MICROSOFT IS ABOUT to put its money where its mouth is with the first major 'Windows-as-a-service' update to Windows 10.
Threshold 2, or Windows 10 Fall Update to give it its official name, will see the operating silently upgraded with new functionality as part of the ongoing update procedure.
The final build, number 10586, has been rolled out to the Windows Insider programme, and will start to download as a stable release as part of Patch Tuesday, a tradition which is seemingly not as dead in the water in Windows 10 as we first thought.
The biggest change comes with the introduction of Skype integration as part of the operating system. Microsoft removed the Metro/Modern version of Skype earlier this year, and this is why.
Skype is now part of Windows and can be accessed from anywhere even if you don't have the full version of Skype downloaded. This includes a new Messaging app as well as audio and video calling.
Cortana has been making friends with Uber so you can now call God's own taxi service with a flourish of 'Hey Cortana'. If the black cab drivers weren't annoyed before, they certainly will be now.
The overall design of Windows will see the introduction of coloured top bars for all apps. This is going to make the differentiation between old style programs and Metro apps a little less jarring and a bit more consistent.
There's a number of bug fixes as well, some related to annoying niggles affecting individual machines too numerous to go into here, and many of which apply only to Insiders anyway and thus won't affect the version that the vast majority of us see next week. There'll be lots of tweaks to optimise the system too.
This is a significant update, but it's not 'Windows 10.1' as it's far too early for that. There are two big updates planned for next year under the codename Redstone and it's these that will constitute the equivalent of a version jump - even though there aren't going to be version jumps anymore, as such, so to speak, apparently, according to Microsoft.
Redstone will see a lot more cohesion between non-desktop devices and the Windows ecosystem, aimed at everything from the Microsoft Band to Xbox and HoloLens. µ
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