A Windows 10 Field Guide Update

Posted on June 12, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 16 Comments

The Windows 10 Field Guide is now being updated to support Windows 10 version 1803, and we are lowering the price of the book. As always, these new updates will be free for those who have already purchased the book.

That the book would be updated for this new Windows 10 version wasn’t always a certainty: Thanks to Microsoft’s torrid twice-a-year delivery schedule for Windows 10 feature updates, keeping the book up-to-date has proven to be an arduous and somewhat thankless task. And I have spoken to Rafael and Martin a few times about various options for moving forward.

For now, I’ve decided to stop stressing over this and move to what I call the “Rick Steves model.”

That is, every year, Rick Steves produces a new season of his European travel TV series. But he doesn’t record a new episode for every single place he travels to each season. Instead, each records a new show from each location once every three or four years. So if he covers, say, 24 places in Europe overall and produces new 8-episode seasons every year, his latest episode about Paris (or wherever) should never be more than 3 or 4 years old.

Change comes more quickly to technology than it does to European travel destinations, of course. So I don’t have the luxury of updating chapters every 3 or 4 years. Instead, I’m shooting for a system where no chapter is ever off by more than one Windows 10 version.

Today, the book is currently a mix of chapters that were updated for Windows 10 version 1703, 1709, and now 1803. Short term, I will work make it a mix of chapters that are updated for the two most recent versions, 1709 and 1803. And to finish that work before Windows 10 version 1809 ships to the public.

So I will be updating the 1703-based chapters and updating a handful of key chapters (like the one for Microsoft Edge, which I recently did update for 1803) where a lot has changed between versions. Then, I’ll move on to new content (like 3D/Mixed Reality and the new experiences in the Photos app) that I’ve intended to add for some time. I’ll update most of the 1709 chapters last since they are reasonably up-to-date, and because some of the app-based content will keep changing anyway.

The question, then, has changed to what we should do about Windows 10 version 1809. That is, will the Windows 10 Field Guide be updated for this version of Windows too?

Based on what I saw at Build 2018 and learned about Microsoft’s commitment to Windows 10 from its recent reorganization, I’ve decided that I will keep updating the book at least through the end of 2018 and to include version 1809. And that existing readers will get that content for free too.

Additionally, the three authors have collectively decided to lower the minimum price of the book to just $9.99. And that this new price will now include Martin’s wonderful posters. (We will no longer sell a second version with the posters as before; instead, everyone who buys the book at this new price going forward will get the posters too.)

If you are a Windows 10 Field Guide reader, thank you. If not, I hope the new lower pricing will change your mind.

You can purchase the Windows 10 Field Guide from LeanPub. Thanks for your support! –Paul


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