Find it difficult to keep your clients’ PCs up to date? Then take a little pity on Microsoft.
Starting next Tuesday, April 11, the company will begin rolling out its Windows 10 Creators Update to something like 400 million desktop and laptop devices around the world. The process could take months.
This new version of the Win10 OS will be offered as a free update, and it will offer new features that include:
> 3-D and mixed reality: A new Paint 3D app will let users create 3-D objects from scratch, and partner Remix3D.com will offer users a library of pre-made 3-D art. Mixed-reality headsets will ship from Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo, starting at about $300. They’ll include sensors to enable easy setup without the need for external sensors.
> Parental controls: Screen-time limits for Xbox One will let parents set a daily time allowance for each child; the Xbox or Win10 PC will then automatically sign the kids out when time is up.
> Security: A new Windows Defender Security Center will offer a single dashboard to control all security options from one place.
> Surface Hub: For this collaboration device, Creators Update will deliver improved start screen, new manageability tools, and improved apps including Skype for Business and Whiteboard.
> Cortana control: Microsoft’s voice-activated assistant software will guide users through the Creators Update installation, according to the Windows Central blog. Users will have the choice of using either Cortana or their mouse and keyboard. If they choose Cortana, they’ll only need to say “yes” or “no” to guide the setup through its options.
Mobile version and SDK
There will be a mobile version of Creators Update, too, though reportedly it won’t be released by Microsoft until April 25. According to The Verge, the initial rollout of the Mobile Creators Update will be offered on 13 smartphones, including the HP Elite x3; Microsoft Lumia 550, 640, 650 and 950; and Lenovo Softbank 503LV.
There’s also a new software development kit. Microsoft released the final version of the Creators Update SDK yesterday. New features include enhancements to the visual layer, improvement to ink, enhanced APIs for the Surface Dial, and Bluetooth improvements.
If you have impatient clients who are more than usually tech-savvy, they can manually get the Win10 Creators Update now via a Microsoft tool known as the Windows 10 Update Assistant. But be advised: The process sounds neither easy nor quick. And if you or a client are Windows Insiders, you already have the Creators Update via the latest preview build.