Today's the day that Microsoft begins the worldwide rollout of the Windows 10 Creators Update. However, as with most noncritical software updates, the software giant is releasing the update in stages, meaning users may have to wait up to several weeks for it to appear in Windows Update.
There is a shortcut: Microsoft's Update Assistant tool.
Update Assistant enables users to kick off the update process without waiting for Microsoft's servers to issue the necessary software components. It requires a bit more manual intervention than the Windows Update feature that's built into Windows, but aside from downloading and running the tool, it's a fairly automated experience overall.
Before attempting to use Update Assistant, Microsoft cautions that the tool does not support Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows Server 2016. More information, along with a download link, is available in this online support document.
IT professionals wishing to test Windows 10 Creators Update before they deploy it to their PC fleets can try the evaluation versions instead. For administrators and business users, the update contains several under-the-hood enhancements that ease management and improve security.
The new Configuration Designer tool, formerly the Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer tool, uses wizards to streamline bulk configurations. On the security front, the operating system is more resistant to ransomware, stealthy attacks and emerging threats for corporate customers that use Microsoft's AI-infused Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) service. The software giant has collected the operating system's security settings into a single dashboard called the Windows Defender Security Center, enabling home users to quickly find and configure the firewall, antivirus and other protections.
Putting the "creator" in Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft has also included a number of content-creation extras. "Features include a new app, Paint 3D, that allows you to create or modify 3D objects, or turn 2D images into 3D works of art; built-in game broadcasting using Beam; and enhanced security features, such as a new Microsoft privacy dashboard," stated a Microsoft spokesperson in an April 11 announcement.
Meanwhile, the company this week had news for creative professionals who snapped up the Surface Dial in anticipation of increased software support and the Windows 10 Creators Update. When placed on the display of a Surface Studio PC or select Surface Pro tablets, the pucklike peripheral can be used to zoom into a canvas or provide fast access to software tools, brushes, color pickers and other on-screen items that appear to sprout out from the device.
Rui Li, Surface product marketing manager at Microsoft, announced "that partner applications like CorelDRAW, Autodesk's SketchBook, Silicon Bender's Sketchable, and Algoriddim's djay Pro are adding unique capabilities to their software that enable Surface Dial offering customers a new spin on creativity," in an April 10 blog post.
The Surface Dial also received a big vote of confidence from Adobe, a leading provider of image and video editing software. The company has cooked up a technology demo of its Adobe Premiere Pro CC being controlled with Surface Dial.