Right now, the latest build served up in the Windows Insider program is 14383, which was released on Thursday to participants in the Fast Ring. However, according to the latest Windows 10 rumor from “internal sources,” the first Release To Manufacturing (RTM) candidate is Build 14384, a single digit away from the current preview release. That, folks, indicates that Microsoft is finally wrapping up Redstone 1 (RS1) development, aka the Anniversary Update.
Although RS1 development seems to be coming to a close, Windows Insider lead Dona Sarkar indicated on Thursday that the team is still taking fixes for Anniversary Update. She added that her team “scrutinizes” each fix more thoroughly in “Ask Mode,” and that participant feedback is still vital data for all Anniversary Update approvals.
#WindowsInsiders : We are still taking fixes for RS. We scrutinize each fix *way more* in “Ask Mode” and your fb is vital data for approval
— Dona Sarkar (@donasarkar) July 7, 2016
According to the unnamed internal sources, Build 14384 will be the first RTM candidate, and that a final version of RS1 will likely be offered to Insiders by the end of next week. Typically, there’s more than just one RTM candidate brewed up by Microsoft. In fact, multiple builds are generated and then pulled through rigorous internal testing. The version with the least amount of issues will earn the official RTM badge.
Officially, Microsoft no longer uses the “RTM” terminology. That’s because Windows 10 is now a service, meaning the platform will gradually evolve over time rather than the company dumping new versions on the market every three years or so. That applies to huge updates like Anniversary Update as well, although there’s really no other way to describe a mega-update’s development conclusion than by sticking with the old-school RTM terminology.
There’s still time to flood Microsoft with feedback about Anniversary Update before it is scheduled to go public on August 2. After that, Microsoft is expected to switch gears and begin working on Redstone 2 (RS2), which is slated to go public sometime around spring 2017. This mega-update sequel will supposedly begin hitting the Windows Insider program through builds in the 148xx range during the second half of August.
Thus, to find out when Insiders are actually using a build designed for RS2, they will be able to simply look at the build’s version number on screen. For example, Insiders can currently see the RS1 label within the build’s watermark, such as “Build 14379.rs1_release.160627-1607.” That “rs1” portion will likely be exchanged for “rs2”… if Microsoft continues to use the watermark, that is.
“The desktop watermark is now gone. This is because we’re beginning to check in final code in preparation for releasing the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to customers on August 2,” Sarkar said on Thursday regarding the new 14383 build. “It’s feeling like ship season around here and we can’t wait to see what you think of this build.”
From this point on, the Anniversary Update features are locked and loaded, and preview builds will thus focus on improvements and fixes for both PC and mobile. We’re eager to get our hands on the “RTM” build, so stay tuned for news surrounding that highly anticipated release.