Hints for the Future in Our First Real Peek at Redstone 2

Hints for the Future in Our First Real Peek at Redstone 2

Friday’s release of Windows 10 Insider Preview build 14942 has provided us with our first real peek at new features and functionality coming in the next major release of this operating system. It’s due in Spring 2017 and codenamed Redstone 2.

Obviously, there is so much more to come. Microsoft has spoken about its plans to integrate the Windows Holographic shell into mainstream Windows 10 versions, for example, and my sources say that the software giant will publicly discuss major new Redstone 2 features for the first time at its now-scheduled late October Windows 10 event. Too, we get small leaks from time to time, as demonstrated by this video featuring a UWP version of the Paint app.

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Microsoft announced several mostly-minor updates and improvements in build 14942, and that alone was notable: Previous Redstone 2-era builds have been light on new features, and have focused vaguely on improving only the “core” underlying parts of the OS.

But let’s read between the lines a bit. In other words, forget about individual features in early builds. Let’s think about direction. Where will Redstone 2 take us?

For example, I find it notable that Microsoft hasn’t shipped Mobile builds of Redstone 2 twice since this program started up in August: According to Microsoft, it shipped 29 pre-release builds of the Anniversary Update—the previous Windows 10 milestone—and fully 28 of them included a Mobile build. So here we are, only two months into an 8-to-9 month development cycle, and Microsoft has already under-performed on Mobile compared to the entire previous release.

Does that mean that Mobile is less important to Microsoft than before? It’s hard to imagine how that could be the case—in fact, I’m not sure why they update it as often as they do—but there’s contrary evidence as well. Consider this week’s leak of that UWP Paint app. If Microsoft moves more and more of the bundled (“in-box”) Windows 10 to UWP, as it should, the result will be an OS that is more stable, more reliable, more easily serviced, and … more acceptable on Mobile. Apps like Paint, Notepad, File Explorer and more are all legacy Win32 programs today. If they become UWP apps, everyone wins. Including fans of Mobile, which suddenly becomes more of a first-class citizen in the Windows 10 family.

This, I think, is in fact a theme of Redstone 2: The continued evolution away from Win32, and the gradual replacement of Win32 apps and experiences in the OS with UWP-based equivalents. You’ll see more changes and additions to the UWP Settings app, and more of a move away from legacy control panels. For example, look this UWP-based “System” interface in Settings in build 14942.


Clearly, Microsoft is working towards replacing the legacy System control panel and even older System Properties window, shown here. It’s not there yet, of course, and all of these interfaces are still available. But it’s a step forward.


These new interfaces are interesting to me on a number of levels. We’ve discussed many times why UWP as an apps platform has thus far failed in the sense that there are literally zero gotta-have-it third party UWP apps in Windows Store. But more generally, UWP is sound, is the right way forward. And by putting more and more UWP apps and experience in Windows 10, Microsoft benefits us all. Plus, there’s something hugely positive about Microsoft doing what it’s telling developers to do. Why should Windows be hobbled by legacy apps and UIs?

It’s hard to argue against UWP: It’s modern, safe and reliable, and its inclusion and expansion benefits everyone who uses Windows 10. More subjectively, perhaps, is the attractive look and feel of the various UWP interfaces. And, more important, more professional looking.

This is not something we said about the Fisher Price user experiences that Microsoft disastrously saddled us with in Windows 8. Whether you’re talking about the Start screen, PC Settings, or the almost universally-terrible in-box Store apps that Microsoft included with that OS, the net effect was always the same. Immature. Crude. Childish.

In Windows 10, those terrible touch-first (gag) UIs have given way to cleaner and more professional interfaces with clear designs and nice iconography. What does more professional mean, you ask? It means “command density,” so that instead of 8 big circular buttons in an app, you can get a ribbon of commands that approaches what’s possible in the desktop versions of the Office applications. It means capability. It means solving problems, not finger painting.

Settings is an interesting example, because it started out as a laughable one-screen interface in Windows 8 and has evolved into perhaps the ultimate example of “command density” in Windows 10 version 1607.


Settings, of course, isn’t exactly a model that most apps can follow. But if you look at the Microsoft Office apps in the Store, you see good examples of command density, both in traditional apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote) and new app types (Sway). And these apps are perhaps better examples for other apps to follow.


