Many people hear the term “Windows 10 Build“, but does not quite know what it is. Microsoft uses the word to designate monthly operating system security updates, which, contrary to popular belief, is not the latest version.
What is build?
In Software Development, “build” is the term used to identify a compiled version of a program. That is, when lines of code written in high level language are translated into machine language, which a computer is able to understand. The build can be complete (whole software) or partial (parts of it).
Most people (read non-developers) hear the most commonly related term “build” from Windows 10 when Microsoft releases a new version of the operating system with new features. However, there is some confusion there.
How does Microsoft use the term in Windows 10?
When Microsoft mentions the term “build” for Windows 10, it refers to the monthly security updates released to the system, usually on the second Tuesday of each month. They bring performance improvements, bug fixes and security holes and, most importantly, are not new versions of the system.
Many people use the term “build” to refer to the two major updates Microsoft releases each year, one in the first and one in the second half, but these are called versions. Each may have several builds until the next release, but the software version number does not change.
What is the difference between version and build of Windows 10?
A simple way to understand the difference is in their codes. By default, versions are identified by a 4-digit number, while build uses 7 or 8, in the format XXXXX.XX or XXXXX.XXX.
At the time this post aired, Windows 10 was version 1903 or May 2019 Update; when it was released the assigned build was 18362.30. But shortly after the first update was released with the number 18362.53.
The latest build of Windows 10, within version 1903, is 18362.295.
How to find out the version and build of Windows 10
- Click on “Start,” “Settings” (the gear icon);
- Click on “System”, “About”;
- Version and build information (“OS Build”) will be in “Windows Specifications”.