With Windows 10 set to launch July 29, it's crunch time in Redmond. Microsoft has been keeping its Insider crew busy with not one, not two, but three preview builds released in one week, with a release-to-manufacture (RTM) build reportedly due soon.
The rollouts kicked off June 29 with Build 10158, which became available one month after predecessor Build 10130. Microsoft claimed this build was released without "any significant known issues," a sign Windows 10 was nearing completion.
On top of user interface fixes and refinements, Build 10158 included a Cortana that is in the final stages of development. The Microsoft Edge browser got a few major tweaks, including a new app ID and more options to customize the opening page, New Tab page, and password management.
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As it was releasing Build 10158 to its Fast ring of Insiders, Microsoft was already in the final testing stages of Build 10159. The second Windows 10 build of the week became available just a few days later.
The update packed over 300 changes, Microsoft reported. Build 10159 came with a new wallpaper and logon interface, in addition to mostly subtle fixes and refinement tweaks.
We thought that was the end of the week's releases, but Microsoft delivered one more update before the holiday weekend started. Build 10162 was delivered to the Fast ring of Insiders on July 2.
Based on internal testing and telemetry metrics, Build 10162 "has better reliability, performance, battery life, and compatibility than any Windows 10 Insider Preview build so far," reported Microsoft's Gabe Aul, general manager for the OSG Data and Fundamentals team, in a blog post on the news.
Why the need for speed? Well, now that Windows 10 is in its final stages, developers are primarily focused on bug fixes and final polish. It's easier to push new builds now than it was earlier in the cycle, when Microsoft was working on adding major features to the OS.
Insiders should be on their toes for more Windows 10 news over the next few days. Both The Verge and Neowin have cited sources who claim Microsoft is wrapping up the final copies of Windows 10 and plans to send a release-to-manufacturing (RTM) build later this week. When that build is ready, it will be sent to PC partners before it starts rolling out in waves on July 29.
Does this mean Windows 10 is almost fully complete? Well, not really. The RTM build for this system will be less of a milestone than it was for earlier versions of Windows because of the way Microsoft plans to release future updates.
Now that Microsoft is adopting the "Windows-as-a-Service" model and doing away with major system launches, the version of Windows 10 that gets pushed to PC manufacturers is not a final product. Rather, it will serve as a foundation for future updates that are released to users on a regular basis.
Windows chief Terry Myerson noted that with this new model, "we are not yet done, we will never be done," with Windows 10 development. Reports have already leaked of a major update, codenamed Redstone, which will come to Windows 10 next year.