Critics will point out, rightfully, that these apps are not as full-featured or command-dense as their desktop siblings, but I think that is both by design and preferable: Office 2016 is powerful, sure, but it’s arguably too complex and top-heavy, functionally, for most users. The Office apps in the Store scale visually on high-DPI displays, work well on diverse device types, and offer that correct mix of “just enough” functionality for a wider audience. You can call them dumbed down, but I’d argue you’re missing the point entirely.

In any event, what I see so far in build 14942, or I guess in Redstone 2 more generally, is a continued evolution of the platform I care about the most. I really like the way Windows 10 looks and works today. And with Redstone 2, I like where it’s going too.


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  • 1488

    09 October, 2016 - 8:17 am

    <p>I agree. while my surface 3 performs better on Windows 8.1, I prefer the funtionality of 10. I am looking forward to the improvements you have pointed out. All the while hoping the battery life and stability improves.</p>

  • 6062

    09 October, 2016 - 8:18 am

    This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone.  This is basically where they said they were going.  One Windows.  The same operating system no matter device type or size.  There will be no Windows phone or Windows mobile, just Windows 10 on a 5-6″ screen.  It makes sense and is truly forward thinking.  Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work or will be seen as a revolution by the tech world as a whole.  MSFT hasn’t done itself any favors with its fits and starts and history of abandoning platforms.  If Apple or even Google was doing this, it would be viewed with less skepticism.  
    That being said, I’m optimistic about the future of Windows 10.  To be fair, it’s only a little over a year old and represents somewhat of a sea change from what came before.  The foundation is solid to improve upon, UWP makes sense, and One Windows means that some form of a “Windows Phone” will likely continue to exist.  iOS has had 7-8 years to mature as an operating system as has Android.  MSFT can get there with Windows 10 and UWP if they stop shooting themselves in the foot.

    • 5485

      09 October, 2016 - 9:50 am

      In reply to DemBones:

      The One Windows vision is so shiny that basically hides the underlying problems. The reality is that its not forword thinking in anyway whatsoever and has not solved any problems that was supposed to solve for the consumer. Its an abstract internal MS vision that solves no problem for the consumer.
      1. Do we have better tablets with Windows 10? NO!
      2. Do we have better phones with Windows 10? NO!
      3. Do we have better PC’s with Windows 10? Maybe.
      4. Do we have a better gaming console with Windows 10? NO.
      5. Do we have a better anyting else? Have no idea.  
      What about all the above working together like happens with other platforms across different OS’s? Is it better? Is it better now within Windows ecossystem than ever was? NO NO. So what is this? A better Windows than Windows, just enough to have fans drolling over it. Meawhie the Windows ecossystem is more closed and isolated than it ever was. That’s about it. Now you may argue that this is the foundation for the future … well that is basically what MS fans say year in year out. Next year. next year, next year … they well present somerhing really useful.

      • 6343

        09 October, 2016 - 5:09 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#19782">In reply to nbplopes:</a></em></blockquote>
        <p>As a Senior Software Architect I can assure you, the changes Microsoft is making by merging it’s platforms is a God-send! Do you have any idea the amount of work that goes into supporting multiple platforms? Even when doing Web development there are hundreds of hours lost fixing bugs that are platform specific, and when you get into native development, well your talking the entire project being duplicated 2x or 3x. Imagine if twitter or Instagram or Spotify out any of the other top tier apps only has to write the application once, and it ran on mobile, IOT, Game Console, and regular PC at native speed. If they could do that, then we’d theoretically have 2x or 3x the feature set in the same time frame. This is the dream, the promise land, the true forward-thinking that some ^ appear to have missed. Unfortunately it has taken a while for other people to catch on and will take even longer before it becomes mainstream and the benefits become apparent. Now if you still doubt me ask yourself, if it’s such a dumb idea, why is Google dumping Chrome OS and beginning a new OS that is designed to run on multiple devices and replace Android? Research a topic before you comment on it please.</p>

        • 5485

          10 October, 2016 - 9:18 am

          In reply to trevor_chdwck:

          Uau, Senior Architect. Looks impressive.
          But you forgot to answer 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 … and went on the rampage of write once run everywhere as  if it is something new … geez. For me to make a UWP app I would need to have a business requirement that goes beyond the need of being able to code once and run everywhere. Because that I can already do and have been doing for years (Web tech)!!!!. Once I had that business case I noticed that its targeted to one kind of device. So I tailored what I have to fit that business case (say make use of the Pen or make a phone call directely). If I cannot, I would be probably building a separate app anyway.  If I am building from scratch I would have a look at modern open web app technologies an check if that fits the bill. Because I’m able not only to cope with multiple devices within the Windows platform but also across multiple platforms (iOS, Android, Windows, Linux and Mac). Either in either connected, partially connected and connectionless environments. There might be cases where UWP is the only and the best solutions. But I have not yet met them. Cheers.   PS: I have almost 30 years experience doing software solutions. 

