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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  • Chad - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Been running it fine. Installed fine and everything works good. shrug
  • 1_rick - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Control Panel's still there. As they add features to Settings, they tend to remove them from Control Panel. At the rate they're going it'll be years before CP goes away completely.
  • ChristopherFortineux - Friday, June 8, 2018 - link

    Control Panel is still there where it has always been. Somethings are being moved over. This update I personally have not noticed much gone. New menu has grown on me though. As for Command Prompt it is still there. I haven't noticed anything missing from it.
  • Gunbuster - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Wish Microsoft would stop calling it an update when they do a complete fresh install and migrate your apps (if they feel like it)
  • Off to Linux Land - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Perhaps using the word "refined" in association with consistently damaging Windows 10 updates is a stretch?

    This last update (1803) locked my pc up ...again. This time with some weird white screen with Cortana info and that annoying Cortana voice. That was probably fixable -- but, like an idiot, I put my money on Microsoft's "help" lines. After several so-called 'techs' (including one with such a heavy Indian accent that I had to politely ask for someone else), they caused me to 'inadvertently' wipe my hard drive clean. So, no more Windows anything for me. I donated my "new" pc to a local needy family. Going to Linux now, and forever.

    Maybe Microsoft could use a little 'refinement' in their help department by contracting their online and phone techs in the USA and Canada... and not India?
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Haa haa haa. You made me laugh. If you couldn't fix windows then have fun with Linux.

    P.s. Ensure you have a backup at all times.
  • Zingam - Sunday, May 27, 2018 - link

    I installed Linux last week. I wasted several hours trying to set grub to hide the boot menu without any success the best I could do it to set the timeout to 1 sec. The second thing was I installed the proprietary driver and Good bye Linux - it wouldn't pass after the loading screen. It even locked up while navigating the grub boot menu to safe mode. Sorry but Linux as a desktop has always been a trash even compared to Win95.
  • PeachNCream - Monday, May 28, 2018 - link

    I've been straddling between Linux and Windows since 8 was released. Dual boot or, more recently, using Linux on my primary PC while an older box runs Win7 just in case I need a MS OS for something. It's been a long and slow transition, but at this point, I've found that I barely turn a PC on these days since my phone I good enough for most chores and I'm already carrying it. However, when 7 is no longer getting updates, I will just walk away from Windows altogether since Linux Mint is perfectly adequate for those few times that I still need a conventional PC for something.
  • ChristopherFortineux - Friday, June 8, 2018 - link

    If you rarely need to use your PC just keep Windows 7 on it. By the point you need a new PC chances are you will be an entire phone user.
  • Mikey Wiz - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    I updated and have had all kinds of problem. Lost connection to WHS, had to reinstall connector. Wifi keeps dropping. Several games deleted. Lost saved passwords. Very annoying to say the least.

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