Microsoft announced that the Windows 10 Creators Update is now available to everyone with a compatible system.
Reading that sentence in July might seem weird, given that the Creators Update was released in April, and that the Fall Creators Update is set to debut in the coming months. But the announcement matters because Microsoft has been experimenting with a different update process, which could help consumers and business customers alike the chance to get the latest version of Windows on a more predictable timeframe.
Microsoft explained the importance of today's announcement in a blog post:
We are excited to make the Creators Update fully available to all our customers. We also encourage commercial organizations to begin broadly deploying Windows 10, version 1703, if you haven’t already done so. You can verify your system is up to date on the Windows Security page. We will continue to ensure all eligible devices can now move forward to the Creators Update, if you are having trouble updating your device, see this helpful article. Staying up to date on both the latest feature and quality updates assures you of being on the most secure version of Windows 10 ever (version 1703).
Operating system updates can be a pain in the butt. You should make sure you back up your system, of course, and once you do that you'll have to wait for the update to download and install. Predicting how long that might take is hard, and you probably won't update if you're in the middle of doing something. You might also put off an update if you're worried that it will create problems with your hardware or apps you rely upon.
At the same time, however, delaying operating system updates can put a system at risk. Outdated versions of Windows are likely to have vulnerabilities that new versions of the operating system don't. You have to balance the pros of updating to a new version of Windows (more security, new features) with the cons (possible hardware issues, incompatible apps). Microsoft's new rollout process is supposed to help.
The Creators Update debuted in stages. Enthusiasts could manually install the update starting on April 5, and it was officially released on April 11. Then on April 25 the company advised Windows 10 users not to force the upgrade and to wait for the Windows 10 Update Assistant to let you know when you should, well, update. Today's announcement marks the first time Microsoft has advised everyone to install the Creators Update.