        • 5629

          10 October, 2016 - 2:26 pm

          In reply to trevor_chdwck:

          I think the most obvious response is that Apple is not trying to replace macOS with iOS.  If you can understand that then you will know why Microsoft’s strategy of one-OS-for-everything is problematic.
          I will say this, I created a website with Business Website Builder on GoDaddy a couple of months ago.  I built the web site one time with one template that I modified quite a lot.  It was impressive how well the website was able to work with any browser on any device so well.  But, the problem is that unlike Business Website Builder, UWP doesn’t completely reorient itself to fit various screen sizes… or, I guess I should say, UWP doesn’t fit well on a 27 inch 1080p video monitor.
          Perhaps this is because Business Website builder seemed to take the approach of “design the website for a 27 inch 1080p video monitor” and then reorient that design for tablets and then reorient that design down to smart phones.  Microsoft is taking the opposite approach.  Design the app for a 4 inch screen then blow it up to 27 inches – and, that absolutely does not work.

    • 5629

      10 October, 2016 - 2:20 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#19771">In reply to DemBones:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>As you point out – Apple has not tried to replace its PC OS with iOS. What if Apple is right and Microsoft is wrong?</p>

  • 901

    Premium Member
    09 October, 2016 - 8:33 am

    <p>In the past&nbsp;I remember there being plenty of Insider PC releases that didn’t always have corresponding Mobile builds.&nbsp; I personally don’t think there’s a lot to read in lack of Mobile builds just yet. Aren’t they working on windowing and snapping apps?&nbsp; Maybe that and/or other things are way too buggy to release even to Fast ring at this point…</p>

  • 5528

    09 October, 2016 - 10:49 am

    <p>"attractive look and feel of the various UWP interfaces." &lt;—————— on mobile. On the PC most of them look rubbish.</p>

  • 6190

    09 October, 2016 - 11:19 am

    <p>UWP is probably more secure (counter the sandbox against the new code that probably has new security holes). &nbsp;If the paint UWP app has an option to use normal keyboard/mouse UI, then it will be used. &nbsp;On the other hand if the paint UWP app only has the mobile UI (coarse grained touch) then, even if mouse can be used, it will be less efficient just because many of the functions are hidden because they cannot fit on the screen as big touchpoints. &nbsp;Sure, all the windows tablet/phone users will be happier when they need to do something in paint, but the desktop user will still prefer the win32 GUI to get things done faster and not have to relearn where all the functions are. &nbsp;For the sake of UWP, let’s hope the app has an optional win32like interface.</p>
    <p><br />So, paint is now in the more secure UWP sandbox and probably can’t infect windows very easily. &nbsp;Paint is written by microsoft, so it has never contained malware. &nbsp;Malware comes in applications written by bad people. &nbsp;Does anyone think that malware writers will attack UWP when win32 applications still run? &nbsp;If everything could run in a UWP shell, microsoft could turn off win32 and block that giant hole, but that is unlikely to happen. &nbsp;If they want to keep customers, many of which stay with microsoft only because their old win32 applications are too expensive to rewrite, then win32 is here to stay. &nbsp;A more secure paint has little advantage except in microsoft&rsquo;s dreams that everything will be UWP and microsoft can disable win32 and for the few W10 users that need to edit an image without a mouse.</p>

  • 217

    09 October, 2016 - 12:44 pm

    I, for one, welcome my UWP overlords 

  • 127

    Premium Member
    09 October, 2016 - 12:57 pm

    Windows has looked very dated for a long time. Windows 10 changes this, which is nice.
    Much like Paul pointed out, redesigning Windows allows for MS to prioritize functionality within apps. Improving the useablity as it ‘modernizes’ Windows. One can only applaud this, provided MS makes the right choices. Then again, as most of us are Insiders, we too have an important part to play in making sure our preferences are heard. I am excited about the future of Windows, especially as it improves Windows Mobile as we go along.

