Windows 10's next major feature update finally has an official name and a firm release date.
Microsoft was reportedly poised to begin distributing the update on April 10, until it discovered a "blocking bug," an issue severe enough that it halted the system software's release. Prior to this, observant users spotted references to "Spring Creators Update" in test builds of the operating system, suggesting that Microsoft had settled on that branding.
On April 27, a more official picture has emerged on exactly when the update will arrive and what it will be called.
Users will be able to begin downloading the update on Monday, April 30, stated Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft. The executive also revealed that his company is off the "creators" kick.
"Since its initial launch, we delivered two updates with features designed to enable the creator in each of us. With our latest major release—the Windows 10 April 2018 Update—we want to give you back some of your greatest currency, your time," Mehdi said. "Our hope is that you'll have more time to do what matters most to you—create, play, work or simply do what you love."
Reflecting that sentiment, Windows 10 April 2018 Update includes some new features intended to help users make the most of the hours they spend toiling away on the Windows desktop.
The new Timeline view allows users to reach back in time to find content or resume work they initiated in the past 30 days. Timeline also works with the Microsoft Edge and Office 365 mobile apps for iOS or Android, allowing on-the-go users to pick up where they left off when they return to their PCs.
Focus Assist, formerly Quiet Hours, can be set to automatically mute social media notifications and other distractions during hours that are better spent focused on a project or meeting deadlines. In addition, the mode is automatically triggered when Windows' screen-mirroring function is active to avoid interruptions during meetings and presentations. Users can configure the mode to make exceptions for bosses and other selected contacts.
Impact on Microsoft 365
Windows 10 April 2018 Update will also have an impact on businesses that use Microsoft 365 to manage their Windows environments.
Replacing Secure Productive Enterprise, Microsoft 365 bundles Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. And the arrival of the latest Windows 10 update will have ripple effects across the product suite.
For example, Windows 10 April 2018 Update will make it possible for administrators to monitor the effectiveness of the new Delivery Optimization enhancements in the operating system using the Windows Analytics dashboard. Delivery Optimization helps businesses reduce the network bandwidth consumed during the software update process by downloading updates with one device and distributing them over a local network.
Another new feature is the Windows S mode in Windows 10 Enterprise that enables enterprises to deploy secure configurations of the operating system for first line workers or kiosks. Windows Autopilot, a set of rapid deployment and self-service configuration tools, will now display an enrollment status page on the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, indicating whether the proper policies, apps and settings were provisioned before new devices are issued to employees.