Creators Update

A reprint from the PC410 Security Newsletter:

Creators Update arrival popup, Windows 10

The big “Creators Update” for Windows 10 is no longer optional. It’s showing up now, asking for an update to privacy settings, as shown above, and then offering to install it now, or install it later. Both answers mean “yes.” As usual, there is no “I don’t wanna!” option, but there is an option to remove the update later if you don’t like it, or it breaks the internet, or it’s just not working on your hardware.

Yes, it can break the internet, although not often. So far, I’ve seen it once, but that was on a 12-year-old notebook, and it was amazing that any version of Windows 10 ran at all on such old hardware. The option to remove Creators Update worked well there, and set that notebook back to last Summer’s Anniversary Update level of Windows 10, where it will stay until security patches end, which will generally be 1 year after the following feature update. So that’s 12 months from Spring of this year, probably May 2018.

According to Microsoft, “Each Windows 10 feature update will be serviced with quality updates for 18 months from the date of the feature update release.” That’s 6 months to the next feature update, and 1 year more, and then patches end. If your office is subject to legal restrictions for security, those old versions of Windows will have to be retired at that point in order to remain in compliance. As those end-of-service dates are confirmed by Microsoft, I will update them on the “Windows End of Support Calendar” at my PC410.com site:
https://www.pc410.com/calendar/

The other issue widely reported, but also rare, is that Bluetooth doesn’t work; that will mostly apply to wireless mice on notebooks that use the built-in bluetooth radio instead of a tiny USB adapter. Most application software seems to be OK with Creators Update. I’ve now seen a few minor networking issues, but the fixes have all been minor setting changes.

What to Expect While Installing Creators Update

Before Creators Update arrives on your Windows 10 computer, the message above will pop up. When you choose ‘Review settings’, another screen will appear, below. Setting those privacy settings will allow the upgrade to be completed in one step, in around 90 minutes. Without those settings, Creators Update will still install, but will ask the same questions on restart, and then continue the setup. Answer in advance, and save time. At the end of the process, the infamous series of lengthy “Hi!” messages will appear, and they’re for every user, unfortunately.

Creators Update privacy choices, Windows 10

My general recommendations for these features are all to choose performance and privacy:

  • Location: On for notebooks that travel. On is OK for office computers as well, and web sites will use this to provide local content, like suggesting the nearest branch of a grocery store.
  • Speech recognition: Off if there is no microphone, On if you want to use Cortana (similar to Siri, Alexa, or ‘Hey, Google’).
  • Diagnostics: Off. It does nothing but phone home, with no results.
  • Tailored experiences…: Off. It does nothing but sell more Microsoft products.
  • Relevant Ads: Off. It does nothing but track your web visits.

There are a lot of new features, but they’re mostly minor, or related to 3D graphics creation. There is a writeup of the new features in Creators Update here:
https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2017/04/11/whats-new-in-the-windows-10-creators-update/

Jerry Stern
Chief Technology Officer, PC410.com