Earlier this week we began a targeted rollout of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and I shared with you how to get it. Today, I’d like to share more details on how we will roll out this feature update to Windows 10 devices, including PCs, phones and IoT devices.
Our goal is to deliver feature updates to you as quickly as possible, while providing you with the best possible update experience.
Phased Rollout Approach
The Fall Creators Update begins rolling out to newer devices tested by us and our device partners. By starting with machines which we believe will have the best update experience, we are able to get focused feedback on application compatibility and how Windows works with the rich ecosystem of available peripherals like Bluetooth devices or cameras. Additionally, we closely monitor feedback from fans and early adopters, through programs like Windows Insiders and Windows Insider for Business, in addition to feedback from our OEM device partners, and customers like you! This helps us determine when to accelerate the release to additional devices. We repeat this process until all compatible devices running Windows 10 worldwide are offered the Fall Creators Update.
We believe this approach provides the highest quality update experience for all our customers.
With this feature update we’ve increased the number of Windows 10 devices we’ve tested in advance with our OEM device and ISV app partners. You can view some of these devices here, which includes the newest Windows Mixed Reality-ready PCs enabled by the Fall Creators Update!
The Fall Creators Update is the most secure version of Windows 10
Being on the latest version of Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update, provides the latest security protections to help keep you safer, and provides you with the latest features and capabilities.
As I outlined in June, Windows 10 continuously improves its built-in protection capabilities to harden its security platform against unwanted threats and malicious malware. In particular, with this update we’ve added protection against ransomware, which holds your files hostage until you pay to get them back. Read here to learn more about other new features in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. If you want to know which system your device is running, you can check here.
Given these built-in security protections and the importance of keeping devices secure, being up-to-date is more important than ever. We’re glad to be seeing devices are staying up-to-date with the latest feature update faster than ever, with most devices running the latest feature update within 6 months of the release.
Semi-Annual Channel released
For our commercial customers, the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709) on October 17th marks the start of the Semi-Annual Channel and starts the 18-month servicing timeline. As a reminder, the Semi-Annual Channel is our newly aligned terminology with Office 365 ProPlus for the twice-yearly feature update releases that replaces Windows Current Branch (CB) and Current Branch for Business (CBB) concepts.
Just as we’re rolling out the Fall Creators Update in phases, we recommend IT administrators do the same. Start with targeted deployments to validate that apps, devices and infrastructure used by your organization work well with the new release. Then continue your deployment to more and more devices based on the results from your initial targeted deployments. Devices configured to take advantage of Windows Update for Business (WUfB) will be automatically migrated to this Semi-Annual Channel feature update based on your WUfB configurations. For more details on Semi-Annual Channel servicing, see our TechNet blog.
Empowering our enterprise customers to stay up-to-date
We continue to see great momentum as enterprise customers move to Windows 10. Our operating system (OS) is designed with compatibility in mind and with services like Windows Analytics that enable enterprise administrators to reduce IT costs and keep devices up-to-date with confidence.
Windows Analytics provides a suite of free services that analyze the applications and devices in your environment to assess upgrade readiness, identify potential disruptions and provide actionable insights to proactively address them. These services allow IT professionals to build confidence in their upgrade readiness, drastically simplify their validation processes and reduce the effort required to deploy, service and support Windows 10. You can read more about the new security and management enhancements on the Windows for Business blog.
Additionally, I’m happy to announce that we’ve reduced the download size for feature updates. For customers updating from the Windows 10 Creators Update via Windows Update or Windows Update for Business to the Fall Creators Update, it will be approximately 25% smaller thanks to differential downloads!
We hope you enjoy the Fall Creators Update. As always you can tell us about your experience by providing comments or suggestions via the Feedback Hub app.