Microsoft never sleeps. Even before the Windows 10 Anniversary Update was rolled out, the company began work on the next two major updates to Windows 10, code-named Redstone 2 (which will likely be fully ready in the spring of 2017) and Redstone 3.
As it did with the Anniversary Update, Microsoft has been releasing public preview builds to members of Microsoft's Insider Program via a series of public preview builds.
What follows is a list of every preview build of Redstone 2, starting with the most recent. (Note: This covers only previews for the PC version of Windows 10, not the phone version.) For each build, we've included the date of its release and a link to Microsoft's announcement about it.
Release date: March 20, 2017
This build offers only two minor changes and bug fixes: one in which Edge would become unresponsive and another that affected language packs.
Release date: March 17, 2017
This build offers only a few minor changes and bug fixes, including one in which some VPN connections don’t show up in Network Connections.
Release date: March 16, 2017
This build offers only a few minor changes and bug fixes, including one in which Microsoft Edge would not launch several minutes after it crashed.
Release date: March 14, 2017
This build offers a few minor changes and bug fixes, including one that caused some Windows apps such as the Windows Store to fail to launch, and one in which people could not get to the Wi-Fi settings page.
Release date: March 10, 2017
This build offers only minor changes and bug fixes. There are ten fixes for Microsoft Edge, including one for circumstances in which touchpad and keyboard input periodically stops working for a few seconds at a time when using an Edge window.
For the first time, the Windows version number displayed is 1703, which likely indicates the next update to Windows -- called Creator’s Update -- is close to final. The version number usually indicates when the final build will be compiled, which in the case of “1703” would mean March 2017. If that’s the case here, it would mean that the Creator’s Update would likely be compiled some time this month.
It has been reported that the official availability date of the Creators Update will be April 11. Not uncommonly, it takes several weeks between when an update is compiled and when it’s generally available to the public, so the time frame seems right.
Release date: March 3, 2017
This build offers only very minor changes and fixes for bugs such as: LastPass password manager extension for Microsoft Edge sometimes failed to show autofill buttons; the mouse wheel would not work properly; some games minimized to the taskbar as soon as they were launched.
Release date: February 28, 2017
This build offers a variety of minor changes that will be released to the general public in the Creators Update, which is expected in April. Windows Defender Security Center has several modifications, including the addition of an icon in the notification area so you can easily see your protection status. Cortana now displays apps, files and websites that appeared in Microsoft Edge when you last used it. There are also a variety of small changes, improvements and bug fixes.
Release date: February 24, 2017
This minor build offers new animation for Cortana, a new animation for the Edge URL bar which shows when Flash content is being blocked, and a few minor improvements to Edge's ebook-reading capabilities. There are also various small changes, improvements and bug fixes.
Note: This build only works with PCs running 64-bit versions of Windows, not 32-bit versions.
Release date: February 8, 2017
The main feature of this minor build is the introduction of the Compact Overlay window feature, which lets developers write apps that display in a thumbnail above other windows so they're always visible --for example, for watching a video. The Windows 10 Movies & TV app and Skype Preview app will eventually make use of it. There’s also a new Share icon, and a variety of minor bug fixes and changes.
Release date: February 1, 2017
The main new feature in this minor build is braille support for the Narrator screen reader. There are also several small improvements and bug fixes. The build is aimed primarily at the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update and is the primary build for the second Windows 10 Creator's Update Bug Bash, during which users and developers identify as many bugs as possible; it started on February 3 and will end on February 11.
Release date: January 27, 2017
This minor build focuses in large part on adding features to Xbox gaming. Included is the ability to broadcast your gaming play by streaming it over the internet, as well as a new Game Mode that optimizes your PC for gaming. Scott Henson, Xbox Partner Group Program Manager, has provided a list of all new gaming features on his blog. Even though this build is, to a great extent, targeted at gamers, Dona Sarkar, Software Engineer, Windows and Devices Group, noted in the announcement that, "This build does have some platform related bugs that will impact the ability to play popular games on your PC."
There are a variety of other minor changes, such as giving Microsoft Edge the ability to read e-books aloud, and being able to stop app and game download progress in the Action Center. There are also several small improvements and bug fixes.
Release date: January 19, 2017
This build adds a handful of minor new features, and fixes a variety of bugs, many of which have been pointed out by users in Microsoft’s Feedback Hub. With it, you can now buy e-books from the Windows Store and read them in Microsoft Edge. There’s also a new custom color option in the Color settings, the W-Fi settings have been simplified, and there is a new Storage setting for letting you automatically delete files you don’t need any longer.
Release date: January 12, 2017
This minor build focuses on several small improvements to the Edge browser. You can now share tabs with other apps on your PC; you can also more easily import favorites, browsing history and passwords from other browsers. Microsoft has updated the web notes feature so it uses Windows Ink, among other features.
