by several months.
Currently, CBB is using last year’s November update, version 1511. Microsoft plans to bump up the CBB to the 1607 version, thereby putting both CB and the CBB on the same major version. However the Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB), which is an only enterprise version, will receive security as well as critical issue support for ten years.
Presently, the Windows 10 LTSB is the Windows 10 RTM released version with a few features like the Edge Browser and Windows Browser removed permanently. A new Windows 10 LTSB build is reportedly going to be released on the 1st of October, starting another 10-year support window.
In the times to come, however, these differences between the current branch alternatives (CB and CBB) and the LTSB will keep becoming more and more noticeable. There are no plans from Microsoft to roll out any major updates this year.
In the process of announcing its gradual anniversary roll out for Windows 10, Microsoft confirmed that there would be two featured updates from the company in the year 2017. This points to the fact that the company is trying to move into its twice-a-year schedule, which it used to follow during its updates for Windows 8. The code name for the operating system was Threshold.
The two updates which are likely to be released next year are rumored to be code-named Redstone 2 (rs2) and Redstone 3 (rs3), with the August 2nd release of the 1607 version being Redstone (rs1).
It is currently expected that the Redstone 2 will have a heavy mobile focus. Plus, it will be shipped simultaneously with new surface branded hardware. Allegedly, Microsoft has already started making the internal builds for the rs2 version.
Little is known about its features and when both the builds, rs2 and rs3 will be released. However according to Windows Central, Redstone 3 will in all probability be released four to six months after the roll out of Redstone 2, late in the summer or early in the fall.
Microsoft’s Nathan Mercer said that the Anniversary Upgrade should be their last feature upgrade for 2016. Presumed for a release early next year before spring, Redstone 2, Windows 10 update might coincide with hardware updates for products like Microsoft’s Surface Pro and Surface Book. Releasing the build simultaneously seems logical from a bug fixing point of view.
Another thing that upset Windows consumers was the changing of Microsoft’s downgrade policy within the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Previously, Microsoft has allowed users 31 days or a full month to roll back any update, including those to Windows 10.
This time however, the downgrade policy only gave users only ten days to downgrade to the previous version or build, instead of the usual 31. After this period, if you did not back out the Anniversary Update became permanent. Many complained of being unable to downgrade after the 10-day limit had expired.