According to a trusted source, Microsoft will release the “Threshold 2” (TH2) release of Windows 10 in November as the Windows 10 Fall Update. And unlike the post-RTM Windows Insider builds we’ve been getting, the Fall Update will ship as a cumulative update, not as a full build.
There’s a lot going on here, so let’s break it down.
Windows 10 Fall Update. This is the official name of the first major update to Windows 10, though of course the OS will still be called Windows 10. In order to differentiate Windows 10 Fall Update from the RTM release, however, it will be identified as version 1511 (where 15 =”2015,” the year, and 11 = “November,” the month), indicating its date of release.
No prerequisite is required. You can upgrade to Windows 10 Fall Update directly from the RTM version of Windows 10, without having to first install any other updates. Likewise, if you upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7/8.1 after the Fall Update is made available, you will get Windows 10 Fall Update.
No activation. This isn’t a full build install like we see through the Windows Insider program, so you won’t need to reactivate Windows after updating. Activated PCs will remain activated.
Windows Update distribution. You will get the Windows 10 Fall Update the same way you get any other Windows 10 update: Through Windows Update. It will have the same distribution as a security update, meaning that you will get it immediately. Ideally, you will just wake up the PC one day, sign-in, and already be on the new version. The update will be named “Windows 10 November 2015” in Windows Update.
Changes to Windows 10. If you have been following along with the Windows Insider updates to Windows 10 since RTM, there won’t be too many surprises here. But the Windows 10 Fall Update does include a number of changes, including an improved Media Creation Tool, new locales and other new features for Cortana, and various Edge improvements (but not add-ons, sorry).
Activation changes. As previously reported, Windows 10 Fall Update will support activating with your PC’s Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 product key. For this to work, the key must match the edition of Windows 10 using the same upgrade matrix.
Recovery tools. The Push Button Reset feature will be updated so that resetting the PC will reset it to the Windows 10 Fall Update, not the July RTM release. If you upgraded from Windows 8.1, you will lose PC maker customizations. (This won’t happen on Windows 10 PCs.)