Microsoft's work on Windows never ceases. Earlier this week the Redmond outfit finally starting pushing its much anticipated Creators Update to Windows 10, but if Microsoft's engineers (and Windows Insiders) thought they could take a breath, they should think again. There is already a new build of Windows 10 available to testers, version 16176 for PC (and 15204 for mobile) as Microsoft works on Redstone 3, its next major update that is slated to arrive later this year.
In the early going, the focus for Redstone 3 is to improve OneCore, the underlying the code that all versions of Windows 10 across various hardware platforms are based on, and improving Linux support. We'll get to the latter in a moment, but first let's go over OneCore.
"As we release new builds from our Development Branch for PC, we will also be doing the same for Windows 10 Mobile just like we have been in the past. However, Windows Insiders will likely notice some minor differences. The biggest difference being that the build number and branch won’t match the builds we will be releasing for PC. This is a result of more work we’re doing to converge code into OneCore—the heart of Windows across PC, tablet, phone, IoT, HoloLens, Xbox and more as we continue to develop new improvements for Windows 10 Mobile and our enterprise customers," Microsoft explains.
As of the Creators Update, Microsoft has added support for several new mobile devices as part of its ongoing Insider Program. They include the following:
- HP Elite x3
- Microsoft Lumia 550
- Microsoft Lumia 640/640XL
- Microsoft Lumia 650
- Microsoft Lumia 950/950 XL
- Alcatel IDOL 4S
- Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL
- SoftBank 503LV
- VAIO Phone Biz
- MouseComputer MADOSMA Q601
- Trinity NuAns NEO
Microsoft acknowledged that its decision to stop supporting certain handsets will be disappointing to some users. According to Microsoft, the feedback it received indicated that it was not providing an optimal experience for customers on older devices, and so it decided to simply stop supporting them.
On the PC side, the newest build adds serial device support to the Windows subsystem for Linux. Once installed, users can access Windows COM ports directly from a WSL process.
Several other smaller feature upgrades and bug fixes are part of the new build as well. For example, Narrator support is back, and Microsoft fixed an issue from the previous build where the Action Center could get into a state where dismissing one notification unexpectedly dismissed multiple ones.