    • 2592

      10 October, 2016 - 11:06 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#19791">In reply to Bart:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>"I am excited about the future of Windows, especially as it improves Windows Mobile as we go along."</p>
      <p>That’s assuming Windows Mobile survives the long haul, or at the very least the next couple of years.</p>

  • 650

    09 October, 2016 - 2:52 pm

    <p>Consistent UI is a plus. Shame only that it’s consistently annoying… There needs to be a hard reset in the development cycle, I’m afraid. Making all user interfaces awful is no solution that will prevail. And c’mon, who is really using touch on a PC for actual work? It is the second best method of input, at best. If you have a mouse / good touchpad and keyboard available, would you prefer touch? So, why should any UI on a traditional desktop be touch-friendly?</p>

    • 241

      09 October, 2016 - 5:23 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#19795">In reply to jglathe:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>I know. Microsoft should have released Windows 7.5 then 7.8 a year ago and the would have dominated Google and Apple.</p>

    • 364

      09 October, 2016 - 7:15 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#19795">In reply to jglathe:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>I use touch, pen, mouse/trackpad, keyboard all the time on my work machine, all depending n what I am doing, sometimes touch is best, sometimes keyboard is, sometimes pen, sometime mouse, sometimes a mix… now voice input I rarely use, but keyboard, mouse, pen, touch all the time</p>

      • 407

        10 October, 2016 - 6:42 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#19815">In reply to Nickel:</a></em></blockquote>
        <p>Yeah this. &nbsp;I want to be able to work across devices and&nbsp;not have to think about my input method. &nbsp;I’m happy to trade complexity, at least at the surface level for a UI that allows me to use a mouse, a pen and my finger. &nbsp;I think they’re on the right track.</p>

      • 2592

        10 October, 2016 - 11:15 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#19815">In reply to Nickel:</a></em></blockquote>
        <p>I agree. Mixed input methods is the future.</p>

  • 252

    Premium Member
    09 October, 2016 - 3:01 pm

    <p>Still nothing about mobile. Couldn’t hold my breath any longer hoping for some excitement on the mobile side and placed an order for a Galaxy S7. Looking forward to having a breath of fresh air using a mobile platform that’s well supported.</p>

  • 5725

    09 October, 2016 - 4:14 pm

    <p>Also worth noting that, on build 14942, a link to Settings has replaced Control Panel in the Winkey+X menu.</p>

  • 3272

    Premium Member
    09 October, 2016 - 4:30 pm

    <p>see this is part of the problem and it was with Windows 8 as well. It’s 1 thing to change what the UI looks like. But people can get used to that. It’s another thing to change menus and setting locations and things like that. Changing the control panel, changing everything to be located in "file explorer" instead of under "my computer" and then once you are in file explorer, there is no "my computer" anymore, it’s now "This PC". It is things like that really make it hard for the average, non tech person to adjust. For those of us here it’s not an issue, but I personally know atleast 20 people that have been fine with the UI change on the desktop but could not get past the issue of having to relearn where everything is located and what everything means. I never understood why they felt they had to change those things as well. They just don’t get the average person anymore which is why they will continue to struggle keeping users.</p>

    • 241

      09 October, 2016 - 5:27 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#19801">In reply to Awhispersecho:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>I personally like the new modern look and feel. It seems easier to understand, easier to use – after of course you learn how it is set up.&nbsp;Releasing WIndows 7 plus would just have meant that people would not have upgraded and then eventually have moved off windows anyway.</p>

      • 3272

        Premium Member
        09 October, 2016 - 5:59 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#19806">In reply to mebby:</a></em></blockquote>
        <p>I like it too. I actually like the Windows 8 start screen as well.&nbsp; As I stated, I’m not referring to people like us. I am referring to people like my neighbor, my Mother, and the every day PC user who is used to looking for "my computer", the person who clicks settings thinking they will end up in the control panel where they always used to adjust things and instead, ends up in an unfamiliar menu they have no clue how to navigate and don’t understand what the new settings mean. The list of changes like that are endless and have done nothing but confuse the average PC user.</p>
        <p>MS does not understand or care about those people anymore. Either way, people will continue to leave Windows, there is no going back now and no fighting the tide at this point. They screwed too much up and screwed over too many people the last few years to ever recover from it. Enterprise only is where their future is.</p>

        • 4841

          10 October, 2016 - 7:29 am

          <blockquote><em><a href="#19809">In reply to Awhispersecho:</a></em></blockquote>
          <p>Are you seriously defending Control Panel? Sorry, but that app’s user experience is a gigantic mess to deal with:&nbsp;you get easily lost trying to find the setting you want amidst a sea of icons in large/small icons view and cannot find everything you want in category view, not to mention the UI inconsistency with some settings opening a new page within Control Panel’s window while others still opened the good old dialog box. Control Panel sucks, the new Settings app may not have all the features its older brother does but its&nbsp;superior UI and UX more than makes up for it, and once Microsoft ports the remaining settings to it there’ll simply be no reason whatsoever for someone to actually prefer Control Panel than Settings.</p>

