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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  • evilspoons - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    Well, there was an extremely primitive registry in Windows for Workgroups 3.11 (not Windows 3.1), so it's more like 23-24 years :|
  • lmcd - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    While Windows 10 Mobile looks dead-ish, I wouldn't say for the reasons you guys have selected. The list of phones there consolidates the list of different cores Microsoft is supporting down to A7 (why this made the cut I don't know), A53, and Kryo. The former will probably be dropped soon, and Microsoft will go to exclusively ARMv8 powered devices. I wouldn't be surprised if support for ARMv8 devices lasts far longer than projected here. Microsoft is still investing hard in new ARM-based platforms, and devices within the same scope as those platforms will likely keep evolving.
  • danjw - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    Type: "Hopefully we will here some more news on this front soon." The "here" should be "hear".
  • versesuvius - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    In a nutshell Win 10 is one big mess. Just about everything Microsoft is doing is fixing a problem or iterating on a solution to an unknown problem. The cost and time that needs to be put into installing and running and keeping a watch on what is happening to the computer that is running Win 10 is too prohibitive.
  • Mr Perfect - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    The thing that bugs me in Creator's Update is the removal of the links to "Control Panel" and "Programs and Features" when you right click the start button. They've replaced them with links to the modern "Settings" and "Apps and Features", respectively. There are still to many settings that can't be adjusted in the modern apps, they're not ready to replace the legacy versions yet.

    On the other hand, they replaced "Command prompt" with "Power Shell" and Power Shell is absolutely ready to take over.
  • Samus - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    What I find interesting are the browser power consumption benchmarks.

    I don't agree with Microsoft.

    Edge is undoubtedly more power efficient on my laptop for light browsing sessions, but Netflix is more efficient in Chrome. Also, for light browsing, I'd say Chrome is the least efficient. It's like a Honda Civic, no matter how hard you beat on it, it gets the same fuel economy; Chrome consistently uses about the same amount of power. It is occasionally bested by Firefox and almost always bested by Edge, except in Netflix where Edge seems to use more power.

    These are my observations over the years I've been running Windows 10, and honestly the anniversary update didn't improve the Netflix performance for Chrome. My laptop is a Haswell Elitebook 810 G2.
  • Allan_Hundeboll - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    Like a Civic you say? I have Civic and it will do 15 km/l when I drive with a light foot. If I drive like I stole it it will only do about 10 km/l...
  • Zeratul56 - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    Why don't you use the Netflix app? It is pretty nice actually. I don't have my tablet in front of me but I am sure the memory footprint for the app is at least half compare to running in the browser.

    I am sure running Netflix in chrome has some hardware excelleration not found in other browsers. It would behoove Netflix to do that given the large user base of chrome.

    I don't get why people don't jump on the app bandwagon in windows. I use the slack app over the browser as it uses much less resources. That seems to microsofts problem, they can't get people to break their old ways.
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    I have yet to download, install, or otherwise use a single UWP app. Everything is still basically win32.
  • mikato - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - link

    So there is no update or successor to Windows Movie Maker in this Creators Update?

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