Microsoft Releases New Windows 10 Mobile Build, Promises Free Upgrades For 8.1 Users In 2016

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Two quick hits from the world of Microsoft before you head off and plunge your upper body in eggnog: A new Windows 10 Mobile build is out for users on both the Fast and Slow rings of the Insider program, and, if you are a regular Windows Phone user running 8.1, you won’t get new code until the new year, a retread of prior timing promises.

In sequence, I think. Out today is the ‘Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10586.36‘, which may win the Grammy for ‘Most Microsoft Product Name Ever.’ Regardless, it’s a smaller update than prior editions, which is why it made it only a spry 0.07 point bump from the preceding build 10586.29.

Moving ahead, Microsoft announced that the market should expect fewer builds from the firm until the new year. As it turns out, employees at the company have hobbies outside of Surface Book juggling competitions.

Here’s the company’s Gabe Aul telling the assembled nerd hordes that they should calm down and go talk to other humans:

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 2.38.34 PM

When Gabe tells you to step back from the keyboard, do it.

The Future

All that is for the next two weeks. What happens next matters more. As ZDnet’s Mary Jo Foley pointed out today, Microsoft previously promised Windows Phone 8.1 users that they would have a shot at getting onto Windows 10, sans being part of the Insider program, this December:

Even though Microsoft officials said earlier this fall that the rollout of Windows 10 Mobile to existing Windows Phone 8.1 users would start in December, that’s no longer the plan.

And, as per her article, here’s Microsoft now:

“This November we introduced Windows 10 to phones including brand new features such as Continuum and Universal Windows Apps with the introduction of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL. The Windows 10 Mobile upgrade will begin rolling out early next year to select existing Windows 8 and 8.1 phones.”

If this works out to a very early release in 2016, I doubt that there will be too much complaint. If the timeline stretches into the second month of the coming year, things could be a bit more verbal.

So, there you have it. I doubt we’ll see too much material from the Windows team this year. And that’s just fine. I am far more interested in what cadence the team hits in the new year than how little time they can spend dropping ornaments.