The amount of time that a specific build will be active was also important to the analysts' argument that Windows 10 would not be as fragmented as Android, or for that matter, Windows as it is today.
"Fragmentation should be limited to 18 months or so, with the exception of LTSB, certainly not reaching back several years as it often does today," said Gartner's Kleynhans.
But not everyone was sanguine about the multiple branches, rings and builds. Miller of Directions on Microsoft has qualms.
"Consumer developers will probably be able to play the 'we don't worry about Windows Insider builds' card, and focus primarily on CB and CBB builds," Miller said. But "how IT organizations and developers will test and ensure their own quality across a range of OS releases like this has been one of my key concerns since I first caught wind of Microsoft's plans."
Kleynhans also had misgivings, although his were about the mechanics of the process.
"How will [Microsoft] identify each update?" Kleynhans asked. "We know that the OS will be called Windows 10 regardless of what updates have been delivered and installed. But as for identifying the state after each update, we don't know if Microsoft will stick with the build number, opt for a simplified numbering scheme, go back to point identifiers -- Window 10 v 10.1, 10.2 ... similar to what Apple does with OS X -- or maybe use something more date oriented, like Windows 10, July 2016. There will have to be something to help developers understand what they are facing in the field."
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