Microsoft confirms next big update to Windows 10 will arrive in October

Barring a delay here in the homestretch, the next major upgrade to Windows 10 will begin rolling out in October, Microsoft announced at IFA 2018.

The company didn't attach an exact release date to its announcement, saying only that it will be called the "October 2018 Update." It seems Microsoft is embracing the month and year format for naming its major updates to Windows 10, which the company has committed to releasing twice a year. Here's what Microsoft has released so far:

Microsoft abandoned monolithic Windows releases with Windows 10, choosing instead to periodically add new features and upgrades, which so far have come without charge. The company has also maintained a monthly release schedule for security patches, widely referred to as Patch Tuesday.

The October 2018 Update, also known as Redstone 5, has been in testing by members of Microsoft's Windows Insider program for several months now.

"With this update, we’ll be bringing new features and enhancements to the nearly 700 million devices running Windows 10 that help people make the most of their time. We’ll share more details about the update over the coming weeks," Microsoft says.

Microsoft is introducing a dark theme to Explorer in Redstone 5, along with updates to its Fluent Design language, a better clipboard experience that allows you to paste from the clipboard history, an improved snipping tool, and an upgraded Game Bar with performance stats, among other things.

This also means we should see a new ray tracing test added to 3DMark in October, or sometime around then. UL Benchmarks recently told us it designed the new test from the ground up, with the goal of aligning its release with the launch of Redstone 5.