There are also non-Edge improvements; for example, when you switch from one PC to another, Cortana will display (in the Action Center) links to the Edge websites and the SharePoint or OneDrive documents you most recently used on the original PC. There are several other small changes and a variety of bug fixes.
Release date: January 9, 2017
This build makes a fair number of changes to the Edge browser and adds a few tweaks to the overall interface.
Edge now features a useful tab preview bar that pops at the top of the screen when you click a small down arrow to the right of the + next to your tabs. You can then scroll through the tab preview bar by clicking an arrow on its right side, or by using a mousewheel, touchpad, or swiping on a touch screen.
Edge also gets two new buttons for managing tabs: one of them closes all your tabs; the other one thumbnails of the tabs you’ve closed and lets you restore them all, or each individually. Edge also blocks untrusted Flash content and gives you the choice of whether you play it or not. The Microsoft Edge changelog lists all the changes to Edge.
People who are fans of the Start menu will welcome a new feature that lets you group Start tiles into folders. This build also addresses a complaint that some people have had about windows resizing not being smooth enough -- according to Microsoft, it’s now smoother on both desktop applications and Windows apps.
The build also includes minor improvements to Windows Ink, Cortana, Windows Defender, accessibility features and the Settings app. And, as always, there are a variety of bug fixes.
Release date: December 7
This build focuses on several system changes, including improvements to Cortana. By speaking to Cortana, you can now turn off, restart, lock, or put your PC to sleep, and raise and lower your system volume. You can also control the iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio music apps using voice commands.
Windows Ink has gotten some new features -- for example, it's more difficult to accidentally delete sketches. There are several new Microsoft Edge extensions, including for the Ebates cash-back service. There are lesser improvements, such as the addition of a Windows Defender dashboard and improvements to Narrator. And, as always, there are a variety of bug fixes.
Release date: November 17
This minor build adds several minor features. You can now read unprotected e-books in the EPUB file format with Microsoft Edge. The Paint 3D Preview app is included as part of Windows for the first time -- previously it was a separate download. PowerShell becomes the default command line for Windows. There are also a variety of minor bug fixes, such as improving the reliability of the protractor and inking in Sketchpad, and fixing an issue with the Magnifier’s keyboard shortcuts.
Release date: November 9
This minor build adds minor features. The Sticky Notes app has been updated to include more languages, improved text input while typing and a few bug fixes. Windows Ink Workspace gets some minor improvements, including an upgraded protractor and faster loading of Sketchpad. It’s also now easier to connect to an external monitor from a tablet -- you can do it from the virtual touchpad instead of a mouse. There are also the usual host of bug fixes and small improvements, including one that stops Internet Explorer from crashing right after loading.
Release date: November 3
This minor build is the first to use a new Microsoft platform for publishing updates, called the Unified Update Platform (UUP), although only the mobile build is delivered with UUP -- it will still be a while before PC updates will be delivered using it. Microsoft says that UUP will lead to smaller update download sizes -- 35% smaller from one major update to another. Aside from that, build 14959 can support an app that runs on just-announced Microsoft hardware, including the Surface Studio: Paint 3D Preview, which adds 3D modelling tools to Microsoft Paint. (The app isn't in the new build; it has to be downloaded separately.)
The build also includes a variety of bug fixes and small improvements, such as better controlling of scaling of virtual machines in Hyper-V Virtual Machines, and squashing a bug related to Windows' automatic brightness setting.
Release date: October 25
This minor build includes updates to Windows’ built-in Mail and Calendar apps. You can now open mail messages in a new window. You can also use @mentions: When you type the @ symbol in the body of an email and follow it with your contact's name, Windows pulls the contact's email address from your contact list and adds it to the To: field. The build also includes a variety of fixes. For example, it fixes a bug which wouldn’t allow people to sign into some apps -- such as MSN News and Groove -- with their Microsoft account.
Release date: October 19
This minor build adds new features for users who have a precision touchpad. It allows you to record your favorite keyboard combinations and assign them to gestures; you can also change the audio volume with a gesture. Windows Ink gets some improvements as well, including the addition of stencils and the ability to use Windows Ink in the Photos app. The camera interface has been simplified and there are a variety of bug fixes and minor improvements.
Release date: October 13
This minor build lets you customize how your touchpad works, notably by letting you customize three- and four-finger gestures and taps. To do it, go to Settings > Devices > Touchpad and look for the “Other gestures” section. The Wi-Fi settings page has been redesigned, and includes a new setting that lets you have a turned-off Wi-Fi turn back on automatically after a certain amount of time elapses. The build also includes a variety of bug fixes.
Release date: October 7
This minor build updates the Photos app, including a horizontal bar that makes it easier to navigate and view photos. The build also lets you collapse the app list on the Start menu by going to Settings > Personalization > Start and turning on “Hide app list in Start menu.” Windows Update gets a new icon. There are also a variety of bug fixes and minor improvements.
Release date: September 28