You may have noticed the Windows 10 April 1803 Update. It has been slowly rolling out from 8 May and offering new and improved features. But for some, it has been a big pain.

Rather than deep dive into the known issues here is a summary:

  • PCs with Toshiba XG4 Series, Toshiba XG5 Series or Toshiba BG3 Series solid state disk (SSD) will experience degraded battery life. The fix is not to install, and a patch will be coming
  • Dell Alienware 13 R3, 15 R4, 15 R4, 17 R4, 17 R5 driver incompatibility relating to the GPU – fix coming from Dell
  • Some are experiencing issues with Intel 600p or Pro 6000p SSDs and Optane
  • Some apps cease to work (freeze) after the update – patch KB4103721 may fix this
  • It creates a 449MB partition for the update and gives Disk error – Running out of space (usually means other software has incorrectly used this partition)
  • Microsoft Store won’t install apps
  • Video drivers (especially Intel Graphics drivers) may break and need reinstallation.
  • Fast Start is enabled (can cause issues on older PCs)
  • Some microphone and camera apps cease to work (tightened privacy controls)
  • Speaker pre-sets deleted
  • Keyboard layouts lost, or new ones installed
  • And many more

If you experience issues and can still boot to Windows, try rolling back to an earlier version.

Microsoft rightly says that if the PC has up to date drivers and conforms to accepted standards, then the update should be seamless. Indeed, it has updated flawlessly on the dozen or, so PCs I manage.

Windows Central has a comprehensive list of issues and workarounds here.

So what new in Windows 10 April 1803 Update?

Timeline

  • Go back and forward in time. Easily scroll back in time to find things you were working on earlier today or a few weeks ago.1
  • Find activities easily. Click the new Taskbar icon to see all your activities on a specific day grouped by hour, including all the things you did using Microsoft Edge and Office 365 on your tablet and mobile phone.2 If you don’t see what you need, you can easily search Timeline to find it.
  • Remove activities whenever you want.

Nearby sharing

Instantly share videos, photos, documents, and websites with devices near you over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

  • Share quickly. Send any video, photo, document, or webpage viewed on Microsoft Edge to people nearby by clicking on the share charm in the app or right-clicking to get the share menu.
  • Take the quickest path. Your computer automatically picks the fastest way to share your file or webpage, either over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
  • See who’s available. Bluetooth allows you to quickly discover potential devices with which you could share.

Focus Assist

Focus Assist helps you get more done by easily blocking notifications, sounds, and alerts to create distraction-free work times. This is helpful if you’re giving a presentation or trying to focus on a paper, you can use Focus Assist to block interruptions or distractions. Here’s how it works.

  • Work the way you want. Focus assist gives you the flexibility to choose when to block interruptions. Turn on Focus assist whenever you want to get things done without distractions, like notifications, sounds, and alerts. Or set Focus Assist to turn on automatically at certain times during the day.
  • Stay connected when you need to. You can make sure your most important people breakthrough by creating a priority list of those you always want to reach you, even when you’re working. Or when you need complete concentration, block all notifications.
  • Catch up quickly. Find out what you missed while you were heads-down on a project. As soon as you finish working, a summary of notifications and alerts appears on your screen.

Microsoft Edge

  • Mute-a-tab. Click the audio icon or right-click the tab to mute and unmute the tab that is playing sound.
  • Autofill cards on web forms. Use Microsoft Edge to securely save your address, credit card, and other information on top retail sites so that you have the option of autofill on web payment forms.
  • Clutter-free printing. Print web pages from Microsoft Edge without pop-ups and other unnecessary clutter. Enable the “Clutter-free printing” option in the print dialogue and print only the content you want.
  • Full-screen reading experience. Take Books, PDFs, and Reading view pages full-screen, for a distraction-free reading experience. To enable full-screen reading, you can click on the double-arrow icon on the reading bar, or in the more menu or hit F11 on your keyboard.
  • More EPUB book options. Read EPUBs books in Microsoft Edge—whether downloaded from the web, which you can save with the latest Windows update, or purchased from the Microsoft Store. You’ll also find reading suggestions at the Books tab in the “Hub” menu.
  • Grammar tools. Microsoft Edge has added Grammar tools support in reading mode for web pages and books to help improve reading comprehension to create a more inclusive reading experience.
  • Fluent Design. Microsoft Edge now supports an updated Dark theme and much better contrast with all colours, text, and icons.
  • Microsoft Edge on your phone and tablet. Get Microsoft Edge on your Android phone, tablet, iPhone, or iPad for free. Then use Microsoft Edge on your phone or tablet to read EPUB books you’ve saved, currently a preview feature. Or start reading a webpage on phone or tablet, send the page to your PC, and pick up reading right where you left off.7

Dictation

It’s now easy to use voice using your device’s microphone. With your cursor in any text field either in Windows 10 or in an app, simply press Win + H and start talking.

Windows 10 S mode

You can lock down a PC to use only apps from the Microsoft Store and reduce battery drain by only loading what is required. You can also unlock this mode.

There are enhancements to

  • Windows Ink
  • Widows Mixed Reality
  • Windows Hello
  • Microsoft Photos
  • 3D in Windows 10
  • Cortana
  • PC Gaming
  • HDR video
  • Start menu
  • 190+ keyboard layouts and Emoji additions
  • Accessibility improvements
  • Windows Defender Security Centre

GadgetGuy’s take – Windows as a service is working

Back in July 2015 Windows 10 was launched as the last version of Windows ever. What Microsoft meant is that it was the last version as a purchasable product – it was going to a software as a service model.

Then Microsoft haters started saying that it was a thinly disguised attempt by Microsoft to sometime in the future charge for updates – a licence fee to keep using it. It did introduce a small monthly fee for Windows 10 Enterprise E3 version but has steadfastly avoided charging the consumer and most business.

The Microsoft licencing model of Windows 10 per PC is working. It has almost eliminated piracy, and revenue streams from licence sales are enough to keep developing it.

There will come a time when old legacy hardware will no longer have support. That is to be expected as many PCs are from XP days. If you have an Intel Atom device and limited ram and storage, then forget updating. Windows won’t nag you to update.

I thought Windows 10 was great – it has come a very long way since supporting 88.59% of all desktops. Mac has 8.69% and Linux 2.29%.

 

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