          • 442

            10 October, 2016 - 7:36 am

            <blockquote><em><a href="#19849">In reply to Demileto:</a></em></blockquote>
            <p>I would never defend a Win 32 Control Panel for future considerations.&nbsp; But I would defend a seperate "System Settings" away from the "Settings" to keep the end user setup simple for the less technically inclined.</p>

            • 4841

              10 October, 2016 - 7:45 am

              <blockquote><em><a href="#19851">In reply to Narg:</a></em></blockquote>
              <p>You have a good point there. Hopefully Microsoft can cook up a good solution that satisfies both casual and advanced&nbsp;tweaking to the OS.</p>

            • 5394

              10 October, 2016 - 9:25 am

              Narg Posted

               In reply to Demileto: “I would never defend a Win 32 Control Panel for future considerations.  But I would defend a seperate “System Settings” away from the “Settings” to keep the end user setup simple for the less technically inclined. ”
              I often felt the new Settings should be in parallel to the old Control Panel. The PC user can use Control Panel, whereas the Tablet user can use Settings. This way each approach is complete and not bifurcated and confuse the user. Unfortunately, they chose the slow death approach.

          • 3272

            Premium Member
            10 October, 2016 - 2:24 pm

            In reply to Demileto:

            Not sure why it is so hard for people to understand. I was not defending the control panel or anything else from before. I never once said the previous options were better or worse than the new options. I am simply making the point that for the non tech person who knows just enough to navigate the old areas, the changes that have been made have made it worse for them.

  • 6342

    09 October, 2016 - 4:51 pm

    <p>I guess I’m in the minority, but I do *not* like UWP on Mobile. I’ve got a Lumia 950 (which I despise…worst WinPhone since Mobile *5*). Even disregarding the OS-based failings (there was a distinct drop in performance an an increase in frustration with this phone…my last was a 925, which was great) like the pocket dialing of the call history and the microscopic touch footprint of the music controls (QUIT BOUNCING THE UI WHEN I TRY TO SKIP A SONG!!!), there’s a couple of big issues I have. First, too many apps ask for feedback as soon as you start them. I don’t even remember how many times I’ve tried to send an email or make a phone call only to first get asked to rate the app. The highest rating I will give in that case is 3 out of 5 stars, and because of other gripes, I’ve never gone higher than *2*. Then the killer problem – the LAG. Everything on this phone lags, so much worse than the 925 or Focus. Speech recognition is the worst, where clicking the icon is at least a half-second lag, and it’s usually a full second before it starts listening. And it doesn’t show what you are saying until it’s done (previous versions showed what it heard progressively) Groove is also problematic in this regard. It is a pain in the *** just skipping more than a single song since each skip results in a post-skip lag, so subsequent ones either queue up or don’t, but it’s seemingly indeterminate. Don’t think the keyboard is UWP, but that damn thing has a real nasty tendency to close while I’m typing…a LOT. I’m always having to restart my typing because of it, not to mention it’s accuracy appears to have degraded between versions. It used to be uncanny, but now it’s like it’s trying to pick the worst word choice it possibly can, if it even presents a word that I’m typing (sometimes, I have to type the full word before my word shows up in the list).</p>
    <p>I came away from this phone feeling like Microsoft is intentionally trying to kill the Mobile platform by making it so bad on their *flagship* phone. I won’t go to Android or iPhone, but my next phone will likely be a regular flipphone, since it’s less of a headache than the MS take on Lumia. I really don’t even want to put much development efforts into UWP any more due to how bad of an experience Win10 on Lumia 950 has been.</p>

