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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  • Dorkaman - Saturday, May 26, 2018 - link

    I've had something similar too. WinAmp music pkayback would stutter/repeat the last second after a while. I think this is because I had AIDA64 open monitoring temperatures. I have reported the problem to Microsoft via the feedback hub so let us see what hapoens.
  • juancarcus - Saturday, May 26, 2018 - link

    my computer crashed complete after the last update. The update took hours and after that this message popped up "sihost.exe.system warning". I had to downgrade my system and go back to the original windows 7 key. Of course, I had to pay for it. Thanks microsoft
  • BucksterMcgee - Sunday, May 27, 2018 - link

    Hmm, seeing the RAID-0 caught my attention because the last few "cumulative" updates just before they released RS4 (aka the 1803 update) caused issued with my RAID based systems. I've also spoken to Peter Bright from ARS who also started having RAID issues around that time. So it might all be related.
  • bananaforscale - Sunday, May 27, 2018 - link

    2x NVMe in RAID0 as a boot drive is... unusual. Silly would be another word. *Why?*
  • Minttunator - Sunday, May 27, 2018 - link

    Yeah, this update bricked my home PC, my work PC and the home PC of one of my friends - luckily it was possible to roll back to a restore point and get the systems back online but I'm turning off updating for good. It's ridiculous that something this broken was released unto the masses.
  • kmmatney - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - link

    It went badly for one of my systems as well - specifically the computer had an older HD6850 video card that worked fine before the update. AMD doesn't support the card anymore and windows would no longer download the driver I was using before (which worked perfectly fine). After lots of troubleshooting without success, I replaced the video card. Not a big deal, but I wasn't expecting an update to force me to replace hardware.
  • ChristopherFortineux - Friday, June 8, 2018 - link

    Had to take a 6950 out of an old system to update awhile ago. The card worked after updating.
  • prime2515103 - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    This update didn't go so well for me. I had problems with my screen flickering and videos crashing the driver (especially with Netflix, both in several browsers and the Win10 app). A cumulative update came up yesterday and seems to have fixed it, so far. I also required a firmware update from HP to get my printer working (it worked fine before the update). Thankfully they had it ready last month.
  • ivanfreyes - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Exactly what happened to mine. It flickered. Also, the size of the screen went up. It's magnified. It appear larger than it used to even if the zoom is 100%.
  • ivanfreyes - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Did the enlarged view also happened to you after the update?

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