ALTHOUGH MICROSOFT hasn't specifically said so yet, it's a pretty open secret that the latest stable update to Windows 10 (version 1803, fact fans) is being released at some point today.
The Spring Creators Update continues the company's commitment to releasing a bi-annual version of Windows 10 which adds new features under the guise of "Windows-as-a-Service". In the old days, it'd probably have been called Service Pack 4.
It will include some distinct new visuals thanks to the Fluent design (Microsoft's version of Google's Material design language) which should start to appear in this edition. We've seen evidence of it in demo versions of Groove already.
Members of the Windows Insider Program have been beta testing 1803 for a week or so, and so we pretty much know what we're getting. Highlights include the fact that it will install much faster because it will start installing before it reboots, so less time waiting for the spinning icon.
Timeline, a feature we'd expected in the previous (Fall) update is finally here. It will give you a complete history of everything you've been up to, and allow you to pick it up from where you left off on another machine, even a tablet or (whispers) a phone.
If you are an educational user, a millennial or an idiot you can switch to S-Mode for the first time - a clamped down version of Windows that only allows Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps from the Microsoft Store. Yaaaawn.
The big concern is that we've had several indicators that Microsoft plans to wrestle away more control, particularly for users of the built-in mail client. We've had reports of adverts for Office 365, and that all links open in Edge even if you don't usually use it. Whether either of these little payloads makes it into the final version remains to be seen.
There's also talk that you will no longer be able to turn searching via Cortana off. And guess what she always uses? That's right, Edge and Bing, of course. That's been the case for a while, but no one really complained because no one was using Cortana.
As ever, the Spring Creators Update will roll out gradually. It could be weeks before you get it via the Windows Update. There are ways to cheat the system - right now you can join the Insiders, update, then leave again. In coming days you'll be able to download an image to a DVD or flash drive.
But generally, although don't tell them we said this, Microsoft rolls these updates out the way it does for a reason. Previously we've had all kinds of problems with people skipping ahead and discovering problems with the drivers for their system which haven't been worked out yet.
We'd never say not to, but we would say beware - if in doubt, wait for notification that the update is ready. µ
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