The sudden flurry of Windows 10 Insider Preview releases over the past week was a sign of what’s to come: Microsoft is expected to finalize the operating system this week, according to sources at both Neowin and The Verge.
Once the operating system is finalized, Microsoft will ship a release to manufacturing (RTM) build to various OEMs, allowing them to test the OS and prepare for its release on a collection of new devices. Some RTM candidate builds have already appeared online, including build 10176, several builds newer than the latest Insider Preview (build 10162).
Although Windows 10 will be officially “finalized” when Microsoft hits RTM status, and the operating system will be largely bug free and ready for public use, the company will continue to update the OS regularly following its launch. This is part of Microsoft’s new ‘Windows as a Service’ model, which will see the OS receive bug fix and feature updates more frequently than ever before.
Over the next few months we can expect Microsoft to add in features such as extension support for their Edge browser, before we see a major update codenamed ‘Redstone’ arrive in June 2016. Basically anything that Microsoft didn’t have time to add in to Windows 10 before its launch will come as an update in the months that follow.
With Windows 10 set to hit RTM status this week, OEMs will get 2-3 weeks to test the final version of the OS before it’s publicly released in waves starting on July 29th. While Windows 10 should be largely stable come the 29th, some lingering bugs, issues and driver problems will almost certainly need to be resolved post-launch.