    • 6342

      10 October, 2016 - 12:34 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#19802">In reply to rkpatrick:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>Another gripe – the UWP apps do not work the same across phone and desktop. Edge, for example…on Desktop, it gives&nbsp;a reasonably current list of most-used sites in the autocomplete box. On the phone, it seems stuck on the first day of use. I enter "e", and every – EVERY – time, it’s first choice is ESPN.com, which haven’t read on my phone in over a month. I go to "e-" (e-catworld.com), which should show my intended site, as it’s the only one with that prefix. But nope, does not.</p>
      <p>Even bigger one is Cortana. Works fine on the desktop, but on the phone, it’s an autocomplete nightmare. I can’t even tell you how many searches I’ve had to repeat (in fury) because autocomplete keeps changing what I type into it. Example: "wiki boson" &lt;enter&gt;.&nbsp; Seems straight forward, but Cortana constantly changes it to "Boston". I can’t even get it to not do this (I have to go to bing to search for this). I seriously don’t think Microsoft even tests this stuff on the phone any more…it’s like they just stopped caring about what the phone users think of the thing. it’s a truly frustrating platform in terms of usability, something that MS used to be very, very good at IMO. Seems like smartphones gave Microsoft license to half-ass their product releases.</p>

  • 5394

    09 October, 2016 - 5:13 pm

    <p>The reasons Win32 is still popular and UWP is not should be exploited and transitioned. Win32 should gradually gain the modern interface while UWP get some Win32 niceties. Why one must be replaced by the other was how Windows is in a big decline. UWP is a braindead unuseful mess. The mismatch of UIs is the other problem. Why Settings isn’t further along is ridiculous. File Explorer still needs an update.&nbsp;</p>

    • 4841

      10 October, 2016 - 7:36 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#19804">In reply to glenn8878:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>Software development takes time, it’s not a realistic expectation to have Microsoft completely overhauls Windows 7 and 8/8.1 into 10 in two years’ time and still have them add new, attractive features.&nbsp;That said, I do hope we get an updated File Explorer with RS2, its tablet experience is too terrible as it stands.</p>

      • 5394

        10 October, 2016 - 9:17 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#19852">In reply to Demileto:</a></em></blockquote>
        <p>You do realize that Windows 8 debut in October 26, 2012. That’s 4 years of development time for it’s new UI. How much longer?</p>

    • 442

      10 October, 2016 - 7:37 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#19804">In reply to glenn8878:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>Do you have a source and numbers for your "big decline" assumption?&nbsp; Windows usage overall hasn’t gone down that I’ve seen.&nbsp; Usage in certain cases, sure, but that’s why Microsoft is updating it.&nbsp; To provide a better use scenario in newer cases and needs.</p>

      • 5394

        10 October, 2016 - 9:13 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#19853">In reply to Narg:</a></em></blockquote>
        <p>Big decline is not an assumption. I’m restating the decline in the PC market. Why would this be in dispute? Who buys&nbsp;a PC to use it’s apps? You’re the one making the assumption especially that UWP will make a difference when it hasn’t now or yet, maybe not for a long long time.</p>

        • 442

          10 October, 2016 - 9:06 pm

          <blockquote><em><a href="#19865">In reply to glenn8878:</a></em></blockquote>
          <p>A decline in sales, not in usage.&nbsp; People still use PCs quite often, and just as much as always,&nbsp; They just don’t update them as much as they did in the past.&nbsp; You are way off on your point.&nbsp; You should back up and try again.</p>

          • 5394

            10 October, 2016 - 10:38 pm

            <blockquote><em><a href="#19978">In reply to Narg:</a></em></blockquote>
            <p>There’s nothing to go back and try again.</p>

            • 2592

              10 October, 2016 - 11:13 pm

              <blockquote><em><a href="#19985">In reply to glenn8878:</a></em></blockquote>
              <p>I think what Narg means to say that although the PC market has witnessed negative growth the last 2 to 3 years, the overall Windows user base has not gone down. &nbsp;It just happens to be that the user base hasn’t grown &amp; the percentage of Windows users vs the entire device market of smartphones, tablets, PC’s has shrunk even though the Windows user base has held steady at about one billion users.</p>

              • 5394

                10 October, 2016 - 11:22 pm

                <blockquote><em><a href="#19990">In reply to shameermulji:</a></em></blockquote>
                <p>Go back and read my original post and put it in that context. He asked me to try again. Say what?</p>

  • 5529

    09 October, 2016 - 7:58 pm

    <p>There are some serious shortcomings with UWP still. For developers, there is no way Visual Studio could work under UWP. UWP doesn’t allow the debugging part of UWP, and since that is the biggest benefit of VS, it becomes a handicap. (Without debugging, you could just right write with VS Code or many others.)</p>

