Microsoft Debuts Unified Updates, New Windows Build for Insiders

As Microsoft continues to roll out new preview builds of its next Windows 10 update, it is also working to make those releases easier and more efficient to download. The new Unified Update Platform (UUP) will become available for developers in stages, with the first version -- for Windows Mobile -- announced yesterday.

In addition to the Unified Update Platform, Microsoft yesterday also released an Insider Preview Build for the next major refresh of Windows 10. Set for general release in early 2017, the so-called "Creators Update" of Windows 10 will place a heavy emphasis on 3D imaging, painting and other creativity tools.

The new Windows Build 14959 for Mobile and PC gives developers in the Insider Fast ring a chance to take a number of new features for a test run, and also fixes known issues with how the previous build managed applications, displays and settings. Microsoft is encouraging developers to install the latest build ahead of a problem-finding "Bug Bash" set to start next Monday.

'Differential Downloads' for Efficiency

Up until now, when Microsoft released a major update of its Windows operating system, users have had to download the entire update package, which could be both time-consuming and resource-intensive. With UUP, however, the download size of updates will be reduced, with more of the heavy lifting handled on the client side (i.e., Microsoft's cloud) rather than on the side of the customer's device.

"We have converged technologies in our build and publishing systems to enable differential downloads for all devices built on the Mobile and PC OS," Bill Karagounis, director of program management for the Windows Insider Program and OS Fundamentals, wrote yesterday on the Windows blog. "A differential download package contains only the changes that have been made since the last time you updated your device, rather than...

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