With the development of Fall Creators Update slow winding down, it's time to see the future and talk about what we hope to See Microsoft's next version of Windows 10.
Redstone 4 is Microsoft's next major version of Windows 10 after the Fall Creators Update, which will extract more cutting features from Fall Creators Update and some new ones. Redstone 4 is scheduled for launch sometime in March / April 2018, so there is plenty of time between now and then to get some new features. Here's what we hope Microsoft will focus on with Windows 10 Redstone 4.
Modern File Explorer
An area where I hope Microsoft will focus their efforts with Redstone 4 is File Explorer. We all know that File Explorer has long been updated since the last major update was back in 2012 with Windows 8, where Microsoft introduced the Office Ribbon UI to its headline. Since then, only small incremental updates have been made to File Explorer.
File Explorer as it works well and, as the old saying goes, "if it's not ink, do not fix it," but just because something does not mean it does not result from an update. A new user interface is okay, at least along with several other improvements that should be there, but not. Things like a duplicate file option in the context menu, or tabs, for example.
Tabs are a big too many users, and I know there are more people out there who think that tabs in File Explorer do not make sense. That's fine, but millions of people out there give tabs in File Explorer's opinion. I hope that tabs at the top of Microsoft's list of things to add to File Explorer, as it will allow me to keep my desktop clean by unnecessary File Explorer windows when transferring files across folders.
What's more with Floating Design on its way, File Explorer will appear like a sore thumb more than ever, if Microsoft does not give it a new leakage paint. I do not mind how Microsoft does this, whether it's updating the existing Win32 program or introducing a new Universal Windows 10 app as long as it gets Fluent Design processing to be adjusted with the rest of operating system.
Tabbed Shell is something I only wrote about earlier this year, which allows apps to be grouped together under a well-known UI tab such as that found in Microsoft Edge. This would allow users to group apps that do not have tab support built-in, which gives a much cleaner experience on devices with small screens.
With Tabbed Shell, the user can, for example, Have more instances of an app that has no loss of support, such as Become 2016 under a tab UI handled by Windows 10. Microsoft has already set early code for this feature and if it has not been canceled internally, Redstone 4 may be a good time to pop up.
This is quite obvious. Given the timeline has been cut from the Fall Creator Update, it is logical to assume that the feature will be displayed with Redstone 4 instead. Microsoft already has a working timeline code in its internal builds of Windows 10, and the function works as desired. So it should not be too long before Insiders can test this functionality.
The timeline is essentially a glorified newer apps screen that drags all of your previously open apps from other devices over the last days. If you click on an app in the timeline, that app opens exactly where you left it last and saves time when needed to continue working on a project or document.
Timeline also works across phones. If you have an iOS or Android device, Timeline will download apps that run into the Timeline API, even if it's not a Windows-based device. Really smart.
This is another obvious one, as some will argue for, is more important than the timeline. Cloud Clipboard is another cut Fall Creators Update feature that would give Windows 10 a cloud-based clipboard that allows users to copy text on a device and paste it on another. Since this feature does not come into Fall Creators Update now, I'd like to see it arrive with Redstone 4 instead.
Last but not least, I hope Microsoft finally explains the major discrepancies Windows 10 has with design in Redstone 4. With Fall Creators Update, Microsoft will send an update that features elements in its new Fluent Design System Like the old Microsoft Design Language 2, and even older classic Windows design in some areas. Windows 10 is currently suffering from what Microsoft internally refers to as Zebra UI, where different design languages are at stake at the same time.
Microsoft tries to minimize the amount of Zebra UI found in Windows 10, and hopefully, Redstone 4 will start to see it coming into effect. Context menus, for example, are incredibly inconsistent in Windows 10, like many of Windows built-in apps. The Fall Creators Update will temporarily make this worse too, with the revealed effect appearing in some places, but not others. Microsoft has to get serious about its design consensus soon and I hope it will happen with Redstone 4.
What do you think?
It's just our quick list of things we could think of at the top of our head. Of course, there is room for many more things in Redstone 4, so if you have ideas for what you hope Microsoft will add with Redstone 4, be sure to tell us in the comments!