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

    No luck with clean install? Reply
  • Schmide - Sunday, May 27, 2018 - link

    11 pages and a full article and no mention of the fact that they took away Workgroup?

    For shame
    Reply
  • ChristopherFortineux - Friday, June 8, 2018 - link

    What did you still need Workgroup for? The issue is it has become unnecessary for most things. Share for networks is already built into Windows 10. File storage is built into the OS with OneDrive. There are superior alternatives to sharing over network. Reply
  • haplo602 - Monday, May 28, 2018 - link

    Update itself went fine, however Tablet Mode stopped working after update. I have a convertible laptop (HP Envy x360). When I flip he device into tablet mode, screen rotation kicks in, keyboard and touchpad get disabled but no prompt to switch to tablet mode, when I set the option to not ask and switch, still nothing. I can only switch manually via action center. Reply
  • ಬುಲ್ವಿಂಕಲ್ ಜೆ ಮೂಸ್ - Monday, May 28, 2018 - link

    That's hilarious

    Sometimes I think they should replace "Saturday Night Live" with "Comedy Hour Updates"

    It would be very entertaining to see all the most obnoxious, dastardly, destructive and moronic "updates" Microsoft has to offer on a weekly basis
    Reply
  • Typo - Monday, May 28, 2018 - link

    only 1/3 of the computers in my house has gotten the update. Neither of my laptops seem to see it yet. Reply
  • ChristopherFortineux - Friday, June 8, 2018 - link

    Laptops usually get pushed back in the update scheme. Reply
  • pjcamp - Monday, May 28, 2018 - link

    I'd give all that up for the ability to put a live tile on the desktop. I use a third party app to keep Windows 7 gadgets running because a calendar reminder isn't very useful if I have to remind myself to open the start menu to see it. Reply
  • lmcd - Monday, May 28, 2018 - link

    This is a good look at the update for the consumer "Home" SKU, which many users are using. However, for me personally this is single-handedly the best update Windows 10 has had. This update adds two excellent features for developers.

    For Android Developers, this release launches the Windows Hypervisor platform, which allows for the Xamarin version of the Android Virtual Device Manager to run with Hyper-V enabled (or, more specifically, with Docker for Windows enabled).

    Yes, the Xamarin AVD version is still in Beta. No, your rebuttals cannot be heard over the sound of my rejoicing.

    For C++ Windows developers, this release adds C++/WinRT, which removes a lot of the constraints around consuming UWP APIs from C++ code, and adds support for UWP CLI tools.

    While I haven't explored exactly what the latter does yet, I believe (along with the current UWP API surface area improvements) that the ChakraCore-derived version of Node + NPM could be completely packaged as UWP apps for system-wide use.
    Reply
  • draknon - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - link

    Microsoft was nice enough to return the edge shortcut to my desktop. I guess they thought I may have accidently deleted it (it wasn't on accident). Also, they changed the audio options when you right click on the speaker icon in the task bar. I used to be able to go directly to the playback/recording devices from here. But now, the only option is to choose sounds and then click over to the playback tab afterwards. It's another step which gets annoying. Reply

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