Just 10 days after releasing the second major update to Windows 10, Microsoft has now started development work on what will be the third major update for their year old operating system.
This next update, which is Code named Redstone 2, is expected to arrive sometime in early 2017 and should continue to refine the user experience and will no doubt add several new features as well.
Before I share with you what I would like to see as part of Redstone 2, I want to go back about a year and look at my top five wish list items that I shared about one month after the initial release of Windows 10.
Turns out I hit on three out of the five items!
The items that have now made it into Windows 10 from that list include:
- Windows Store Notifications in the Action Center
- Improved Tablet Mode
- Better Cortana integration
I am sure you could argue the success of those last two but there has been improvements made in both areas and Cortana is an even bigger part of the Windows 10 experience across devices.
The two items that did not make it into Windows 10 so far are:
- Optional Driver Updates
- Live Tiles on the Desktop
I have not heard as much concern about driver problems in the last couple of months but I still think that is a viable option to give advanced users so they can make their own choice of drivers. As for Live Tiles on the desktop - I still think this could be a great option along the line of the Windows Vista/7 gadgets we used to have. Live Tiles are now chaseable in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update so that when you click on the tile you will see things in the app that correspond to what you just saw on the tile. Maybe allowing these dynamic tiles on the desktop is the next step in their evolution.
Now looking forward it is time to consider what features should make their way into Redstone 2 for its release sometime early next year.
Notification Sync Between Devices
There have been some improvements made in this area when it comes to removing/not displaying notifications for items that arrive while you are actively using an app however, there needs to be work done to sync notifications between devices. There is even a new feature that app developers can use to make sure their app notifications are removed from the Action Center if they are viewed in the app itself. This works great when you are on the same device but the bigger issue is notification sync between devices.
If a notification is read on my phone then it should not show up on any of my other Windows 10 connected devices and vice versa.
There is a setting in Cortana's Edit Sync Settings that is supposed to upload notifications from that device to the cloud in order to prevent duplicate notifications. If this is the basis for fixing the synced notifications across devices that is great but at this point it does not appear to accomplish that.
Improved Favorites Management in Microsoft Edge
Currently Microsoft Edge has the ability to manage favorites but it is very rudimentary compared to IE and other browsers. For someone like myself or others who do not have hundreds of favorites, I think the system works well as it is right now and I did a walk through video earlier this year to show that process.
However, I have heard from many who find that system limiting and they would like to see it expanded to give them the ability to directly edit the database that Microsoft Edge stores favorites in compared to the HTML based list in IE.
Start Menu/Start Screen Sync
This was one of the greatest convenience related features in Windows 8/8.1. Whenever you did a reinstall or refresh and used the same Microsoft Account your Start Screen layout would be restored including place holder tiles for apps that need to be reinstalled. If you had the Windows Store setup to automatically download updates for apps then they would also be installed without any interaction from you after the refresh/restore.
This needs to come back in Windows 10 with an option to disable it for certain devices that you use that necessitate a different layout due to screen size or other limiting factors.
Tabbed File Explorer
Using two copies of File Explorer snapped side by side is a great setup for copying/moving files around devices or network shares.
Imagine being able to drag to a tab in the same File Explorer window or selecting a group of files and then having a dynamic entry on the right click context menu to move those files to that other tab. I understand this is not a big difference compared to the side by side File Explorer windows but if you routinely open a lot of windows for managing files there is something to be said about having all of that in a single window interface.
Microsoft made an attempt to replace this functionality when they released a new OneDrive Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app back in May. The UWP app does allow browsing all of your cloud based files whether they are synched to your device or not but you must be connected to the Internet for the app to work.
OneDrive placeholders were always available to browse on your local device even without a connection to the Internet however, just like the OneDrive UWP app, they could not be retrieved unless you were connected.
The rumors already popped up last week that placeholders are once again possibly going to make their way into Redstone 2 but reality is that only time will answer that question.
So, what is on your wish list for Redstone 2?
Be sure to check out all of our Windows 10 Anniversary Update Coverage.