In its constant mission to support Windows 10 with major overhauls (it’s even supporting older updates), Microsoft has shifted its attention towards development of Redstone 5 – now that the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, previously known as Redstone 4, has been released.
Just like past Windows 10 updates, Windows 10 Redstone 5 will bring in a number of new and exciting features to freshen up your PC. Redstone 5 includes a more robust ‘Your Phone’ app, which will let you use your phone from your PC. You’ll also get a revamped Windows 10 News app, which will let you shape your news experience however you like, much like Google News and Apple News. Redstone 5 was going to include the much-anticipated Sets feature, but it looks like it’s not going to make it into the next major Windows 10 update.
Microsoft is also working on the Game Bar, to include things like frame rate and performance graphs – great news for any gamer that enjoys obsessing over their PC’s performance. There’s also some improvements baked into the touch keyboard, which it sorely needed. If you’re as excited about these changes as we are, you can try it out today by joining the Windows Insider Program – just keep in mind that new builds may be buggy, so we recommend installing Redstone 5 on a virtual machine.
And, of course it wouldn’t be a major Windows 10 update without major improvements to Windows Mixed Reality. It looks like Windows 10 Redstone 5 will allow you to take screenshots directly from your headset and instantly incorporate them into email. You’ll also be able to use Mixed Reality without a monitor – making backpack PCs much more viable. And, with Microsoft’s recent focus on the next generation of Hololens, we would be surprised if there weren’t any Hololens improvements baked into Redstone 5.
We’ll also speculate on the release date for Windows 10 Redstone 5, and we’ll constantly update this article as new information emerges.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next major update for Windows 10
- When is it out? Possibly around October 2018
- What will it cost? As with previous major Windows 10 updates, it will be free
Windows 10 Redstone 5 release date
So, when will Windows 10 Redstone 5 grace our computers? While Microsoft hasn’t given us a definitive date, it’s pretty much expected that it’ll come out at the end of 2018, likely around September or October.
This would follow Microsoft’s pattern of releasing a major Redstone update for Windows 10 in those months, and then another Redstone update in March or April.
The Windows 10 April 2018 Update launched (just barely) in April, so we can be pretty confident about its follow up coming later in the year. However, we can be confident that the rollout for Redstone 5 will be smoother, as Microsoft is harnessing the power of AI to improve future releases.
As Microsoft releases early versions of Redstone 5 to Windows Insiders, we’ll be able to keep an eye on how things are progressing with the update, and it looks like everything is on track for a late 2018 release.
However, Microsoft did have trouble getting the April 2018 Update out on time, so, we are hoping the Windows 10 Redstone 5 Update can make it to its release date without any crippling issues.
Windows 10 Redstone 5 name
Redstone 5 is just the codename for the next major update to Windows 10, so expect it to have a catchier name closer to release. Previous major Redstone updates were called ‘Anniversary Update’, ‘Creators Update’ and ‘Fall Creators Update’.
So, we may be in for another ‘Fall Update’ variant. However, while we expected Redstone 4 to be called the ‘Spring Creators Update’, it ended up being called April 2018 Update. So maybe Redstone 5 will be called October 2018 Update, or something similar, instead.
Windows 10 Redstone 5 confirmed features
Because of the extensive testing process of Windows 10 Redstone 5, we have a good idea of some – but not all – of the features coming in the update. These are the features we know about so far.
Improvements to Windows 10 Fluent Design
Microsoft introduced elements of the Fluent Design user interface with the April 2018 Update, and at its Build 2018 event, it showed off more effects and features that will come in Redstone 5.
So, expect more apps, including standard Windows programs, using the Fluent Design interface, and there will be some eye-catching 3D effects for Mixed Reality experiences.
Improved Game Mode and Game Bar
Windows 10 Game Mode was already a clear benefit to gamers – even if it’s barely noticeable. With Windows 10 Redstone 5, Microsoft has stated that it’s adding more options to game mode to further optimize gaming performance, but it didn’t really get into specifics.
However, the improvements to Game Bar might be more noticeable, and even actually useful to PC enthusiasts and power users. Instead of having to run a third-party program like MSI Afterburner, users will be able to see visualizations of system utilization – think GPU, CPU and RAM usage, as well as frame rate. This will be an amazing addition, and will go a long way to informing users why their games start to run slow.
Intelligent multitasking with Sets
One of the most anticipated upcoming features, which many expect to arrive properly in Redstone 5, are Sets. These should make multi-tasking in Windows 10 better than ever.
The basic idea is to bring the concept of tabs from the web browser to the entire interface of the OS in general, so you can have windows with tabs that contain web pages, apps, folders – a mix of everything essentially.
At Build, Microsoft showed off more about the potential of Sets in Windows 10, showing how you can have an open document, and clicking a web link will open the web page in a tab next to the document, with everything you open organized in that Set.
You’ll then be reminded with prompts while your working about the tabs, which should give you intelligent help when working across a variety of documents, apps and websites.
While Sets is one of the more hotly-anticipated new features, Microsoft recently pulled it from Redstone 5's preview builds.
According to Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar in a blog post announcing the 17704 preview build, “we’re taking Sets offline to continue making it great. Based on your feedback, some of the things we’re focusing on include improvements to the visual design and continuing to better integrate Office and Microsoft Edge into Sets to enhance workflow”.
Hopefully, Sets will still be included in the final release of Redstone 5, but it may be delayed until another major Windows 10 Update.
Better Progressive Web Apps
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are websites (or web apps) that are implemented as native apps and act just like a normal app would, giving users notifications, live tiles, and even working offline in Windows 10. At Build 2018, Microsoft showed how these web apps will integrate better with Windows 10 in Redstone 5.
They will look and behave more like standard Windows 10 apps thanks to an improved interface, and Microsoft also revealed that you’ll be able to download the apps directly from its Edge web browser.
Improved Your Phone app
Microsoft is making a big deal of having Windows 10 work with all manner of devices, and with Redstone 5, we should see a radically improved Your Phone app that will allow you to easily interact with your smartphone through Windows 10.
You’ll be able to read and reply to text messages from your Windows 10 device, as well as easily share files, photos and more between your PC and your phone.
A new feature spotted by people using an early version of Redstone 5 is the cloud clipboard, which will allow users to copy and paste across different devices thanks to the new cloud-powered clipboard. User can trigger the new function by simply hitting Windows Key + C.
The copied content will then be available in other Windows 10 devices, and in the future Android and iOS devices as well.
Improved search previews
Another feature due to arrive with Windows 10 Redstone 5 is improved search previews. These now support apps, documents and other files, and should make searching Windows 10 even easier.
- Make sure you download and install the Windows 10 April 2018 Update if you haven't already