The “Redstone 3” train has left the station, and it’s picking up speed: For the third time in less than two weeks, Microsoft has released an Insider Preview build for “Redstone 3,” the next major version of Windows 10.
As you may recall, Microsoft issued 16170 on April 7. It didn’t offer any noticeable changes or new features, but instead focused on OneCore refinements and some code refactoring and other engineering work.
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Last Friday, Microsoft delivered build 16176. This one offered just a single minor functional change—the Windows Subsystem for Linux (Beta) can now access Windows COM ports—but was otherwise also about under-the-hood changes.
Today, however, Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16179. So what does this third pre-release “Redstone 3” build bring to the table?
Two new features, as it turns out:
Revert VM. Hyper-V now offers automatic checkpoints so that you can always undo any mistakes in a virtual machine. So you can now revert to the last time you started that virtual machine. (Hyper-V has long supported checkpoint functionality that lets you save a VM slice-in-time so you can always go back to that point.)
Power Throttling. As we discussed yesterday, Power Throttling was originally intended to ship in the Creators Update, but it looks like it will finally make it to Windows 10 as part of RS3. Microsoft notes, however, that the name is not necessarily final: It may change this name before the final release.
This build also includes a number of changes, improvements, and fixes, plus a few known issues. Check out the Windows Experience Blog for more information.
<p>Personally, I think it should be called "Energy Throttling" or "Energy [fill in the blank]." Power throttling has a negative connotation to it where it sounds like it may be making my PC less powerful which it doesn't. In my own experience of the feature, it has very little effect on any perceived app responsiveness while boosting battery life by an hour or more. In short, I think it should have a name that focuses more on the battery life efficiency aspect of it and less on the perception of any app slowdowns. </p>
<p>I think it is possible that we can further increase the power efficiency envelope of Windows 10 with more improvements to Power Throttling beyond the approximate 10% improvement we now see. One of the main reasons Windows 10 has worse battery life than Mac OS X is the number of legacy OS background services which reside in the background. These may sometimes use more CPU time than they ought to, thereby increasing power consumption over time. On the other hand, if Windows 10 throttled back these background services more often aggressively, we could see a substantial battery life improvement. In addition, Microsoft could purposely throttle certain background programs like Dropbox and Google Drive to achieve a similar effect on a wider scale. Doing all this, I think they may be able to eek out maybe another 5%, or maybe even 10% of battery life, for normal device usage scenarios (i.e. light web browsing, office productivity use, media playback). Of course, these efficiency measures will have little effect on more demanding tasks like gaming, video conversion, or heavy multitasking.</p>