I was one of those lucky individuals who was able to attend both a special pre-launch party at the Xbox Loft One and the more official, public launch party at Spring Studios in New York City on Windows 10 launch day. Both were massively fun events and I'm glad I made the decision to leave San Diego just to attend, despite the San Diego weather being extremely gorgeous and mild compared to the almost stifling heaviness of a NYC under a heat advisory.
I could go into a long description of both events, but there are some important next steps for Windows 10 I was able to glean in my discussions. For some, the launch day has just come and gone, with the build-up seemingly bigger than the release. Those settling in and using Windows 10 are finding faults and wondering if they made the right decision. Personally, I've experienced my own quirks and apparent bugs with Windows 10 since upgrading, ones that I had hoped wouldn’t exist for public release. So, we're all in this together.
However, it's also important to remember what Windows 10 actually is and is not. The Windows 10 that started public delivery on July 29 is essentially just a framework. Microsoft worked hard the last couple months to stabilize the operating system so that what came available on July 29 was a workable OS, but it's clearly not a completed product – and might never be. Tossing "Windows as a Service" into the mix, Microsoft has effectively labeled Windows 10 as a perpetual beta that will contain bugs and minor annoyances. However, using Windows Insiders as a buffer and test lab, should be able to fix things quickly without downing PCs and devices everywhere. Only once updates have been sanctioned by Windows Insiders will they deliver to public PCs.
So, understanding that Windows 10 is a work in progress, what's next?
According to my discussions, and despite Gabe Aul professing that vacation time is needed during his pre-launch presentation on Wednesday evening, things will progress pretty quickly. A new update, Service Release 1 (SR1) is scheduled to deliver in early August. No hard date was given, just that it will likely come right away (possibly next week) after the masses have upgraded their computers worldwide and telemetry data has been sifted through. SR1 could see new features, but is primarily meant to fix issues.
Then, later this year, Microsoft is planning to deliver a much larger update that will most definitely include new features (things already planned, and also the top suggestions from the Windows Feedback app from the first wave of public upgrades) and additional fixes. Some of the proposed updates include OneDrive fixes, better Skype integration, and extension support for Microsoft Edge. This update is tentatively planned for some time in October.
These are the things that are known. Along the way, though, Windows 10 users can expect additional bug fixes and patches to show up, to ensure that Windows 10 is as solid an experience as possible. One update that will be extremely welcome is a battery consumption fix that Microsoft and Intel are working on. Personally, I can't wait for this fix. Enabling "Hey, Cortana" on my Surface Pro 3 can soak my battery power dry in half the time now.
Looking forward to 2016, the rumored "Redstone" wave is being planned, which will supposedly include new apps.