Microsoft's development features for its next scheduled Windows 10 release, internally being referred to as Redstone 2, has been much of a mystery to date. Reading the tea leaves and following the gossip leads us to conclude that the Windows team is focusing on restructuring the OneCore of Windows 10 while also adding some enterprise features to its Mobile SKU of the operating system.
While the broad strokes of Windows 10 future development are focused on enterprise and mobile, some lesser highlighted items coming to users could be just as useful. According to a report from Windows Central, for example, the Windows team is currently testing out a new feature to Windows 10 for PCs dubbed the People Bar, which could make its way into the Redstone 2 release of the operating system in early 2017.
The People Bar seems to be an evolution of the People Hub functionality mixed with the familiarity of the well-known Windows Task Bar. Apparently, the idea of the People Bar is a take on the Pinned Contacts feature enabled on Windows Phones or the Start Menu in Windows 10.
However, instead of having the contact buried in the Start Menu on Windows 10 PCs, it would rest in plain sight on the Task Bar. Contacts placed in the People Bar will have communication support from services and apps such as Skype, GroupMe, and Office, to help encourage more active and quick collaboration from anywhere within the operating system.
We'll be keeping our eyes on Redstone 2 and its development over the next several months. Along with the apparent "blue light" functionality that we reported on the other day, the People Bar makes it obvious that the Windows 10 team intends to continue to make their premier operating system increasingly functional in anticipation of the new hardware that's apparently coming with the Redstone 2 release in 2017.