We’re about three years into Windows 10, and we’ve seen a lot of changes to the OS, as well as the servicing model, in those three years. The move to no longer offering major OS updates every couple of years with a new name, and requirement for purchase, is very welcome, and has likely been the biggest success of the Windows 10 launch. Microsoft has also refined the servicing model to a more consistent pattern of two updates per year, and while that can either be a pro or a con depending on where you stand, they’ve met that over the last couple of updates. With the Windows 10 April Update, which is version 1803, we’ve got arguably the smallest update yet in terms of new features, but that’s not really a bad thing. Three years in, the OS is mature enough that it’s good to see the company dialing back on the major interface changes, and hopefully focusing more on consistency, and reliability.

There’s still a lot of new features for the April Update, but only a handful of what you’d consider major feature additions to Windows. There’s Timeline, Nearby Share, Focus Assist, and Progressive Web App support being the most noticeable user-facing features, but there’s also a lot of little changes under the hood as well, such as more use of their Fluent design language across the OS, a continued movement of replacing the Control Panel with the new Settings app, and improvements to visibility of privacy information, among others.

Windows 10 Version History
Version Version Number Release Date
Windows 10 Original Release 1507 July 29, 2015
November Update 1511 November 10, 2015
Anniversary Update 1607 August 2, 2016
Creators Update 1703 April 5, 2017
Fall Creators Update 1709 October 17, 2017
April Update 1803 April 30, 2018

It’s also worth discussing the state of Windows right now in the grand scheme of Microsoft. Terry Myerson, who has been the EVP of Windows and Devices for Microsoft for almost five years, and who has been the driving force behind the new Windows 10 model of constant servicing rather than large updates every couple of years, announced his departure from Microsoft in March of this year. Microsoft is in the middle of a transition from their legacy applications such as Windows and Office, to a cloud computing company based on services, and Windows is no longer going to be the driving factor there. As such, the former crown jewels of the company are being pushed to the outskirts. It’ll still be an important platform for Microsoft, but growth for the company is going to come from other places.

What this will mean for Windows 10 is likely going to be a reduction in resources allocated to its development, although that’s speculation at this time. It would not be surprising to see future updates scaled back in terms of frequency though. Considering the maturity of Windows 10 now, and the major foothold it has in the enterprise, a yearly update would likely make more sense anyway, so this might not be a bad thing.

We’ve also seen the latest April Update falling into some issues with delivery, thanks to some critical bugs found right before it was set to ship. This delayed the shipment of the new update until the very last day in April, which was only symbolically important because someone decided to call it the April Update. In reality, it wasn’t being pushed to anyone in April, but was available for people to manually get it. But as of this writing, the official rollout seems to be very slow to start, so perhaps there’s other issues holding up deployment, much like the incompatibility with the Intel 600p. That’s unfortunate, since the Fall Creators Update was pretty quick to rollout, but even with a massive beta test network in the Windows Insider Program, it proves again how difficult it is to do Windows as a Service on a regular schedule.

But, once it does start rolling out through Windows Update, there will be some new things to check out, so let’s take a look at some of them.

Timeline and Focus Assist: Get More Done
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  • Lolimaster - Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - link

    Why have win10 installed in the 1st place, Win8.1 update 3 is rock solid with none of the bloatware and update when you want if you want to do it.
  • SirPerro - Monday, May 28, 2018 - link

    From a consumer standpoint, it's peanuts and an isolated case.

    But this is the kind of issues that make the enterprise admins say "fuck it, I'm not updating this shit"
  • kuttan - Sunday, May 27, 2018 - link

    Not just him I am another casualty of April 2018 update and was forced to revert to v1709. Only gamers who don't face much issues with April 2018 update because they don't use or have any idea outside gaming application or usage.
  • lmcd - Monday, May 28, 2018 - link

    I mean the system he described there is pretty normal except for the RAID config. If that's hardware RAID the system shouldn't even know, right? I assume it's hybrid RAID which would explain the problems, but still: I wouldn't expect a system composed of standard parts released in the last 2-3 years to run into issues.
  • jordanclock - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    What kind of SSDs are you using?
  • BurntMyBacon - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - link

    There are known issues with some Intel and Toshiba SSDs, but in this case, the RAID-0 may be the culprit. It is an extra driver that has to be accounted for and RAID-0 for boot drives have historically had weaker support (require extra steps and don't always work) than single drive setups across many versions of Windows. I also have an i7-6700K, 64GB RAM, and NVMe (Samsung 950PRO) boot drive setup. Update worked out fine for me, but I don't have RAID-0.
  • Ophion - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Similar problems happened to two people I know, severe performance drops that made the system unresponsive. I personally had troubles even getting the update to install. Got stuck on a black screen with zero drive activity every time and had to roll back, until I unplugged every peripheral and it finally went through.

    And after doing so, the update apparently had reset all of my microphone settings and invalidated my display driver.
  • HStewart - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    It is probably like my Xeon system, you have some drive - like my Realtek driver failing because it old.
  • ಬುಲ್ವಿಂಕಲ್ ಜೆ ಮೂಸ್ - Sunday, May 27, 2018 - link

    Cmon Stewie, your Realtek driver did not fail because it's old

    In fact, your driver still works fine

    It failed because you installed Windows 10
  • bananaforscale - Sunday, May 27, 2018 - link

    Drivers aren't hardware, they don't fail because they are "old". Your understanding of computers could use brushing up. If something that has worked previously on an OS fails after an update it's not an age issue, it's a bug (or as some might say "a regression").

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