Microsoft has announced the latest major update to Windows 10. Officially, it’s called the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, but you could miss the name entirely if you’re not paying attention. It’s a name that surrenders to the mundane, coming in just a cut above patches known only by version numbers.
This is a new direction for Windows 10. Since release, Microsoft has treated each major patch like a red-carpet event. The company, understandably proud of a patch cadence that makes Apple’s MacOS updates look like fan patches thrown together by five developers in a coffee shop, wanted to shout its success from the rooftops.
That tactic backfired. Every upcoming update promised big changes alongside a slick name, like the Anniversary Update and Creators Update. Some features, like Windows 10’s built-in game streaming, were cool. Others, like Paint 3D, were complete flops – and those over-hyped flops took away from what Microsoft was doing. Instead of eagerly anticipating updates, Windows users worried Paint 3D would sign MS Paint’s death warrant (it didn’t).
It’s not fair, really. Microsoft put a lot of work into building and boasting of updates that landed with a thud. But hey — that’s life.
Thankfully, Microsoft has learned. The Windows 10 April 2018 Update includes several interesting new features such as Timeline, which re-thinks how you manage tasks across multiple sessions and multiple PCs. It can also silence notifications to keep you productive and makes more (yes, more) improvements to the company’s Edge browser. Which, by the way, is pretty okay these days, so long as you’re not a browser add-on junkie.
It’s easy to imagine Microsoft going a different direction and shouting these updates from the rooftops, while shipping it out with an eye-catching name, like “Windows 10 For People Who Absolutely Kill It Update.” Instead, the company has given it a boring name. It’s also announced ahead of Microsoft Build, with availability landing before the show. By contrast, last year’s Fall Creators Update was announced at Build 2017, and it didn’t reach full release until five months later.
Microsoft isn’t teasing. It’s not drawing out the process with months of hints and anticipation. It’s going to deliver a patch and let everyone get on with their lives. Will most people notice or care? No, and they never would, not even if Microsoft celebrated by throwing a parade in every major U.S. city. A Windows patch, like a reliable car or comfortable sweater, is best when it’s not an event. The yawn-inducing April 2018 Update seems a step in that direction.
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