Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is Here
Posted by Timothy Platt on Oct 15, 2017
Fall Creators Update for Windows 10 Arrives 10/17/2017
On Tuesday October 17, 2017, Microsoft released the next major upgrade to Windows 10 – the Fall Creators Update. It’s also known as version 1709, and is a follow-on upgrade from the Anniversary Update (1607) and the original Creators Update (1703) that came out earlier in March of this year. This is a major upgrade – sort of – there are new features, improvements, and fixes. But is building on this year’s earlier release (1703), and is part of Microsoft’s new approach to Windows upgrades – a bi-yearly release cadence that focuses on incremental improvements and getting new features into your hands sooner.
Ok, so Fall Creators Update is the latest version of Windows 10 – but does your small business need this? and when? Read on for the answers…
What Updates Does the Fall Creators Update Contain?
This is a major upgrade – there are new features, and fixes. Here’s a list of updates, but this is not exhaustive:
- Updates to the Start menu, the Action Center, the Taskbar, and File Explorer. Collectively known as the Windows Shell, these are major features that you interact with every moment you are using Windows 10. These things see lots of little improvements to make them all easier to use, and more helpful. Having said that, there’s no fundamental changes to how these operate – you’re not going to be lost.
- OneDrive Files On-Demand is a new file sharing feature for those that use Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud file sharing service. In File Explorer, On-Demand lets you see all your OneDrive files in the cloud, even if they aren’t downloaded to your machine. Click one to open it, and it will be downloaded on the fly. This is a great way to work with a large OneDrive account on a disk space constrained machine.
- My People Hub – A new feature intended to make it easier to communicate with your friends, family, and business contacts. It contains links to these contacts, and your communication apps.
- Story Remix – A new feature of the Photos app will offer a new way to edit your photos and video into exciting video clips.
- The Timeline feature will let you start work on one device, and seamlessly pick up where you left off on another. In today’s multi-device world, maintaining “continuity” is more important than ever.
- Microsoft Edge, the web browser successor to Internet Explorer, receives stability updates, a new favorites (bookmarks) system, better PDF files support. Microsoft has been steadily improving Edge for use in reading PDF files, and this continues.
- New Emojis – of course. They’re bigger and more detailed.
- Cortana Improvements – Microsoft’s voice assistant technology receives better integration with the rest of Windows and tweaks for usability.
- Various pen input improvements and keyboard tweaks.
- Security improvements – there are important new features that will help you avoid both ransomware (via the Controlled Folders feature) and malware in general. Windows 10 is significantly more secure than Windows 7 or 8, and it’s one of the primary reasons we recommend businesses to upgrade.
- And a lot more. There’s a lot of little updates in many areas – gaming, mixed reality, security, performance, etc. But most of these features are not critical for the average small business
Should Your Small Business Upgrade to the Fall Creators Update?
You might be asking yourself: “Should I upgrade to the Fall Creators Update?” And the answer is, yes, at least eventually. But the fact of the matter is that Microsoft is only starting a gradual rollout this week. It could be days, weeks, or months before your Windows machines are chosen for upgrade. While there are some solid, business-friendly features in this release, there isn’t a compelling reason to rush to upgrade. We recommend that the average small business take a cautious approach. Let others find the bugs. And even if this Windows release itself does not have bugs, it’s possible that your business critical applications do. Give your software vendors time to update their applications for compatibility.
How can you stop or delay the Fall Creators Update? It depends on the edition (Home, Pro, Enterprise) and version (1607, 1703) that you are running. So the details are bit too complex to get into here.
If you want to test for compatibility in advance, we recommend you do so – on a non-critical machine. The Fall Creators Update can be accessed now from the Download Windows 10 page.
Small Business Still on Windows 7? It’s Time to Upgrade
Is your small business still on Windows 7 or Windows 8? It’s time to upgrade. Those products will eventually go into “End Of Life” status – and at that time they’ll no longer receive security updates. That is simply not acceptable in this day and age – from a cyber security standpoint. But just as important – Windows 10 is good – the features and usability are all quantum leap improvements over the older versions. And at this point, one of the established versions of Windows 10 is a safe choice for your business. If you buy new hardware frequently, you can simply replace old machines with new machines – with Windows 10. But if you take a more fiscally responsible approach to computers – you probably need a proactive upgrade plan.
Get Help from the Windows 10 Experts
We hope this information has been helpful. Your business situation and unique requirements will need specific assessment. And remember, we’re here to help. If you’ve got a Windows 10 question or challenge, reach out to us – we’d love to help. We can help your business make the right technology decisions.
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