Twice a year Microsoft rolls out new features and updates to its operating system. Hot on the heels of the Creators Update released back in April, comes the Fall Creators Update this month.
Generally, Microsoft staggers the roll out so they can track and fix problems that early adopters discover or run into. It runs something like this:
- Early adopters first.
- Those with newer computer systems second.
- General rollout with full availability after everyone else.
There were a few problems with the initial Creators Update earlier in the year. This resulted in fewer people than expected performing the upgrade, and a sizeable majority avoiding it altogether. In fact, it’s estimated that as of last month fewer than a quarter of all Windows 10 users hadn’t upgraded.
A Different Approach for the Fall Creators Update Release
With the release of the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is making the upgrade available to more people from the beginning. They have also tested it on more devices. The aim is to make the upgrade smoother, easier and faster than the original release.
Feature updates should also be around 25% smaller, thanks to differential downloads. While the rollout should happen faster than it previously did, Microsoft will still monitor how it performs and slow down the process if too many problems crop up. So far, people who have upgraded report things running smoothly.
So what’s New?
While Windows Insiders will have kept sharp eyes on Microsoft’s Windows 10 development, the rest of us tend to let things roll by in the background. If you’re one of those, here’s some of what you can expect from the latest release:
Better My People Access
Following on from its determination to make people the centre of Windows, the My People feature allows you to now pin important contacts or colleagues to the task bar, and choose which app you use to contact them. Windows will remember your preferences.
Working with OneDrive Files
Now you don’t have to download files stored in the cloud before working with them. This improves on the Windows 8.1 Placeholder feature, managed with a new Files on Demand entry in the OneDrive Settings window.
Cortana Gets Smarter
Cortana gets her own section in the Settings menu, and can gather information in new ways, including from the photo library. She has more capability to help you control your computer by voice, performing tasks such as shutting down or locking your system.
Improvements to Edge
The Fall Creators Update may persuade more users to give Edge a second chance. New features include the ability to bookmark several web pages at a time, along with enhancements to PDF and EPUB viewers which allow you to annotate books with a stylus. It can also read pages aloud.
There are many more enhancements and improvements offered throughout the Fall Creators Update, including all you need for Mixed Reality, updates to the touch keyboard on mobile devices, and improvements to the ways in which the CPU uses and allocates power to apps when systems are under heavy load
And finally, but by no means of least importance, are privacy improvements.
Choose to Upgrade Now or Wait
Eventually the Fall Creators Update will be available to everyone, but you could force the upgrade immediately if you prefer. Anecdotal evidence suggests some people are adopting an incremental update, experimenting on home systems before introducing the update throughout offices.