The latest Windows 10 release from Microsoft has now been “released”. I am using quotes around “released” as Microsoft now has a staged development program called the Windows Insider Program that allows testers and enthusiasts to get an early preview months before the full release of the operating system software. This means that we get more stable updates from Microsoft and better upgrade experiences for all users: developers, enthusiasts and IT pros alike.
Some of the key features included in this latest Windows 10 release are:
- Windows Mixed Reality: all you now need is a headset and a compatible PC
- Photos: the new application can add 3D effects – and full 3D objects soon
- Cortana: voice-activated power commands
- Microsoft Edge: several good reasons to upgrade for Developers (more later)
- Numerous productivity updates: Pen, OneDrive, PDF handling, battery performance
- Gaming updates
You can find the whole list on the Microsoft windows blog here.
There are some specific reasons for developers to migrate to Windows 10 FCU (1709) including:
- Microsoft .NET Standard 2.0 for UWP
- Updated Graph and connected services and experiences
- The introduction of Adaptive Cards: an easy way to store and track activity across devices
- Microsoft Fluent Design System: significant tweaks to how Windows 10 looks and behaves
You can read more about these recent developer-focused additions to Windows 10 here. Windows (FCU) is the the thirdRedstone (RS) edition, with the fourth and final Windows 10 RedStone release coming in mid 2018.
In addition to these updates, Microsoft has also tried to improve the updates process itself. Microsoft experienced a number of problems with the initial release of Windows 10, with significant upgrade and roll-out issues. Microsoft will stagger this release of Windows 10 with the advice to wait for the automatic update option. If you need Windows 10 FCU now, you can download the ISO image here. If you choose to wait, please be patient. The previous Windows 10 release took up to four months for a complete roll-out.
Microsoft has posted documentation on how to identify and resolve Windows upgrade issues here. So far there have only been a few reported compatibility issues with the introduction of Windows 10 FCU. Notably, the gaming laptop family Razer Blade has reported a compatibility issue with their built-in keyboard. The advice right now from Razer Systems is “Do not Upgrade”.
As part of any upgrade process (after you have made a full backup) I recommend that you check with the following vendors for hardware compatibility:
And, more controversially, uninstall (i.e. fully remove) any non-Microsoft anti-virus. This is experience talking. It may not feel right, but you will have fewer upgrade issues.