Microsoft has begun testing minor feature updates for Windows 10 in the form of a Windows Feature Experience Pack. The label appeared in Windows 10 earlier this year, but Microsoft has only confirmed what packages will be used for this week. The Windows Feature Experience Pack will be used to “enhance certain features and experiences now developed independently of the operating system,” according to Microsoft.
The first feature pack has been released for Windows 10 beta testers this week, and it includes the ability to use the built-in screenshot app to paste screenshots directly into folders in File Explorer. The package also includes a shared keyboard mode for 2-in-1
Microsoft says feature packs will be delivered to Windows testers much like existing builds and cumulative updates. However, it is not clear how these feature packages will reach consumers and businesses. Feature packs appear to be a new channel for Microsoft to update parts of Windows that are not directly controlled by the operating system, but are also not separate apps maintained through the Windows Store.
This may mean that we see more regular minor updates to Windows 10 in the coming months and years to come. Microsoft typically delivers two major Windows 10 updates per year, one arriving around the April time frame and the other around October. The company has used a service pack-style update model for some Windows 10 updates, including relatively minor changes in one update and major changes in the other.
“By testing this process first with Windows Insiders, we hope to expand the scope and frequency of releases in the future,” explains Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc. “Finally, Windows Feature Experience Pack updates will be integrated into the existing Windows 10 service process and delivered to customers that way through Windows Update.”