Windows 10 launched in July 2015, and on April 11, 2017, Microsoft released the third major update to their latest operating system. First announced in October with the Surface Studio, Microsoft has dubbed the latest update the Creators Update. Officially it is Windows 10 version 1703, OS build 15063. Naming it the Creators Update seems to signal some future intentions, but the actual release is less creative than the hardware they announced with it, and feels a bit like the company really just didn’t want to call it Windows 10 SP1 R2. Compared to the last major update, named the Anniversary Update, this version has less big features, but does bring a few new things to the OS along with some more polish.

With the new “Windows as a Service” model that came with Windows 10 in July 2015, more small updates seem like the proper method for servicing Windows, but Microsoft is definitely pulled between the consumer and business groups that they serve.  Consumers want more features, and sooner, but business needs to test everything before rolling it out. They must walk this tightrope between the two groups, and it’s not clear that they have struck the right balance yet. With this update coming early in 2017, and an announcement of another event in New York City in early May, it does seem like there will be a second update later this year too.

Throughout it all, they have kept their successful Windows Insider program running, and they are now citing over 10 million people in the Insider Program. This feedback driven change has been very successful, even if certain features which have been highly requested still haven’t seen their introduction yet. The number of builds being released has ramped up significantly from when the program first started, and now it is not uncommon to see several builds released in a week. The overall quality of some of those builds has degraded though, so people running in the Fast Ring carry much more risk than before, but there are less risky rings to be in as well. Microsoft has also opened up the Insider Program to business as well, since they are going to need to stay on top of the changes.

Windows 10 is going to keep evolving for the foreseeable future, with regular updates being first tested with the Insider Preview program, and then rolled out to the general public. With almost two years of Windows 10 behind us, we can take a look at what’s improved, what needs work, and where Microsoft can go from here.

Universal Windows Platform, now down a leg
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  • MattMe - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    Are you by any chance running an install of 10 that was upgraded from an earlier version? Several test machines at work, and alll my home machines struggled after an upgrade, I hated it the first few weeks. The I did a fresh install on them and it fixed 99% of all issues I had on every device. Just a thought :)
  • fm13 - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    I tried upgrading from 8.1 Pro but gave up and just installed Win 10 on a formatted drive. So this is a "clean" install I'm talking about.
  • Instyle - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - link

    An issue I've ran into is that the update files that got downloaded were in some corrupted state. So instead of checking for updates, Windows Update would try to use them and fail. The solution I've found is to delete C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution. This is where update files get downloaded to (including new updates like the Creators Update, culmulative updates and security updates) before being applied. Normally you can't just rename/delete it as there is typically some update process running in it. You have to kill any process running in it by opening Task Manager > Performance > Open Resource Monitor > CPU > Associated Handles and enter the folder path into the Search box. It'll pull up a list of processes open in that folder, end each of them. Next go to the folder and either rename (if you're wary) or delete it. Then check for updates. Hope this helps!
  • lord_anselhelm - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    Don't know if this will help, but you might want to try the Windows Update Troubleshooter. I had a problem on my laptop where a couple of files had been corrupted and I was unable to update Windows. The troubleshooter fixed it. Also, consider using Windows Update MiniTool: it's so much nicer than the default updater.
  • faizoff - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    This update was surprisingly the smoothest update process for me. Too much stuff configured currently for me to do a clean install, the update itself went about without any consequence. No programs have been affected that I could see. The upgrade process has been getting better and better. Though there is still some issue with my wifi adapter when using the latest drivers provided by the mfg. wifi only works well with a particular version of the driver.

    I like the Edge enhancements, don't use game mode so don't care about it. paint 3D is fun and I'd never thought I'd actually prefer the previous iteration of the start menu with all apps tagged along with the pinned tiles. Really warming up to it now.

    One issue still prevails that's been there from the start, explorer.exe crashes randomly and restarts, still cannot for the life of me figure that one out.
  • blahsaysblah - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    The security center needs an update. I guess maybe in minority but my PC is on a UPS and i have its status connected via USB port. So i have two yellow warnings about LCD being set to max brightness and sleep being turned off, both impacting battery life.

    The problem is there is no way to turn off/confirm those alerts, so i always see a yellow triangle. So i just ignore it now as i have no way to know if there is a new and valid issue.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    The workaround for the LCD brightness notice is apparently to set the screen at 99%. (Seen elsewhere, not tested.)
  • benedict - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    The Creators Update broke the DateTime Picker on all legacy applications. Microsoft are aware of this problem since early March and still haven't done anything to fix this. I've told all my customers who were unfortunate enough to update to revert back to the old version and wait for Microsoft to fix their bugs.
  • JimmiG - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    Is game mode really activated by default? I've always had to open the game bar and check the "User game mode with this game" checkbox.
  • mr_tawan - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    I think it's enabled by default only in select title and UWP games.

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