Windows 10 Creators Update is Now “Fully Available,” Microsoft Says

Posted on July 27, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 32 Comments

Windows 10 Creators Update is Now "Fully Available," Microsoft Says

Microsoft’s new Windows servicing model explained.

Microsoft announced today that the Creators Update—that is, Windows 10 version 1703—is now “fully available.” And it is announcing yet another new Windows servicing model too!

“Microsoft uses a phased rollout of Windows 10 for consumer customers, and that is consistent with the guidance and recommendations Microsoft gives its commercial customers,” a Microsoft spokesperson told me. “With that, the Windows 10 Creators Update is now fully available for broad deployment both for consumer devices and by organizations, and Microsoft encourages all organizations to begin broad deployments if they haven’t already.”

As Microsoft’s John Cable explains, this means that the Windows 10 Creators Update is no longer being “targeted” to just specific PC configurations. Instead, it is now “fully available” for all compatible Windows Windows 10 PCs globally via Windows Update.

“We are excited to make the Creators Update fully available to all our customers,” Mr. Cable says. “We encourage commercial organizations to begin broadly deploying Windows 10, version 1703, if you haven’t already done so. Staying up to date on both the latest feature and quality updates assures you of being on the most secure version of Windows 10 ever (version 1703).”

Additionally, Microsoft made a few other related announcements.

As a reminder, Windows 10 version 1511—the second version of Windows 10, also called the November Update—-will be retired on October 10, 2017. Until that date, this version of Windows 10 will receive security and quality updates. After October 10, however, Microsoft will issue no further updates to Windows 10 version. 1511. “Customers are encouraged to move forward to a later Windows 10 release before that date,” a Microsoft representative noted to me.

For commercial customers, Microsoft also announced a Windows servicing change that it describes as a simplification. In keeping with its previous announcement about moving Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus to twice-per-year feature update releases targeting March and September, Microsoft is changing the terminology it uses around the servicing model.

More specifically, it is killing the old Current Branch (CB) and Current Branch for Business (CBB) and replacing them with something called the Semi-Annual Channel. (This is the servicing model that consumer Windows 10 is on too, of course.) These “feature releases”—e.g. these “versions of Windows 10”—will be supported for 18 months.

Microsoft is also replacing the Long-Term Servicing Branch with the Long-Term Servicing Channel, I assume for consistency’s sake. As with LTSB, these releases will be serviced for 10 years, and you can expect to see a new version every 2-3 years. Just like the old days. Humorously, Microsoft says that LTSC is “designed for special-purpose PCs such as those used in point-of-sale systems or controlling factory or medical equipment.” In my opinion, this is how Windows 10 should be serviced, period.

Good luck, everyone. And expect further changes down the road as this plan explodes in Microsoft’s face too.


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Comments (33)

33 responses to “Windows 10 Creators Update is Now “Fully Available,” Microsoft Says”

  1. Demileto

    "Microsoft’s new Windows servicing model explained." LMAO!

  2. longhorn

    Oh, this picture is so telling. Microsoft thinks Windows 10 is unsinkable...

    Quote: "As with LTSB, these releases will be serviced for 10 years, and you can expect to see a new version every 2-3 years. Just like the old days."

    Not like the old days because you cannot buy the only "sane" version of Windows 10...

    Quote: "In my opinion, this is how Windows 10 should be serviced, period."

    I fully agree with that. In fact the whole world except Microsoft agree with that. Microsoft, this game is getting tiring...

  3. vishwajith M R

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  4. offTheRecord

    Apparently "fully available" means "you *will* now upgrade to 1703." We've got all our Win 10 Pro PCs (the few we have left) set to defer upgrades, but 1703 is now being pushed down. Looks like we can't avoid it any longer.

  5. Tony Barrett

    As MS want enterprises to adopt the CBB and not the LTSB, a support period of 18 months is going to be a complete nightmare for many IT departments. Larger departments with thousands of PC's will take that long to do one major upgrade. It'll be like painting a bridge - by the time you finish, you've got to go back to the beginning and start again. A stroke of genius Microsoft - sinking ship indeed!

  6. NotThatSRoss

    I find it interesting that the Creators Update is now "fully available" because my 7+ year old Gateway desktop received ver 1703 nearly two months ago as part of the 'phased rollout' (with no special request on my part), but my SP3 still has not received ver 1703 as of today!

  7. John Scott

    I thought most devices with Windows were compatible? Love the sinking ship picture by the way. Kind of what I think of Windows too these days. But were all going down together I guess from Microsoft's perspective.

    Also love how Microsoft keeps renaming stuff, my god fire some people who have just too much time on their hands. Do we have to keep coming up with new titles for stuff Microsoft? Yes, we should all move forward but maybe that should be beyond Windows?

