Some Thoughts About Windows 10 and the Future

Posted on September 19, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 0

Some Thoughts About Windows 10 and the Future

As a technology enthusiast, I’m excited by the pace at which Microsoft has improved Windows 10 since its initial release in late July. This new strategy of keeping Windows evergreen seems to be paying off.

I write this having just installed the third post-RTM build of Windows 10 on several of my PCs, including my daily-use desktop PC. Build 10547—as described in Microsoft Issues Windows 10 Build 10547 for PCs to Insiders on the Fast Ring and seen visually in Brad’s Gallery: Windows 10 Build 10547—is emblematic of this change. It is what I feel to be exactly the right level of change between public drops to Insiders. And it neatly addresses the biggest issues we’ve had as users and Insider testers.

Windows 10, as you may recall, was released on July 29. Since then, Microsoft has delivered three Fast ring builds to Insiders, on August 19, August 27, and September 14, respectively, each of which included neat sets of improvements. Outside of that, many of the apps that Microsoft bundles with Windows 10 have been updated significantly as well, introducing major changes to Mail, Calendar, Photos and other apps.

Collectively, these updates represent a significant improvement to Windows 10 on PCs. And if this pace continues, the so-called TH2 (“Threshold 2”) release of Windows 10—think of it as the first in a series of perhaps quarterly OS updates that all users will get—will be a big one. That is, while Windows 10 TH2 will obviously “be” Windows 10, it will also be a much improved Windows 10.

This is excellent.

It’s excellent because Windows 10 shipped in unfinished form in July, and there are many things to improve, including some—like the woefully incomplete Edge—that have not yet been addressed at all. But it’s also excellent because we now have a more transparent understanding of what is possible over a short period of time. We know that there are core OS fixes happening–including nice user experience improvements–as well as regular and frequent app updates. Both make Windows 10 better for everyone.

I am a bit curious about how these things will be delivered to normal users. If you’re in the Windows Insider program, you know that these three post-RTM builds—10525, 10532, and now 10547–have been delivered as full OS upgrades, rather than Windows Update-based updates. I hope and expect that normal users will receive these changes via less disruptive Windows Updates, and will not be required to perform OS upgrades every quarter (or whatever timeframe).

I also hope that Microsoft does the right thing and updates its Windows 10 Setup image downloads so that they always represent the latest “version” of this OS. A year from now, we should be able to perform a clean install of Windows 10 and not have to then download and install 719 Windows Updates and dozens of app updates.

I think Microsoft will do the right thing. And the reason I think that is that Microsoft has been doing the right thing with Windows 10—from a servicing and updating perspective—since that initial release. Keep it up, guys. There are things I worry about when it comes to Microsoft. But Windows 10 for PCs isn’t one of them.