Two weeks after it began making the Windows 10 Creators Update available to the public, Microsoft says that it is now deployed to “millions” of PCs.
As you may know, I believe that Microsoft has purposefully given conservative estimates for the amount of time it will take to rollout the Creators Update, which upgrades Windows 10 to version 1703. This is understandable: The previous Windows 10 feature update, called the Anniversary Update, took several months longer to rollout than originally expected. And Microsoft suffered through a lot of criticism for not testing that upgrade more thoroughly.
This time around, the firm has taken a number of steps to ensure that an Anniversary Update-like fiasco never happens again. And part of this new strategy is being more transparent with its customers: It has pledged to provide more updates about what it is doing, and what is happening. So this two-week check-in should be seen in that light. And while it’s light on the details, it’s still very much appreciated.
Here’s what the firm is saying about the Creators Update rollout.
The first phase of the rollout targets newer PCs. Not new information, but the first phase of the Creators Update rollout targets newer PCs. “Based on testing work done with our partners, we believe these devices will have the best possible update experience and help us decide when it’s time to begin the next phase of the rollout,” Microsoft’s John Cable explains.
“Millions” of customers are already using the Creators Update. Cable notes that “millions of customers [are] now running the Creators Update.”
Feedback will drive subsequent rollout phases. Microsoft collects upgrade success feedback from a number of channels—telemetry, which is automatic, but also explicit feedback via the Feedback Hub in Windows 10 and its various support systems—to help it find issues and identify “known good” PC configurations that can successfully perform the upgrade. “While it is fantastic to see all the positive feedback on the new features and update experience in the Creators Update, we actually focus more on the issues users are reporting so we can improve the overall experience over time,” Mr. Cable claims.
PCs with certain configurations are blocked from receiving the Creators Update. This is obvious, but the matrix of blocked configurations changes all the time based on feedback. So if enough customers have bad experiences with a certain driver, for example, Microsoft will block those configurations until it has a fix. “We decide what to block based on user impact, and blocking issues are a high priority for us to address as quickly as possible,” Cable writes. “During the time it takes to address an issue, we want to limit the number of customers exposed to that issue.”
If you manually install the Creators Update, you will bypass Microsoft’s blocks. Also obvious, but if you know what you are doing and/or don’t care about Microsoft’s overly-conservative approach, you can always install the Creators Update and upgrade to version 1703 by using the Media Creation Tool. Microsoft naturally advises customers against doing this.
So, not a lot of meat there. But interesting and well-intentioned, and, again, appreciated.