The Hustle is Real Leading up to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

The Hustle is Real Leading up to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

The expected debut of the second major update to Windows 10, known as the Anniversary Update, is expected to be released on 29 July 2016.

This update for Windows 10 has been in testing since December 2015 following the first major update for the operating system - the November Update - and its counterpart for mobile has been in works since February 2016.

In total there have been 19 builds released for testing on PCs and 16 for Mobile for this update over those time frames. Check my math but that comes out to a total of 35 builds.

If you are a Windows Insider these last five weeks have been pretty sweet when it comes to a steady diet of new builds on both PC and Mobile Windows 10 devices.

I decided to go back and take a closer look at the last five weeks leading up to the initial Windows 10 release last year on 29 July, the November Update for Windows 10 on 12 November and the upcoming Windows Anniversary Update that is expected on 29 July 2016.

They key item I was interested in was comparing the apparent fast paced build releases we have seen in the last five weeks compared to the five weeks leading up to those two earlier releases.

First let's look at the initial release of Windows 10 last July:

29 Jun 2015 Build 10158 (PC)  
30 Jun 2015 Build 10159 (PC) 1 day
02 Jul 2015 Build 10162 (PC) 3 days
09 Jul 2015 Build 10166 (PC) 7 days
10 Jul 2015 Build 10166 (Mobile) 3 days
15 Jul 2015 Build 10240 (PC) 5 days
29 Jul 2015

Initial release of Windows 10
(Version 1507 Build 10240)

14 days

That makes for a total of six builds leading up the the release of Windows 10 (5 PC and 1 Mobile).

Next up was the Windows 10 November Update and it also had six builds pushed out preparing for that release.

12 Oct 2015 Build 10565 (PC)  
14 Oct 2015 Build 10549 (Mobile)  
20 Oct 2015 Build 10572 (Mobile) 6 days (from last mobile build)
29 Oct 2015 Build 10581 (Mobile) 9 days
29 Oct 2015 Build 10576 (PC) 17 days (from last PC build)
05 Nov 2015 Build 10586 (PC) 7 days
12 Nov 2015

Initial release of Windows 10 November Update
(Version 1511 Build 10586)

7 days

That brings us to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update which is expected in just over a month and will bring the Redstone 1 development branch to close for both PCs and Mobile devices.

26 May 2016 Build 14352 (PC)  
01 Jun 2016 Build 14356 (Mobile)  
08 Jun 2016 Build 14361 (PC) 13 days (from PC build)
14 Jun 2016 Build 14366 (PC) 6 days
14 Jun 2016 Build 14364 (Mobile) 13 days (from last mobile build)
16 Jun 2016 Build 14367 (PC/Mobile) 8 days (PC) / 2 days (mobile)
21 Jun 2016 Build 14371 (Mobile) 5 days
22 Jun 2016 Build 14371 (PC) 6 days
23 Jun 2016 Build 14372 (PC/Mobile) 1 day (PC) / 2 days (mobile)
29 Jul 2016

Release of Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Expected)
(Version 1607 Build XXXXX.XXX)


Looking at the builds we have seen released over the last five weeks, there have been a total of 11 new testing builds made available in that timeframe. Six of them for PCs and five for Mobile devices.

I know I am doing a little apples versus oranges comparison here because for the first two cycles we are looking at the final five weeks leading up to the release of that version of Windows 10. For the Anniversary Update we still have those final five weeks to go however, based on the pace of previous update cycles and the last five weeks the potential is there to have more builds released leading up to this summer's update than the previous two cycles.

One other difference between all three of these update cycles is that the Windows team was not working the mobile version of Windows 10 for release at the same time as the desktop build. For Redstone 1, aka the Anniversary Update, that is a very different story and I fully expect both platforms to get the update simultaneously next month.

So what does all of this mean when it comes to Windows 10 and the Anniversary Update?

We have long been conditioned to expect the pace of updates to slow down leading up to the release of a new version of Windows because that is a time of final bug smashing, especially for any show stopping bugs, and for tweaking the final performance of the operating system.

However, this is not the old way of doing things when it comes to the development of Windows because this is Windows as a Service (WaaS) and they are doing things very differently in Redmond these days.

Although it has caused a lot of controversy over the last 18 months, telemetry plays a very large role in evaluating the performance of Windows 10 and for getting crash data back to Microsoft for analysis.

The formula here is very simple: more telemetry = more data = more fixes = more performance tweaks for the operating system.

Microsoft also hosted a huge Bug Bash a few weeks ago and the stats from that one week effort seems to have paid off according to Dona Sarkar who leads the Windows Insider program.

"You completed ~71K Quests and filed 81,217 pieces of feedback and up-votes. Windows Insiders from all over the world participated including strong participation from China, India, and Brazil which gave us great insight into what we can expect in our international markets. We even saw feedback from Insiders in far-away places like Botswana, Turkmenistan, Gambia, Seychelles, Togo, Mali, Liberia, or Greenland."

It would not do Microsoft any good to hold an event like that, collect all that data and then not get the fixes tested on a wide variety of systems.

That is why we are seeing such hustle when it comes the release of new testing builds to Windows Insiders on both PCs and Mobile devices and that in turn should make the Anniversary Update one of the most solid Windows 10 updates ever.

So, who is ready for a few more builds over the next five weeks?

But, wait...there's probably more so be sure to follow me on Twitter and Google+.

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