Microsoft has started testing early builds of Windows 10 Redstone 3. The Creators Update for the platform will be launched in April. However, the company is already looking beyond that release and to the build launching later in 2017.
Build-tracking website BuildFeed has found an early preview of what could be Redstone 3. Windows 10 Build 15141 is currently among the rs_prerelease branch. It is among the builds associated with internal testing.
However, it is sitting separate to the rs2-release branch, which is where Creators Update builds reside.
While the number of builds in and out of preview may seem confusing, it is actually a clear system. Redstone 3 relates to the so far unnamed feature update that will arrive later this year. Microsoft has said it will release two major upgrades for Windows 10 per year.
This started last fall with the Anniversary Update, which was codenamed Redstone 1. The two-per-year strategy will begin in 2017 with the release of the Creators Update, which is known as Redstone 2. The next release is Redstone 3.
It makes sense that Microsoft is already internally testing features for Redstone 3. In fact, the company has probably been doing so for some time. While the Insider Program has become a valuable tool to gauge customer feedback on early Windows 10 Builds, the company still does plenty of development behind the scenes.
Beyond Creators Update
The Creators Update will be launched in less than two months. Microsoft is holding its Build 2017 conference in April, so we fully expect Redstone 3 to be launched at the event. We also expect Insider previews for the build to start rolling out shortly after.
Of course, there is precedent for this. Almost immediately after releasing the Anniversary Update, Microsoft rolled out the first Redstone 2 previews.
At this early stage, not much is known about Redstone 3 and its features. Although it is very likely that Microsoft will debut its Project Neon design language for Windows 10 with this build. The company has already announced the new UI and design. It is too early for it to be launched with the Creators Update, so the end of the year seems realistic.