We’re about three years into Windows 10, and we’ve seen a lot of changes to the OS, as well as the servicing model, in those three years. The move to no longer offering major OS updates every couple of years with a new name, and requirement for purchase, is very welcome, and has likely been the biggest success of the Windows 10 launch. Microsoft has also refined the servicing model to a more consistent pattern of two updates per year, and while that can either be a pro or a con depending on where you stand, they’ve met that over the last couple of updates. With the Windows 10 April Update, which is version 1803, we’ve got arguably the smallest update yet in terms of new features, but that’s not really a bad thing. Three years in, the OS is mature enough that it’s good to see the company dialing back on the major interface changes, and hopefully focusing more on consistency, and reliability.

There’s still a lot of new features for the April Update, but only a handful of what you’d consider major feature additions to Windows. There’s Timeline, Nearby Share, Focus Assist, and Progressive Web App support being the most noticeable user-facing features, but there’s also a lot of little changes under the hood as well, such as more use of their Fluent design language across the OS, a continued movement of replacing the Control Panel with the new Settings app, and improvements to visibility of privacy information, among others.

Windows 10 Version History
Version Version Number Release Date
Windows 10 Original Release 1507 July 29, 2015
November Update 1511 November 10, 2015
Anniversary Update 1607 August 2, 2016
Creators Update 1703 April 5, 2017
Fall Creators Update 1709 October 17, 2017
April Update 1803 April 30, 2018

It’s also worth discussing the state of Windows right now in the grand scheme of Microsoft. Terry Myerson, who has been the EVP of Windows and Devices for Microsoft for almost five years, and who has been the driving force behind the new Windows 10 model of constant servicing rather than large updates every couple of years, announced his departure from Microsoft in March of this year. Microsoft is in the middle of a transition from their legacy applications such as Windows and Office, to a cloud computing company based on services, and Windows is no longer going to be the driving factor there. As such, the former crown jewels of the company are being pushed to the outskirts. It’ll still be an important platform for Microsoft, but growth for the company is going to come from other places.

What this will mean for Windows 10 is likely going to be a reduction in resources allocated to its development, although that’s speculation at this time. It would not be surprising to see future updates scaled back in terms of frequency though. Considering the maturity of Windows 10 now, and the major foothold it has in the enterprise, a yearly update would likely make more sense anyway, so this might not be a bad thing.

We’ve also seen the latest April Update falling into some issues with delivery, thanks to some critical bugs found right before it was set to ship. This delayed the shipment of the new update until the very last day in April, which was only symbolically important because someone decided to call it the April Update. In reality, it wasn’t being pushed to anyone in April, but was available for people to manually get it. But as of this writing, the official rollout seems to be very slow to start, so perhaps there’s other issues holding up deployment, much like the incompatibility with the Intel 600p. That’s unfortunate, since the Fall Creators Update was pretty quick to rollout, but even with a massive beta test network in the Windows Insider Program, it proves again how difficult it is to do Windows as a Service on a regular schedule.

But, once it does start rolling out through Windows Update, there will be some new things to check out, so let’s take a look at some of them.

Timeline and Focus Assist: Get More Done
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  • ChristopherFortineux - Friday, June 8, 2018 - link

    Set it as a metered connection stops all upload of any information. Reply
  • sibuna - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    updated 7 or so comps to it over a week ago. no issues. only thing that happened is on a cpl comps it assigned a drive letter to the hidden system HDD partition which is fixed in about 3 seconds Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Capitals at the start of sentences can be your friend. Reply
  • deepblue08 - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Update was smooth on my Dell XPS 13 (2017) and smooth on my Custom Built 6700K/Z170x/Samsung950Pro machine Reply
  • wr3zzz - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    I will gladly forgo the new "features" in exchange of no unwanted bugs and getting planned obsolescence forced on me. I cannot believe even with the Pro version I cannot lock down my own OS. Reply
  • ಬುಲ್ವಿಂಕಲ್ ಜೆ ಮೂಸ್ - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Same here
    I'm still running Windows XP without ANY Microsoft security updates and am on the Internet almost every day with it

    It is completely Locked Down and immune to ransomware and other threats

    It hasn't had a Blue Screen of Death in over 10 years

    and there are no backdoors from Microsoft to worry about

    I LOVE IT!
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    I'm looking at Windows 10's group policy via the mmc right now? Why can't you lock it down? Reply
  • wr3zzz - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    There is no option to opt out of the semiannual updates. The max you can delay an update is 360 days with the Pro. I had to look it up after the FCU broke my Dolby audio and took me more than 30 days to realize it was the OS, by that time it's already past the 30 days rollback period. I reverted the HTPC back to 8.1 to avoid getting the forced obsolescence but what happens when that PC needs to be replaced and the only choice is Win10? Reply
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, May 27, 2018 - link

    Don't try to engage with TrollWinkle. He'll tell you how the aliens come probe you if you use Windows 10. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Given the amount of effort Microsoft is putting into making 10 Linux-friendly, I don't see why they wouldn't just fork Debian like everyone else or at least borrow the Linux kernel like Google did with Android. Reply

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