Microsoft revealed changes to the Windows 10 update process that promise to make the Creators Update release later this Spring a little more bearable. The company also drew some attention back to several privacy-related improvements coming with the Creators Update that were revealed in January.
Windows 10 has been criticized since its debut for its automatic updates. They often seem to install at the worst times, and the downloads can negatively affect performance to a surprising degree. Microsoft said in a blog post, however, that it's finally going to address those complaints:
I am excited to share that you will have considerably more flexibility when specifying the best time to install updates on your devices. We are also making other improvements to the update deployment experience in the Creators Update. For example, downloads will have less impact on device performance while they are in progress. You should experience fewer reboots, which will reduce the likelihood that an update will be installed at an inopportune time.
The company will deliver on those promises with a few changes. First is the ability to let Windows 10 know exactly when you want updates to install. If something comes up at that time--it's hard to predict when important tasks are going to come up--you can "snooze" the update for up to three days. Microsoft is also extending Windows 10's predetermined "active hours," during which updates shouldn't automatically install, to better reflect reality.
Microsoft recommends keeping Windows 10's default settings intact to make sure the most recent version of the operating system is always installed. That's sound advice: delaying software updates makes people vulnerable to attacks from which up-to-date Windows 10 users are already protected. But offering more control over this process should help Microsoft strike a balance between intrusive auto-updates and constantly ignored manual updates.
The Windows 10 Creators Update will also help quell concerns about the operating system's privacy settings. Windows 10 users will be able to decide if they want to share location data with Microsoft; to improve the speech services in Cortana and other apps by sending voice data; to allow diagnostics and app usage data to inform advertisements; and to send all of that information to Microsoft so it can fix bugs and improve its various features.
Microsoft said these changes are just part of its plans to make Windows 10 users feel heard:
This blog post today highlights just a part of our journey to listen intently to your feedback and provide on-going improvement to the Windows experience. In the coming weeks, you can expect to hear more from me about our process for rolling out the Creators Update, how we partner with OEMs to ensure high-quality experiences, and how we utilize your real time feedback and data to ensure the best update experience for all our customers.
The Creators Update is expected to debut later this Spring, but a firm release date hasn't been made public. Members of the Windows Insiders program have slowly received access to many changes that will debut with the Creators Update, from a picture-in-picture feature and Cortana improvements to better security options and Game Mode, over the last few months.