  • 1377

    Premium Member
    09 October, 2016 - 8:30 pm

    <p>Subjective elements: one person’s <em>more professional look</em>&nbsp;can be another’s uglier. What matters most in UIs is efficiency. In one particular case, the bundled Paint, the XP version is more efficient for me than the Windows 7 ribbonized version in no small part because in the XP version the drawing tools were vertically oriented while they’re horizontally oriented in the ribbon in the W7 version. That matters on newer monitors with 16:9 or even wider aspect ratios because there are many more available horizontal pixels than vertical ones to waste on UI components.<br /><br />Then there’s the pace of moving Control Panel components to Settings. How long does it need to take? If it makes sense to have everything in Setting, does it really require a half decade (from debut of Windows 8 until final achievement no earlier than Redstone 3)? It’s that difficult? Or is it that low a priority?</p>

    • 650

      09 October, 2016 - 10:18 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#19818">In reply to hrlngrv:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>Good one. Assuming you only need to change the skin it shouldn’t take more than a month or so. Including making non-resizable windows resizable 😉 The issue with the new settings is: I can’t find anything. Try to go hunting for the icon settings in the status bar… major fail.</p>

  • 951

    Premium Member
    10 October, 2016 - 12:22 am

    <p>Paul, maybe you would like to revise your statement in https://www.thurrott.com/mobile/windows-phone/81484/microsoft-discusses-limited-future-windows-10-mobile?</p&gt;
    <p><em>"Remaining Continuum limitations: Win32/x86 apps do not work.Continuum continues to be stuck in a UWP sink hole, and of course Windows 10 Mobile only runs on ARM, so there&rsquo;s no way to run the applications people really want in Continuum. The presenter didn&rsquo;t address this at all during the session, but kudos to the attendee who called him on that. &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t support Win32 applications on [Windows phones in Continuum] today,&rdquo; he responded. &ldquo;I acknowledge that gap.&rdquo; And then he recommended that the questioner move his LOB apps to UWP or RDP out to a data center that can deliver those applications from the cloud. <strong>In other words, they are not addressing the single biggest limitation in Continuum</strong>."</em></p>

  • 6354

    10 October, 2016 - 5:51 am

    <p>MS said that Redstone 2 builds would be buggy for a while as they refactor the OS, and I expect any delay on Insider mobile builds is related to those changes.</p>
    <p>Quote from August 9th: "We&rsquo;re doing some code refactoring and other engineering work to make sure OneCore is optimally structured for teams to start checking in new features and improvements in a few months. As a result, these builds may include more bugs and other issues that could be slightly more painful for some people to live with"</p>
    <p>Also, it is disappointing that there are negative reports about 10 Mobile lacking updates while no one seems to have caught on yet that non-Insider is being routinely updated. Older Windows Phone 8\8.1 may have NEVER been updated routinely, other than major releases, such as "Update 1, 2, 3" similar to "Redstone 1, 2, 3"… not sure, I never used Windows phones before 10 Mobile, though I don’t think older Windows Phone devices were updated other than major updates?</p>
    <p>Non-Insider 14393.189 came out about a month after the Anniversary final, and another routine update may be coming in the next week or so. &nbsp;Maybe public non-Insider 10 Mobile updates will be monthly based on that rate of release?</p>
    <p>That level of updating could be the best support (as far as routine update frequency) of any mobile phone platform in the history of the world, and yet, I see practically no Windows news sites write about it, while instead various sites (often MS specific sites) and many commenting seem eager to suggest that 10 Mobile could be getting ignored by MS… as if everyone is unaware of just how well non-Insider 10 Mobile is actually being supported, while people are then complaining about Insider bugs after MS specifically warned that they’d initially be more buggy than usual.</p>

  • 131

    Premium Member
    10 October, 2016 - 6:55 am

    <p>&nbsp;"Sound" and "reliable" are not two words that I’d use to describe my experiences thus far with UWP apps.</p>

    • 2470

      Premium Member
      10 October, 2016 - 8:45 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#19847">In reply to wbhite:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>I see this is being down-voted, but I have to agree. &nbsp;Every UWP app I have used has closed unexpectedly and dumped me back at the desktop without warning or explanation. &nbsp;Almost all of these UWP apps are from Microsoft, so they aren’t just fly-by-night 3rd party programs. &nbsp;Why are UWP apps so crash-prone? &nbsp;Why don’t they give anything meaningful when they exit? &nbsp;Do they report the crash to the author so it can be fixed? &nbsp;Things to think about…</p>

