THE NEXT MAJOR Windows 10 update, codenamed Redstone 2, will appear in March 2017, according to clues found in existing files in Microsoft's operating system.
The version number and release date were discovered by Twitter user 'WalkingCat', who found compatibility references to Windows 10 Version 1703 in group policy settings for Windows Server 2016.
try to find the "Legacy Dictionary Attack Parameters" group policy in 14946, see what version of Windows it is supported on— WalkingCat (@h0x0d) October 14, 2016
Another Twitter user backed this up with a direct reference in Windows 10's Windows.admx file.
The version naming convention requires only 1703 because it means 2017/03, just as 1607, known as Redstone 1 or the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, appeared in July 2016, and 1511, known as Threshold 2, in November 2015.
It remains to be seen what major changes will appear in the next Windows 10 update, but it is safe to assume that connectivity between PCs and mobile phones will play a part, regardless of whether this has anything to do with the Surface Phone rumours.
Microsoft has scheduled a Surface event on 26 October, and perhaps more clarity will emerge, but the announcements are expected to concentrate on the PC arena.
Branded keyboards and mice have already leaked, suggesting that there will be less emphasis on core Surface device hardware and more on a wider ecosystem of tie-in PCs.
It's also possible that new Windows 10 updates will take into account the increasing importance of the Xbox One as compatibility across PC and console becomes a sharper Microsoft focus.
We would also hope that an extra update may increase compatibility across a wider range of machines, as there are still a number of less commercially popular PC builds on which the Anniversary Update malfunctions or, in some cases, refuses to install. µ
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