Numbered versions of Windows ended when we skipped Windows 9 entirely to enter Windows 10 era. Now, rather than a new numbered version every few years, we get periodic updates. The first of these was last year’s Anniversary Update and now we’re only days away from the Creators Update, which releases on April 11th.
As this name implies, this update bring some interesting creative features, but it also has some more conventional updates. Let’s take a look at the most interesting ones.
Windows Update Improvements
Forced upgrades were the biggest frustration for many users when Windows 10 launched. Since then Microsoft has become less insistent when it comes to ramming upgrades down our throat and that trend continues in the Creators Update. However, both of these features will only apply after you have installed this update.
Windows 10 Professional, Education, and Enterprise users will be able to defer new updates for up to 35 days, as well as decide whether they want to include driver updates in the downloads. It also allows you to set Active Hours – defined hours where Windows won’t install updates – as 18 hours blocks rather than 12.
This update also includes the Universal Update Platform, which involves some background changes to reduce processing power required for updates, shrink update files and streamline updates.
Windows Defender Upgrades
Windows Defender – Microsoft’s surprisingly robust default antivirus software – gets some new scanning options and reports on PC performance and health. It also adds a link to Refresh your PC, which is an option added in Windows 8 that wipes out most of your apps but keeps your personal files and settings intact.
The new Paint3D doesn’t replace classic Paint, but it does make creating 3D images as easy as doodling in Paint. Paint 3D’s loaded with tools and filters that make 3D image manipulation easy-peasy, and it can even help you convert 2D images into 3D objects. It might not see a lot of use in your office, but your kids are going to love it.
Privacy concerns were another thorn in the side of Windows 10 when it launched. You always had the option to limit the information being sent back to Microsoft, but it wasn’t the simplest process. With the Creators Update, Microsoft is rolling out the new privacy dashboard.
You can see a deep dive here but, in broad strokes, this make it easier to understand and manage your privacy settings. However, it limits your options to allowing Microsoft minimal or “full” access to your PC, eliminating intermediate options that were there prior.
Additionally, the Creators update includes new VR features, a big boost to gamers with dedicated gaming settings and the ability to stream games and a host of small quality-of-life upgrades. All-in-all, it’s not as exciting as a switch from Windows 95 to Windows 98, but that’s what Microsoft is aiming for.