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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  • 0ldman79 - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Every major update has reset my 7.1 surround settings, the Nvidia settings and my firewall.

    Kind of irritating, spending time tuning the colors, fine tuning for the shape of the room, etc... only to have MS just wipe it out arbitrarily.
  • Stuka87 - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Why are earth are you using a RAID-0 as your boot drive?! Just about every SSD these days is faster than a RAID-0 spinner array. And doing a RAID-0 with SSDs is not recommended at all.
  • DanNeely - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    The same koolaid that gaming laptop makers - who love to raid0 multiple SSDs - are convinced their customers are guzzling.

    RAID0 doesn't help latency, and that's where 99% of the gain from HDD to SSD to Optane is to be found.
  • BurntMyBacon - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - link

    That ain't koolaid. Least not the kind what you find around here. Got a kinda funny aftertaste. Makes you feel all fuzzy in the head. Wake up the next morning wonderin how that laptop got there and what you were doin with it to get that black screen what never goes away on boot.
  • euler007 - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Not only that but two Nvme drives in raid 0 as a boot drive. Zero real world gains except on static benchmark.
  • Holliday75 - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    The gain being you are twice as likely to lose a OS drive and need to reinstall all your software! Well a gain for people who like doing that.
  • Makaveli - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Some people like myself combine SSD's in Raid 0 for more capacity than speed.

    still using two Intel X25-M G2 160GB in Raid 0
  • piiman - Saturday, May 26, 2018 - link

    You don't get more capacity, its the same.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Saturday, May 26, 2018 - link

    wrong. Raid 1, where each drive is mirrored, would get you the same capacity. But two 160GB drives in raid 0 (striped) gives a capacity of 320.

    "capacity of a RAID 0 volume ... is sum of the capacities of the disks in the set." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID#Standard_levels

    I love how sure you seem about this while being totally wrong haha
  • Alexvrb - Sunday, May 27, 2018 - link

    Your total capacity is still the same, which is what he's saying. Drive 1+2 = RAID 0 array of drive 1+2. You just get them both on one drive letter, and at that point you could use JBOD. It's pointless to use RAID 0 and it increases the risk of data loss.

    Anyway those are some ancient SSDs. I remember reading about them... the Mayans, I believe?

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