September 3, 2018 // 10:43 a.m.
Microsoft has officially announced the next feature update for its Windows 10 family of operating systems, prosaically named the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.
As part of the company's plan to make Windows 10 a long-life operating system, taking a leaf from rival Apple's current macOS which launched as MacOS X back nearly two decades ago, Microsoft has pledged to release biannual feature updates on top of its regular Patch Tuesday security and bug-fix updates. Last year's Windows 10 Creators Update, for example, added 3D modelling and virtual reality functionality directly into the operating system and brought performance-boosting Game Mode - along with, sadly, a performance-sapping bug.
Compared to the Creators Update, the Windows 10 October 2018 Update's list of features are a little more sedate: The company has confirmed that the update, previously codenamed Redstone 5, will include a dark mode for the file manager, various improvements to the Edge web browser, an Xbox Game Bar update with performance display option, and improved productivity capabilities including a new content snipping tool and a cloud clipboard capable of synchronising content between Windows 10 devices.
'I'm pleased to announce that our next feature update to Windows will be called the Windows 10 October 2018 Update,' Microsoft's Roanne Sones writes in an introduction to a blog post detailing new Windows 10 devices introduced at the IFA technology event late last week. 'With this update, we’ll be bringing new features and enhancements to the nearly 700 million devices running Windows 10 that help people make the most of their time. We’ll share more details about the update over the coming weeks.'
Redstone 5 builds have been available to Windows Insider programme members for some time, giving them a taste of what to expect. Final builds are expected to be pushed out to Insider members in early October, with general availability closer to the end of the month. As with previous feature updates, Windows 10 October 2018 Update will be a free upgrade for all Windows 10 users.