Microsoft Readying Windows 10 'Spring Creators' Update Release

Several signs are pointing to the imminent release of the next major Windows 10 feature update.

Windows 10 Polaris Desktop

Microsoft is getting ready to release the next feature major update to Windows 10, code-named Redstone 4 (RS4). It's a fairly substantial update, offering enterprise users advanced setup capabilities and allowing developers to natively evaluate machine-learning models on a local Windows PC.

In an April 5 update on the status of Windows 10 preview build 17133, Microsoft revealed that the system software had been moved to the Release Preview ring of the Windows Insider early-access program, an indication that the company is gearing up for a public launch.

The test build was as originally released on March 27 to the Fast ring of insider evaluators, containing a smattering a bug fixes, but no new features. It also dispenses with the watermark that appears in test builds, another sign of an imminent release.

Build 17133 is being distributed in stages will be fully available to all Insiders in the Release Preview ring on April 9. Users who don't want to wait can manually trigger the installation in the Update and Security section of the operating system's settings options.

Although, Microsoft has yet to announce an official release date for the feature update, there are more clues that it will arrive soon.

Build 17133 appears as a "Feature update for Windows 10, version 1803" for Insiders who perform a manual check for the update. The version number denotes a targeted release date, March 2018, according to the company's new semi-annual update schedule.

There are also strong hints pointing to what Microsoft intends to officially name the update.

On March 8, a Twitter user posted the output of a PowerShell command showing Windows 10 version 1803 listed logically enough as the "Spring Creators Update," which follows a naming convention the company started in April 2017 with the original Creators Update and continued with the October 2017 release of the Fall Creators Update. This followed sightings of the name by other observant users.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is already looking ahead to this coming fall's update, or Redstone 5.

On April 4, Windows Insiders who downloaded a Skip Ahead preview release got a taste of some upcoming improvements to the operating system's multitasking capabilities. Windows 10 test build 17639 improves on Sets, a feature that helps users create more focused workflows by collecting multiple websites, content and application experiences into one application window using browser-like tabs.

This latest build allows users to drag and drop application tabs between Sets and use the Alt+Tab keyboard shortcut to switch between tabs. Right clicking on a tab now sprouts new contextual options, including closing all the tabs that are open to the right of a selected tab or creating an entirely new window based on a given tab. Sets also gets its own area in the Multitasking section of the Windows settings panel.

Microsoft's fondness for tabs is spreading to File Explorer. Rather than litter the desktop with new File Explorer windows, users can now group them in a tabbed interface using the redesigned file menu or using the Ctrl+T shortcut.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...