Windows 10 users are starting to get the first of two free updates to Windows 10 this year. After last year’s Anniversary Update, we now have the ‘Creators Update’ which brings various fixes, tweaks and new capabilities to Windows 10. Coming up later this year is a third major update which has the codename Redstone 3.
Windows 10 Creators Update – How Do You Get It?
As with most Windows 10 updates, these are made available on a rolling basis to users. Since Microsoft has billions of customers, it makes sense to offer the updates in a staggered basis.
That said, if you want to dip your feet into Creators Update, you can do so right now using the Windows Update Assistant (you can read preparation details here). Of course, the same caveats for any major software update apply.
Do backup your system and files, do ensure you fit the system requirements and most importantly, consider waiting before updating a system that’s used for specific work processes or to run specialized software. It takes time for developers to fully update their software, you don’t want to be stuck with apps you can’t run.
Creators Update comes at a time where Microsoft is taking the reins of the pro and creative market, an area that Apple dominated within the personal computing market. Microsoft is attacking this market on two fronts, with high-end hardware designed for creation and with an operating system that’s geared towards bringing out the best features in this hardware.
Creators Update is still a great upgrade for any PC user, the amount of customization as well as improved user experiences make this a no brainer update, especially since it is free to existing users.
What Is Creators Update?
Microsoft has been expanding out of its productivity focus and has been making hardware and software that is quickly appealing to artists, content creators, and creatives.
Just look at the Surface Pro, Surface Book and most specially the new Surface Studio. These are all powerful PCs but also offer the versatility of taking pen input. They make the Windows ecosystem open to touch and direct drawing interaction, which eliminates layers in many creative workflows.
Creators Update offers some slight design and interface changes. I was hard pressed to see any difference from the previous version, at least at first glance. I did notice some new tiles for new features like a Night Light tile for muting the blue hue of the display at night as well as improved interface for settings.
Auto updates now makes updating software and firmware less time consuming for users but also limits the amount of control you have to defer future updates. Microsoft Paint, a venerable application that’s been part and parcel of Windows for decades, is now capable of creating 3D objects which can be printed out using a 3D printer.
Other creative features include a curated store for 3D objects that you can download, edit, share and print.
Microsoft Edge, which is the browser of choice on Windows, is supposedly quicker and more versatile. It can now be used as an e-book reader and there’s now a e-book store for Edge titles but it isn’t yet available in Canada. Microsoft seems to be expanding Edge to be more than a browser and looks like it will be the de facto document reader and, thanks to the inking capability of Windows 10, it can also take pen input.
I know that Edge is expected to transcend being just a browser for Windows users, Microsoft has high hopes that it will become the go-to digital content reader, especially for the education market.
I installed Creators Update on my daily driver Surface Book using the update tool. The update took roughly 40 minutes. The Surface Book seemed to be zippier, Windows Hello facial recognition seemed to work much better than before. Windows Hello, which uses facial recognition to grant user access to the system is way faster now, with fewer glitches and failed scans.
Gaming Mode is a notable update for users who are inclined to gaming on their PCs. There’s a whole new setting that gives access to Game Bar. There are also controls for broadcasting, recording (DVR) and a Game Mode that enhances the performance for the best possible game quality on the system. Want to learn more about Game Mode? We have a whole post dedicated to the feature!
Privacy, an important but often overlooked aspect of computing, receives more granular control on Windows 10 Creators Update and is worth checking out to ensure you’re not sharing location, or other information that Microsoft requires to send you ads.
Microsoft Edge has been the most impressive part of Creators Update for me. I blog on various web-based systems and Edge was always a poor choice because it scaled poorly and at times didn’t allow editing.
That seems to have been fixed. Edge is also faster now and I preferred it to both Chrome and Firefox, which were my go-to browsers on Windows 10. It will take more time to see whether it can stand up to those more established browsers, but right now it is vastly improved, quick, and devoid of all the plug-ins and add-ons that have slowed down other browsers.
While not a dramatic upgrade, I feel that Creators Update makes multitasking and shifting between applications a lot faster than before. Seems that the cogs that run the Windows machine have been greased and while a lot of the ‘creative’ features might not appeal to most users, there’s no question that the performance gains and improvements, which also benefit gamers, can only be a good thing for all types of users.
If you are a Windows 10 user, chances are you will get a notice to update to Windows Creators Update.
This is the first major software update for the year (with Redstone 3 coming in the fall) and brings various improvements for inking, 3D design, gaming and creative apps for 2-in-1 devices and PCs. In many ways, it will rejuvenate your PC.
As with most major updates, it is advisable to back up your system and ensure that you can restore it, in case anything goes wrong. Windows 10 Creators update offers incremental improvements that every user can benefit from, as well as various features that creatives and content creators will appreciate. And if your computer doesn’t feel as snappy as it should, Best Buy offers a huge selection of everyday PCs that will be able to take full advantage of the latest Windows 10 update.