Today, Microsoft released Build 15055 of the upcoming Creators Update to Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring. This brings us one step closer to general availability of the third major feature update to Windows 10 since its official rollout in 2015.
The last two weeks have been a very busy time for the Windows Insider team at Microsoft and all of the Windows Insiders around the world who have been testing the Creators Update.
In the past 14 days, there have been nine total builds released to the Fast Ring for testing. That is five builds for the PC and four builds for Mobile devices. This two week period has been the most prolific in the Creators Update development history since Microsoft started shipping Redstone 2 builds last August.
Getting our hands on a lot of builds for an approaching feature update towards the end of its development cycle is not abnormal by any means. It allows the team to ship a lot of fixes for known issues and gather telemetry on those fixes. Over these last nine builds, there have been 130 total fixes listed in the related announcement blog posts, and those are just the ones that are shared publicly. There are likely hundreds more fixes that just do not get visibility in the release notes.
Today's release of Build 15055 contains no new features for PC or Mobile devices.
However, there are some clues in this build that help us look forward to the ultimate release of the Creators Update.
Creators Update will be known as Windows 10 Version 1703
Each major feature update to Windows 10 is known by a version number represented by a four digit number. The number consists of the two-digit year and month in which it was available for release. The Windows 10 November Update was Version 1511 (November 2015) and the Anniversary Update was Version 1607 (July 2016).
Build 15055 shows that the Creators Update will be Windows 10 Version 1703 (March 2017). All we are missing now is the base build number for that general availability build.
Also, this build has a time bomb that will cause it to expire on 15 May 2017 so that is an indicator that this is certainly not the final build for the Creators Update although we do at least know the version number.
Note: The version number does not always represent the actual month of the updates release. Case in point is last years Anniversary Update as it was marked as Version 1607 but was actually released on August 2, 2016. That means the Creators Update is not necessarily going to be released in March and could be made available in April but we are still waiting on Microsoft to confirm its release date.
Insider Preview Text Removed from Desktop Watermark
Another step towards the release of the Creators Update is that the desktop watermark is just an evaluation version of the operating system and not an Insider Preview build.
In today's Build 15055 release the desktop watermark simply states the version of Windows instead of Windows 10 Home Insider Preview or Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview.
The next indicator towards release in a future build would be the removal of the desktop watermark. You might recall that Build 15042 had that removed as did it successor Build 15046. However, it returned in Build 15048 and continues to be present in 15055. I suspect some type of blocking issue caused a delay in the final build being designated from one of those that was missing the watermark.
By the way, did you know that the sequence of numbers at the end of that build string represent the date and time the build was compiled/prepared by Microsoft for distribution? The first six digits show the year, month, and day. The last four digits are the time based on a 24 hour clock. It is a nice tip to just how old this build actually is which makes 15055 just three days old - pretty fresh stuff for Insider builds.
Microsoft Clearly States More Fixes Are Coming in a Future Build
Another way we know that Build 15055 is not the final build of the Creators Update is actually posted directly in the builds announcement blog post from Microsoft.
I have highlighted that text in the image above which states that an issue with apps and the Windows Store that is present in PC and Mobile Build 15055 will be fixed in the next build.
So that would indicate for sure that 15055 is not the final Creators Update build.
Of course, Microsoft could remove the time bomb, watermark, and fix these issues with a new build next week and that could likely be our final Creators Build but we will have to look for those clues when it hits Windows Update for Insiders.