One of the main objectives that Microsoft has focused on for Windows is to make the OS more compartmentalized. Meaning, individual components can be upgraded or changed without requiring a complete system build to be installed.
While Windows and the Xbox teams use similar underlying components to run various systems, they are not exactly the same. That being said, Microsoft quietly announced an updated today that will allow them to be more agile with system updates.
Announced as part of an update rolling out to a select group of Omega users in the Xbox insider program, this patch will introduce a new flighting system that lets Microsoft update components like the shell, settings, or guide, without requiring a complete system build being updated.
Xbox Insiders – A subset of Omega Users will get a new build at 6.00pm today that updates some settings. We are flighting a new build process in which we can flight new system experiences like Shell/settings/guide without a full system build (aka platform fixes) – agile!
— Brad Rossetti (@WorkWombatman) January 15, 2021
The reason that this is important is that it allows the Xbox developer team to be more agile in their approach to pushing out updates. Meaning, for some aspects of the OS, when the feature is ready, it can be released, rather than waiting for the rest of the build to be tested, vetted, and then shipped.
While this may sound like a small update, this is likely the result of an overhaul to how previous iterations of Xbox updates have been applied. As of now, we are only seeing the first iterations of this new flighting system but if the early public testing goes well, it should roll out to a wider group soon.