With the release last night of Windows 10 Insiders Preview build 15042, the development of the Creators Update nears completion.
We’ve been discussing the schedule of this third major update to Windows 10 since before Microsoft even announced it formally, in October 2016. But more recently we’ve seen a more specific schedule emerge. And this week’s steps toward completion seem to confirm what we had previously discovered.
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The specifics: As I first noted yesterday on Twitter, this latest Insider Preview build is the first to not include a desktop watermark indicating the build number and other related information. As notable, this build does not expire, as did previous Insider builds.
In an odd touch, this build also reverted to the 1607 versioning that Microsoft used for the Anniversary Update. Previous Insider builds displayed version 1703, which will ultimately be the version number for the Creators Update. That change I cannot explain, but as a Microsoft representative told me Friday, testing continues. And the other changes are of course exactly the types of things that Microsoft has done previously with big Windows 10 releases in the past.
(Note too that “nears completion” is not the same as “is complete.” There will almost certainly be one or more Insider builds before Microsoft actually finishes this release.)
Speaking of which, this winding down of Creators Update development—including the absence of major new features in recent builds followed by the slowing down of build releases—likewise matches previous Windows 10 updates.
As you may recall, the original word on the Creators Update schedule—which was codenamed Redstone 2—dates back to late Summer 2016. At that time, we discovered that Microsoft planned to ship this update in the “Spring 2017.” That’s a rough time frame which one could argue spans the literal Spring, or from late March through late June. But we likewise found out that it would ship earlier in that period, not later. I had my eyes on the actual beginning of Spring, or about March 20.
Eventually, however, things got a bit more precise. And our sources have told us that the Windows 10 Creators Update would in fact ship publicly in early April after being finalized in March. Looking at the calendar, it appears that Microsoft will be able to deliver the update, upgrading Windows 10 to build 1703, on that schedule.
This is a big update, no doubt about it: Just look at all the changes I’ve documented in Windows 10 Creators Update Preview if that’s not clear. But I’m most taken by how many new features have been added so late in the schedule. This seems to refute the very openness of Windows 10 development, and for all the testing, bug bashes, and feedback, I’m curious whether some big new features have even been tested well enough. (Yes, I’m looking at you, Dynamic Lock.) And other purported new features that were mentioned early on, like Groove Music Maker, are still nowhere to be found. Credit Microsoft for at least keeping it interesting.
Looking ahead, I’ll continue to document new Windows 10 features here on Thurrott.com and to slipstream that new stuff into the Windows 10 Field Guide as well. It’s going to be a busy Spring. But then it’s going to be a busy year, too: The next major Windows 10 update, currently codenamed Redstone 3 and awaiting Microsoft’s next silly product name, is expected to appear by November.