Am I the only one who feels like the launch of Windows 10 Mobile was just another release in a long series of builds for the mobile operating system?
Just less than two weeks ago Microsoft finally released Windows 10 Mobile (Build 10586.164) to what is referred to as Current Branch. That means it is now an officially available public build for eligible handsets and is no longer pre-release software for released Windows 10 retail hardware.
From here on only Cumulative Updates will be released for this Current Branch build and those will just slightly increment the .xxx part of the build number.
Whether you like it or not Windows 10 Mobile is now in its maintenance phase, aka Windows as a Service (WaaS), under the Threshold branch of Windows. Windows 10 Mobile Build 10586 is Threshold – just like on PCs.
Testing of the first Redstone build of Windows 10 Mobile is already underway and has now expanded to all of the Windows 10 eligible hardware (24 handsets including 18 that were formerly Windows Phone 8.1 devices).
The first release for all those handsets, Build 14291, was pushed out by Microsoft last week and these builds are also more in a string of testing builds that have been released by Microsoft.
That is the dilemma when it comes to building excitement around the release of big updates or new versions of the Windows operating system for either Mobile or PCs.
Since we gain continuous access to the latest and greatest features being tossed into Windows through the Windows Insider Program and its steady string of builds there are no more surprises or a buildup of excitement around these new additions.
Sure, we still get some leaks before these things land in a new Windows Insider build but the intrigue around those leaks has become flat because of the constant and steady access.
Today’s Windows Insider Program and its predecessors which were commonly referred to as Preview or Developer Preview Programs has spoiled us and I do not think there is going to be anyway to go back to what it used to be.
I can remember the days of Windows betas when the OS updates were shipped on DVD to your home for installation and then you got them installed and started giving your feedback. Those betas were under serious Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) and to break that NDA meant getting kicked out of Microsoft betas in the future.
It was also hard to get into those betas. There was no such thing as going to a webpage, signing in with a Microsoft Account and then downloading the latest build of the developing version of Windows. You had to apply or sometimes another beta member could recommend you to whoever was in charge and you might eventually get added to the list of testers.
Back then, if you were not on the Windows beta, then you wanted to be if you were a Windows geek. Leaks were also more tantalizing because the betas had such limited access.
Today, these quick and easy access programs like previews of Windows 7/8/8.1 and now Windows 10 under the Insider program, has changed all of that and while it is not necessarily a bad thing it has de-sensitized us to new releases, updates and features.
Everything is now so incremental that the big bang aspect is gone and that is why the Windows 10 Mobile Current Branch release two weeks ago was perceived by many as quite flat.
This is not a knock against the Windows Team - the amount of telemetry that is being collected is making Windows 10 the best version of Windows that we may ever see - and they are pulling that mountain of data together on a daily basis.
Ultimately - It is what it is - and we just need to adjust our expectations and take this new reality in stride.
What do you think?