On April 11, 2017, Microsoft released its third major update to its popular Windows 10 operating system. The Redmond company named its latest release the Creators Update. The Creators Update’s name would imply that it focuses on content creation, but it focuses more on streamlining the operating system for end users. The update has brought with it a few yet substantial changes to the start menu. In addition, users get more control over system updates. Moreover, the Edge browser has seen the most improvements. Microsoft’s Paint program has been upgraded to include three dimensions. Furthermore, system settings have been consolidated while adding a new security dashboard. The Creators Update is more of a tick then a tock with little creation, but is still a solid update with many benefits to Windows 10 users.
The start menu in the Creators Update has two main new features. First, is the ability to remove the full list of applications and condense them into a hamburger menu. This allow the start menu to focus on the live tiles, which a user can populate with their favorite applications. This reduces the overall size of the start menu and is something that many users have been asking for. In addition, the tiles can now be grouped into folders much like on mobile phones. This allows users to edit their devices in a similar way from their cellphone to their desktop.
Moreover, the Creators Update has finally addressed the rigidity of how the operating system installs its updates. Windows Update now has more options for the users depending on the version that they are running. Windows 10 Home users will now have the ability to apply the system update, pick a time, or snooze. Home users are still not able to bypass updates, but the new options allow them more flexibility in implementing the updates. On the other hand, users with Windows Pro, Enterprise, or Education have even more options. Before, these users could delay featured update, but only through editing the registry. With the new update, those users can automatically delay a cumulative update by 30 days and featured update by up to 365 without any modifications to the registry.
Additionally, the Edge browser has seen some impressive additions. First, and most notable is that Flash is now disabled by default. Flash can still be used on a site-by-site or one-time basis, but disabling it by default improves security, battery life, and performance. Also, Edge now has the ability to set aside groups of tabs. For instance, if you are researching for a upcoming paper, but you really don’t want to miss the new episode of your favorite television show (if you didn’t leave the paper down to the last minute) you can set the research tabs aside to open up Netflix without the possibility of accidentally closing the research tabs. After you are done watching Bob’s Burgers you can open the whole group of tabs with one click. This is a very useful addition aimed at college students.
In 1985, version 1.0 of Microsoft Paint was created. It has seen many changes throughout its life, but has always been two-dimensional. Well times have changed. The creation of this program is one area that the update targets creators. The new application that Microsoft calls Paint 3D allows for three-dimensional drawings. The ability to draw in 3D allows artistic individuals, who Microsoft has been targeting with their digital pens, to expand their digital creations. Don’t worry though, if you really enjoyed Microsoft Paint, it is still included along side Paint 3D.
In the Creators Update, Microsoft has put considerable effort in consolidating the system settings. Windows 10 has been slowly moving away from having two areas to search for system settings. When it was first launched it had a tile format beside the original control panel. In this update it has made great strides to merge them together to make it easier for user to location the setting they need. Lastly, the update has introduced a all-in-one security dashboard. The dashboard virus protection, device performance and health, firewall, application and browser controls, and family options. The dashboard allows users to easily manipulate all of their security tasks in one easy to use area.
Even though the Creators Update didn’t focus very much on content creation, the update is moving the operating system in the right direction. The update takes an already solid foundation and building upon it. The fact that Microsoft is improving in areas that users interact with the most shows that the company is listening to its consumers.
During the time that we have been testing out the update, we have enjoyed the improvements and look forward to the upcoming update in the fall of 2017. If you want to check to see if you have the Creators Update installed – click the start button, click the Cortana search bar, enter “MSINFO32”, and hit enter. If you have it, in the version row, you will see build 1703.
Images courtesy of Microsoft