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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  • damianrobertjones - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    I'd blame HP for your issues not MS. Did you clean restore the oS? Reply
  • 1_rick - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    "You want "minimal windows"? Then do yourself a favor and upgrade to Win 7."

    You do know that even in Windows 7, there wasn't a "minimal windows", right? Everything is installed, but a lot of optional stuff is just disabled.
    Reply
  • bananaforscale - Sunday, May 27, 2018 - link

    *Speakers* didn't work? o.O ...Granted, I had an update break the audio drivers back in W95. By an update that had *absolutely nothing* to do with audio (I think it was a localization thingy; it's been 15 years...).

    Microsoft is *great* at breaking stuff in weird ways.
    Reply
  • Mairene - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    I don't think you mentioned my favorite new feature: the Hyper-V Console can connect to your VMs at resolutions above 1920x1080 now. It was annoying on a 4K monitor to have your VMs only taking up a quarter of the screen. No more! Reply
  • ChristopherFortineux - Friday, June 8, 2018 - link

    Sounds like a first world problem. Reply
  • Dabxxx - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    I am writing this in High Sierra on a machine that also boots to Win 10 connected to a 4k display. The superiority with which OSX (which has a multitude of its own never fixed problems) scales to 4k compared to Windows 10 is obvious simply by looking at the desktop. That difference becomes more obvious with even simple tasks. It is utter nonsense for the reviewer to write that Microsoft cannot fix how onerous it can be to use a 4k screen with Windows 10--they could start with icons and the taskbar. 5k would be unusable in Win 10 but OSX does that now. I actually prefer working in Windows 10 but there is a penalty for using what amounts to higher than 2k resolution monitors. Reply
  • BurntMyBacon - Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - link

    I and my clients have little issue with 4k displays on Win 10. As I recall it, the author didn't say any nonsense about 4k screens either. He did mention issues with running apps designed for 96 DPI on 200, 300, or more DPI displays, though he also said the situation has improved, but the "solution" didn't gain traction.

    For reference, a 27" 4k is only 163 DPI, and doesn't meet the qualifiers for his statement. You would need a 22" or smaller screen to meet the 200 DPI mark at 4k resolution.

    He does blame "legacy baggage" for the problem, but I see this as Microsoft's choice as to whether they want to continue trying to work around it for the sake of their "legacy" clientele or make a clean break to compete with other companies for "newer" clients. We get to live with the results of these decisions and that means less than ideal circumstances for the group that didn't get targeted. We can always choose a different OS, but that comes with its own set of problems.
    Reply
  • HStewart - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    I been running this update for last month of so and I believe it has significant improvements - especially I found with screen handling - especially with fonts and screen resolutions. I enjoying it on my new LG 34U88-B.

    I place it on many on my machine and mostly with no problems at all - I do have two problem cases

    1. 10+ year old Supermicro dual Xeon 5160 - I have not even try it - but previous update had issues with Realtek Audio driver on Supermicro motherboard - just locks. I can probably solved issue by booting up recovery disk and deleting the audio driver - that what I done before.

    2. Chuiwa 8 HiPro tablet - not enough storage on that cheap thing. Similar to Xeon system, if I can spend tyime with it - i could solved it - probably best to removed the horrible version of Android OS - just not well functionally like on Samsung Tab S3

    I wondering if there is ever a Windows 11 or they just keep updating Windows 10
    Reply
  • ianbergman - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Win-H for dictation FTW Reply
  • rocky12345 - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    You mentioned Control panel and how they are moving away from it. I noticed that in the last 2 Windows 10 upgrades but was always still able to find control panel since I hate the settings menus. To me they seem to basic and kinda mobile like which is ok if you are on a mobile device but not a desktop system. My question is this is Control panel still there in the latest Win 10 or is it completely removed now. If it has been removed totally then I am sure it won't be long before some good soul makes their own and shares it on the internet. I try to stay away from that crap settings menu setup system it is made for kids or people that totally have no clue about how to use a computer.

    I also know they are really pushing that Power shell prompt which I find has some use but is a lot slower to open more so on slower systems & I still seek out the good old Command prompt it has less features but it is quick and easy to use without any of the problems Power Shell can have.
    Reply

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