Windows 10 Creators Update is finally available to all users worldwide, Microsoft announced on July 27.
The software giant officially released Windows 10 Creators Update (version 1703) in April 11. But the company's strategy of rolling out major operating system updates using a staggered approach meant that many users had to wait weeks, if not months, before it arrived on their machines.
If it arrived at all.
Last week, Microsoft confirmed that it had stopped supporting PCs powered by Atom Clover Trail processors from Intel, citing Intel's own decision to retire the chips. For those who are hanging onto their Windows 8-era devices, last year's Windows 10 Anniversary Update is the end of the line.
"This is the case with devices utilizing Intel 'Clover Trail' Atom Processors today: they require additional hardware support to provide the best possible experience when updating to the latest Windows 10 feature update, the Windows 10 Creators Update," a Microsoft spokesperson stated, explaining Microsoft's rationale. "However, these systems are no longer supported by Intel (End of Interactive Support), and without the necessary driver support, they may be incapable of moving to the Windows 10 Creators Update without a potential performance impact."
For practically everyone else, Windows 10 Creators Update now awaits, said John Cable, director of program management at Microsoft's Windows Servicing and Delivery group. "We're now moving from a targeted offering to full availability for all compatible devices running Windows 10 globally via Windows Update," stated Cable in a blog post. (Impatient and do-it-yourself types can kick off the process manually using Microsoft's Update Assistant tool.)
IT managers can also take this as a sign that the operating system is ready for business. "Similarly, our commercial customers should feel confident to deploy this release broadly across their organizations," Cable added.
Deploying software updates, particularly those concerning widely used operating systems, can be a major undertaking for IT departments. Recognizing that many corporate Windows customers also run the company's Office productivity and business software offerings, Microsoft has aligned the feature release cadence of both, said Cable. Now, major non-security Windows and Office updates arrive on a, predictable semi-annual basis that allows organizations to more efficiently plan and consolidate their Windows and Office deployment and servicing tasks.
Getting in an IT administrator's good graces in one way to make inroads in the business world.
A recent survey from IT management specialist and professional online community Spiceworks revealed that two years after its release, Windows 10 is gaining ground in the enterprise. Sixty percent of organizations are running at least one instance of the operating system, outpacing Windows Vista, Windows 8 and Windows XP in terms of adoption rate.
While it's a notable feat, Windows 10 has a lot of catching up to do before it unseats the current champ, Windows 7. Released in October 2009, Windows 7 runs on 68 percent of all business PC desktops and laptops, compared to 13 percent for Windows 10, and has a penetration rate of 84 percent.