I am not a psychic but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once!
Over the last few weeks we have seen solid evidence from Microsoft that we are quickly approaching the final stage in the development cycle for the next major feature update for Windows 10, known as the Creators Update, which was announced in New York City last October.
One aspect of the updates roadmap that was not confirmed at that time was its release date except for the general timeframe of Spring 2017.
Based on information over the last few months from various OS related documents and an OEM briefing, it was believed that the Spring 2017 timeframe for the Creators Update release would be in March or April 2017.
However, as of today, one week into March, Microsoft has not officially announced the release date publicly.
When I contacted Microsoft this week and asked about that date, I received the following from a company spokesperson:
“3D, Mixed Reality and game broadcasting are just some of the new experiences coming to the Windows 10 Creators Update in early 2017. Additional productivity, creativity, security and gaming features will also be included and will be announced soon.”
The Creators Update will be the third major upgrade for Windows 10 since the operating system was released back in July 2015. The first two updates were called the November Update and the Anniversary Update.
So can we look back at the previous two feature updates and get an idea when we might find out when Microsoft will release the Creators Update?
The answer up front - inconclusive - and here is why.
The release date for the November Update, which was also known as the Fall Update for a while before its release, became generally available on 12 November 2015 but that date was never formally announced by Microsoft. The November timeframe for the release was first heard about when a trusted source shared that detail with tech blogger Paul Thurrott in late October. That in turn got echoed out across the various tech sites that follow Microsoft activities. The update began its role out on 12 November right after that month's Patch Tuesday - the second Tuesday of the month - which was 10 November 2015.
As for the second feature update for Windows 10, the Anniversary Update, its release date was officially announced by Microsoft on 29 June 2016 more than a month before it would start rolling out on 02 August last summer. I suspect part of the reason behind getting that information out early was to encourage users to take advantage of the final month of the free upgrade to Windows 10 for Windows 7/8.1 users that would expire on 29 July - exactly one year after Windows 10 was initially released.
So while neither of the previous two feature update releases adds any trend to when or if Microsoft will even announce a release date for the Creators Update I would like to float a possibility.
I mean this is a psychic article right?
Well since Windows 10 is maintained under a concept called Windows as a Service (WaaS) each month, with the exception of last month of course, Microsoft issues their routine security, upkeep, and cumulative updates for Windows 10 and other versions of Windows on the second Tuesday of each month.
Would it not make since to issue a feature update to service Windows 10 on the same day that the operating system normally receives its monthly dose of patches?
As I recall, the heavy discussions about the November Update centered around that month's Patch Tuesday being a likely target for Microsoft to push out the upgrade. The fact that it arrived two days later does not necessarily mean that wasn't the plan but then again the Anniversary Update was made available a week ahead of Patch Tuesday in August 2016.
So the most common aspect from the two previous feature updates that might possibly relate to a release date for the Creators update is that they were made available in and around Patch Tuesday each time.
I honestly do not get the feel that March will be the release month for the update because there is still quite a few known issues being worked on according to the last build release announcement. Plus, Microsoft has shown they like issuing what will eventually be the general availability build of a feature update to Windows Insiders two to four weeks ahead of ist release. That allows them to collect additional data that can be used to issue an initial cumulative update if necessary shortly after the main feature update becomes available which is exactly what they did for last years Anniversary Update.
So that means April is the likely target and so I am going to say I believe the release of the Creators Update will occur sometime between the 4th and 18th of April.
Sorry - but my crystal ball was left behind at that Holiday Inn Express so that two week window is my best guess!
When do you think we might see the Windows 10 Creators Update become available?