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The world is constantly changing. So is Windows 10. While small incremental updates have been ongoing, Microsoft is now rolling out their latest big cumulative update. They call this the Windows 10 Creators Update. The Creators Update will not be made available to all devices at once. It will, rather, be rolled out in phases with newer hardware being updated first. It will take several months for everyone to get it.
If you want to see it sooner rather than later, you can download it at the Microsoft website. You can also find a link to it in the Windows Update area, as shown below.
If you don’t update it now, Microsoft will send you a notification when it is ready to update your device. With this update Microsoft is changing to a new Universal Update Platform that is supposed to streamline the update process. Although all of my updates went smoothly, I didn’t see much indication of an increase in speed or process. Like previous updates, this update can take several hours to download and install. During the first part of the update you can continue to work on your computer. But you can expect there to be a least an hour when you will have to just wait it out.
Microsoft says that the new update lets “Windows 10 empower the creator in all of us”. Although there are some useful features in this update, other than the new Paint 3D app, I don’t find anything “creative” about it.
Paint 3D is actually a new app. It takes some getting used to, but is loaded with tools and filters that help you create a 3D image. There is also a new website called Remix 3D where users can post and share the images they created. It kind of like creating a diorama where you construct 3D objects and place them in a scene.
It’s not really creative, but there a new Game category that will make gamers quite happy. The new Game Mode will smooth out glitches and possible hardware overloads to produce a smooth and seamless gaming experience. While it might not do much for a high-end dedicated gaming machine, it is certain to make less powerful computers more fun to use for games. In the Game category you will also find a new game bar and many other options for gaming.
Microsoft has also included a gaming feature called “Beam”. This makes it much easier to stream live gaming sessions with Xbox Live buddies.
Edge Browser Enhancements
Microsoft has included several enhancements to the Edge browser. There is a new “set aside tabs” tabs icon on the far left side of the title bar. If you are exploring some topic, you can open multiple tabs and use this icon to save the tabs to use again later. That’s pretty useful for anyone who likes to do in-depth research.
While previously, you could see all of your tabs at once, you can now get a more useful visual tabs of all the open tags.
Edge is also aiming at giving you a better reading experience. It is now the default e-book and PDF reader.
While Microsoft promised this update to have mixed reality, it has not yet filtered down to the end user. This Creators Update has support for mixed reality. This, however, is currently for support for developers of mixed reality devices. These new headsets are expected to be available soon starting at $299. Yet, I am still waiting for Microsoft’s Hololens.
Many years after this features appeared in television sets, it has finally come to the Windows computer. Microsoft calls it the new Compact Overlay window. With the right app, you can watch a video in a small window while working in the rest of the screen.
Security & Privacy
A list of privacy settings appear when you install the Creators Update. This is Microsoft’s attempt at transparency. It is nothing more than a small stab in that direction.
The Windows 10 Creators Update has added more security to the Windows Defender. It has also combined virus protection, app and browser control, and device performance and health into this one area. It’s nice to see a consolidated view. The Windows Defender Security Center also now has Family option allowing you to manage how your family uses their devices.
New Display settings
Microsoft has revamped their Display Settings to consolidate these settings in one place. You can now pretty fully control the various aspects of your screen from this one area. There is also an easy way to adjust the amount of blue light emanating from your screen at night. Microsoft calls this Night Light settings.
As you might expect, Cortana is now a little smarter. She can now schedule monthly reoccurring notices. If you are setting up Windows 10 for the first time, she will also walk you through the process.
This is a new feature that can use your phone’s Bluetooth to lock your computer when you walk away from it with your phone in your pocket.
Although the Creators Update is a move forward, it is not as exciting or comprehensive as last year’s Anniversary Update. It’s great for gamers and worthwhile if you want to play with Paint 3D. Otherwise accept it as being a little safer and having consolidations of features that make Windows slightly easier to use.
Microsoft has another major update planned for later this year. Perhaps that one will be a little more exciting.