The Fall Creators Update for Windows 10 is now ready for businesses to deploy, according to Microsoft. The update was released to home users in October last year, and after several months of testing and further patches, Microsoft has certified the major feature update as ready for release via a Windows update channel used by enterprise. Major feature updates like the Fall Creators Update are made available to businesses via the new Semi-Annual Channel about four months after their general release. During that time Microsoft recommends that IT admins test the update on a limited number of machines, to prepare for a wider rollout. Firms that want to update to the build, version 1709, can receive it from the week of January 22nd, when it will be available from Windows Update, Windows Update for Business, WSUS and the Volume Licensing Service Center. Most Windows 10 users who don't have the Fall Creators Update will soon start to receive messages telling them to upgrade. Those running Windows 10 with the older Anniversary Update or Creators Update and who use automatic updates will be sent a reminder that the Fall Creators Update is ready to install and asked to pick a time, with an option to defer the reminder until tomorrow. In particular, business users who rely on Windows Update to keep machines patched should be aware that: "Any device on Windows 10 Enterprise edition or Windows 10 Pro edition that is configured to receive updates automatically from Windows Update will be automatically offered Windows 10, version 1709 after January 18, 2018," according to John Cable, director of program management, Windows servicing and delivery for Microsoft. Windows 10 users can also manually install the Fall Creators Update by heading to Microsoft's software download site and clicking Update Now. Microsoft also rolled out a new build for those testing early versions of Windows 10 under the Insider Program. The build, 17074, includes forthcoming features such as more control when setting Quiet Hours to restrict notifications, links to the Documents and Pictures folders in the Start menu, and refinements to make the Edge browser a better choice for reading e-books and documents. The next major feature update to Windows 10 will be the Redstone 4 update in Spring next year, with many of the new features already available in preview builds.
100 million people are already running the latest Windows version. After being out for a little under three months, Microsoft has moved the Fall Creators Update to full availability, signaling that the company believes it to be ready for corporate deployments. Microsoft rolls out the big Windows semi-annual updates on a staggered basis, making the update available to an ever larger range of users as the company builds a clearer picture of any hardware and software incompatibilities. Once it's satisfied that any of these wrinkles have been ironed out, Microsoft offers the update to every machine that's compatible. With the Fall Creators Update on 100 million machines, Microsoft has decided that the update is ready for its full deployment. This development process has been refined over the last few years; the 2016 Anniversary Update raised a number of problems, causing Microsoft to be more conservative subsequently. The previous update, the Creators Update, took about four months to reach this same stage. The decision to make the Fall Creators Update, version 1709, widely available in less than three months shows that the company is more confident in this release and its wider deployment. Microsoft has encouraged corporate customers to use this wide deployment as the signal that the update is ready for enterprise rollouts. On January 18, Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise systems that are configured to use Windows Update for their servicing will be offered version 1709 after January 18. Updated media for volume license and other business customers will be published on January 22.