    • 268

      Premium Member
      10 October, 2016 - 11:01 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#19847">In reply to wbhite:</a></em></blockquote>
      <p>I agree; it seems the UWP apps do crash a lot. Even the built in solitaire app just up and crashes back to the desktop fairly often across a range of different machines I’ve used it on. Seeing as how simple most of these apps are in presentation, design, and capability it is frustrating that they crash more than much more complex and more useful Win32 apps.</p>

  • 442

    10 October, 2016 - 7:34 am

    I personally can’t wait for the full move away from Win32.  But until they are closer, I was taken by the disapperence of the Control Panel without regard to a full replacement yet.  I still like having deeper system settings in another location away from the normal “Settings” area that seems more end-user focused.
    And, command density needs works.  Still a bit too sparse for many desktop needs, but room helps.  Making anything more “clickable” helps.  But if it pushes too many items out of view, that doesn’t help.  It’s a hard mix to match.  Maybe if Microsoft would make this density thing a user editable variable in Settings…. 🙂

    • 1377

      Premium Member
      10 October, 2016 - 11:20 am

      <p><em><a href="#19850">In reply to Narg:</a></em></p>
      <p>Indeed, UI density a user setting. Not going to happen.</p>
      <p>Win32 may have security problems, but it also provides for installed software working together in ways not yet possible with UWP. The new front on the functionality-security trade-off frontier.</p>

      • 442

        10 October, 2016 - 9:04 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#19903">In reply to hrlngrv:</a></em></blockquote>
        <p>"Win32 may have security problems, but it also provides for installed software working together in ways not yet possible with UWP."&nbsp;&nbsp; Um.&nbsp; No.&nbsp; That’s wrong.&nbsp; It’s not that you can’t do more in UWP, it’s that developers haven’t yet taken advantage of new abilities yet.&nbsp; The age of Win32 does hold on well though, but there are more things to be done and Win32 just can’t do those things.</p>

        • 165

          Premium Member
          11 October, 2016 - 5:46 am

          <blockquote><em><a href="#19977">In reply to Narg:</a></em></blockquote>
          <p>I think you&nbsp; both make valid points… This is a good discussion.</p>

  • 5625

    10 October, 2016 - 10:53 am

    “the result will be an OS that is more stable, more reliable, more easily serviced”  I think that “will” should be replaced with “should.” 

    In my experience, the UWP apps have not been very stable. Depending on where you draw the line for “OS,” it should be more stable, though it’s been less stable than 8.1 in my experience. But as they move core apps like the browser and settings and file pickers/Explorer to UWP, some may consider the “OS” less stable as well, unless UWP proves in time that it is more stable–not just in theory, but in reality.

  • 442

    10 October, 2016 - 9:02 pm

    <p>Seems to me that Redstone 2 is more about removing legacy.&nbsp; Not bad, but they are somewhat hell bent, to almost a fault I think.&nbsp; I’m sure it will be good in the end, but I’ve moved a couple machines out of the fast ring due to the issues caused by the Insider Fast ring so far.</p>

  • 165

    Premium Member
    11 October, 2016 - 6:21 am

    <p>In my experience of helping family, friends and neighbors, I have noticed a shift from fixing things that broke ( can’t print, my internet is not working etc.) to how do I connect to my TV. how do I get my music to play, where do I find…</p>
    <p>Less requests for help, and when I get them, it is more about learning something new than fixing something that stopped working.</p>

  • 5486

    11 October, 2016 - 1:04 pm

    <p>MS may be pushing ‘One Windows’, and be making a lot of noise that with UWP you only have to write it once, but they forgot to add ‘for Windows 10’ on the end. UWP will never, ever, in a million years compete with web/HTML5 etc – period. With the demise of Windows Mobile, UWP is almost stillborn. PC sales are still declining, so eventually, at some point, Windows will also die. UWP is one development platform too little too late to the market with no other manufacturer other than MS supporting it.&nbsp;</p>
    <p>There was an InfoWorld article recently titled ‘Does Microsoft still need Windows’, and the answer was no, not really. Remember, "cloud first, mobile first" is Nadella’s saying, and now WM is dead, it’s just "Cloud first". Windows will be around for years to come, but it’s market will continue shrinking until it becomes irrelevant. UWP won’t help.</p>

  • 145

    Premium Member
    12 October, 2016 - 8:08 am

    <p>My problem is, they want more UWP things to pop up, but they broke the ability to run several UWP games with 14942. Killer Instinct, more importantly, the JUST released Gears of War 4, are completely broken and unusable.</p>
    <p>But I get, preview builds, stuff breaks. I just don’t expect some arguably "important" things to break that badly.</p>

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