  8. adamjarvis

    How is targeted is actually different from ...

    “fully available” for all compatible Windows 10 PCs globally.

    It's sounds like a weasel wording rehash to me, in the sense targeted only targeted all compatible Windows 10 PCs, before this statement.

    i.e. It is still targeted, in the sense, it only will show for compatible Windows 10 PCs.

    Compatible Windows 10 PCs sounds like a new rehash of Microsoft's life of the device (whatever that meant).

    Microsoft is better than Apple though, because at least you can still force an upgrade via the 1703 ISO if its not showing via Windows update.

    Apple physically block updates even though minor hw changes (like a new PCIe network card in a 2008/2009 24'' iMac (as an example), mean Vintage iMacs (which there is no decent 24'' 1900x1200 substitute from Apple) will run macos Sierra fine, it's just Apple won't let you, without modifying it's model ID.

  9. rameshthanikodi

    I don't think the situation is that bad. I'm sure servicing Windows has always been a complex thing, but now we have to account for two major Windows releases per year. On Microsoft's part, they need to iron out compat issues for everyone. Admins do their job, and the upgrades just happen vast majority on the consumer side. Another day passes.

    • Win74ever

      In reply to FalseAgent:

      It is bad. We need only 2 versions of Windows: standard and enterprise. The standard having Home and Pro features.

      • CompUser

        In reply to Win74ever: I think there needs to be three versions; Standard, Business, and Enterprise. Standard for homes and small businesses that don't use domains; Business (replaces Professional) for small businesses that do have domains but aren't large enough or don't want/need Enterprise's licensing options; and Enterprise for large businesses that do want/need Enterprise's licensing options.

  10. jean

    Names are.... well just names.

    The concept of CB/CBB from a business IT point of view was:

    a) deferred upgrade based on experiences made and monitored through telemetry data - with an anticipated 4 month period to fix any major bugs throught quality updates- this means (on a OS binary level) CB & a number of (monthly) QUs rolled-up == CBB at roughly CB release date + 4 months

    b) an official statement from Microsoft based on the telemetry data: "we declare Windows 10 YYMM is enterprise ready" - well that doesn't help much if/when your specific workload ain't ready AND bites off 22% of the period under which you could be using that given build given the platform would already be stable to go - upgrade analytics anyone ?

    c) CBB's ability to skip one release until CBB+2 was declared (plus a 2 months grace period)

    with the 18 month support window for any given semi annual release: not much of a change either

    so move on, nothing here to see

    • jean

      In reply to jean:
      what is unclear - but very likely : that also means that the "pure" CB concept for non-business users goes away as well - therefore allowing home-users to move to an up to 18 months release schedule - or does it ?

      • jean

        In reply to jean:
        or maybe not :-(
        The new Semi-Annual Channel update cadence and life cycle model provides commercial customers with greater predictability and simplicity to take advantage of the latest capabilities and integrated security, as quickly as is practical for their organization.

  11. colin79666

    If only it was supported for 18 months. For business the CBB/SAC is around 12 months - far too short. By the time you actually get a stable deployment (which can't finish until Microsoft go CBB with the associated MDT/SCCM tooling) you can be left with only 6 months of life left in a release!

    This madness has to stop. Why can't Microsoft do one release a year which gives more time to actually accrue features and stability and then support that for 2-3 years? Apple manage this and they lost interest in enterprise years ago.

  12. Seth Morabito

    Love the accompanying photo.

  13. david.thunderbird

    Is that the titanic? is the entire redmond crew on board, or just marketing?

    • longhorn

      In reply to david.thunderbird:

      No, just Gates, Nadella and upper management on board because they think Windows is unsinkable. The rest know better and are needed to reset the project after it has hit rock bottom. The Longhorn moment (the reset) is getting closer and closer... Right now Windows is only losing time. Windows 10 adoption has pretty much flat-lined. This stage of the life-cycle Windows 7 was selling like hotcakes.

  14. Waethorn

    Is this just a push to get people to use managed Azure-hosted Windows VM's?

  15. dfeifer

    Been almost tempted to throw half my users computers in to LTSB just to get away from the twinui bug that seems to appear on them after every update. too many support calls for "I can't open pictures, voicemail, email" etc.

  16. hrlngrv

    Pardon my skepticism, but 'it is now “fully available” for all compatible Windows Windows 10 PCs' leads me to ask which PCs and PC-like devices would be incompatible?

    But great news that MSFT is killing CB and CBB and sticking those business customers with the consumer upgrade cycle. Full employment for US IT and compliance staff!

  17. tomas_cw

    "Gentlemen, it has been a privilege playing with you tonight."

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