Preview build references suggest Windows 10 Redstone 2 update might be set for spring 2017

Brad Jones
Windows 10 Insiders on the Fast Ring get build 14951, with Ink improvements
Microsoft has released Windows 10 Insider build 14951 to the Fast Ring, with fixes and improvements in the camera app on PC and Mobile, Windows Ink updates, and more precision touchpad updates.

It’s only been a few months since Microsoft distributed the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, but work is already well underway on the next big update to the company’s flagship operating system. Now, there’s evidence that Microsoft has set a spring 2017 launch date for its release.

The latest information on the update’s ETA came from a Windows 10 Preview Build recently circulated among members of Microsoft’s Insider Program. The build features numerous references to “Windows 10 Version 1703,” according to a report from MS Power User.

Microsoft has previously used a year-and-month naming convention for new versions of Windows 10. For example, the November update released by Microsoft in 2015 was labelled version 1511, utilizing the same YYMM structure that’s been spotted in the latest Preview Build. That would suggest that Microsoft is planning to launch the Redstone 2 update in March 2017.

Related: Windows 10 Insiders, beware: Build 14946 may break your favorite games

This would be the third major Windows 10 update to be released following the introduction of the OS in 2015, with the November 2015 update and the Anniversary Update from August 2016 being the two others.

It was previously expected that Redstone 2 would be distributed before the end of 2016, although more recent reports indicated that the update would be delayed until 2017. Microsoft is apparently keen to maintain a sparse schedule of major updates in an effort to encourage businesses to make the upgrade when new versions are released.

However, there’s reason to believe that Microsoft is prepping two major feature updates for 2017, with Redstone 2 being followed up by Redstone 3 in late summer or early fall.

Microsoft’s plans for the immediate future of Windows 10 are still relatively unclear, even as Insider Program members get their first taste of Redstone 2. However, it’s anticipated that the next update will bring big changes to mobile devices, including better continuity for users switching between their PC and a smartphone or tablet.