You might have read the word ‘Redstone’ next to a Windows 10 build’s name. The build number may change but it’s always called Redstone for some reason. Redstone is a code word that Microsoft uses for Windows 10 builds that have not yet been released. A Windows 10 Redstone build is just that; an insider build that hasn’t been pushed to the release channel.
Windows 10 Redstone
Since all Windows 10 insider builds are called Redstone, you might wonder what the point of it all is. It’s clear that Microsoft is no longer working on Windows 7 or 8 so any builds, regardless of their name, will be for Windows 10.
Microsoft gives its builds a name; it did the same for Windows 7 and it does so for Windows 10 but the name ‘Redstone’ also denotes something else; feature roll out. A Redstone build is also accompanied by a number, a much smaller one that those given to builds. For example, builds belong to Redstone 3, or Redstone 4, or Redstone 5.
Lots of different builds will be grouped under Redstone 3. Redstone 3 represents the final build that was made available as the Fall Creators Update. Redstone 4 encompasses the builds, and features, that will roll out in the Spring Creators Update. And Redstone 5 will roll out in October 2018.
Why This Matters
If you don’t care much for the new features that are being added to Windows 10, this information is of no use to you.
If you keep up with the new features that are going to be added to Windows 10, regardless if you’re part of the Insider Program or not, you will want to know when a particular feature will be available on the release channel. We should mention that the features are likely to ship with a certain build however, if Microsoft doesn’t iron the kinks out it in time, they can be pushed to the next major release. The Redstone build number gives us a mostly accurate estimate but nothing is set in stone.
Each new insider build that Microsoft announces on its blog is accompanied by which Redstone build it will be a part of. This tells you how long you have to wait for the feature but also when it’s likely that the next major feature update will drop. If Microsoft ships a build that is slated for the next Redstone build, it’s reasonable to assume that a major feature update is coming.
The Spring Creators Update aka Redstone 4 is just days from being released to the stable channel. Microsoft is already releasing Redstone 5 i.e., RS5 builds to users on Skip Ahead and the Fast ring.