Microsoft is highlighting new user-controllable privacy and upgrade settings that will be part of the Windows 10 Creators Update, about a month before its expected release.
Microsoft will begin testing the new privacy-settings upgrade experience with its Windows Insider testers today, March 1, officials said, making sure it's working well before the Creators Update starts rolling out to the mainstream (something sources have said will happen in April 2017).
Microsoft unveiled new privacy controls and settings coming to the Windows 10 Creators Update in January this year, and began testing those new controls with Insiders in late January. A new screen with more granular controls around location, speech recognition, diagnostics, tips and recommendations, and relevant ads will replace the existing "Express Settings" in Windows 10 Creators Update, officials said at that time.
Today, March 1, Microsoft will make the new privacy upgrade process available to Insiders for testing via a "quest" in the Feedback Hub. In order to test this, Windows Insiders will need to roll back to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, get a notification about the Creators Update's availability, and then select privacy settings. (Screenshots of what this new privacy experience for upgraders will look like are embedded in this post above.)
Microsoft has faced an ongoing stream of complaints by various protection watchdogs about its privacy settings since Windows 10 first launched. Microsoft's January privacy-settings announcement coincided with a statement by the Swiss data protection and privacy regular, the FDPIC. The FDPIC said it would drop its threats of a lawsuit after Microsoft agreed to make a number of changes to its data-collection settings built into Windows 10. In February, European Union regulators said they were still unsatisfied with Microsoft's announced privacy changes and are seeking further clarification from the company.
Microsoft officials noted that Microsoft also will be making other modifications around user controls with the Windows 10 Creators Update. Users will get more control over when Windows 10 installs feature upgrades like the Creators Update and cumulative security/feature rollups, starting with the coming release.
With Creators Update, users have more options around specifying when they want updates to occur. Microsoft is expanding the duration of "Active Hours" from 12 hours to 18 hours so Windows won't install feature upgrades and/or cumulative security/fix rollups when users can't or don't want to be interrupted.
Microsoft also is adding the ability to reschedule an update if a user's original choice of time isn't convenient. A new "Snooze" capability allows users to pause the update process completely for three days (but can be hit repeatedly for repeated delays).
Microsoft has included a number of these new update and upgrade settings in recent Windows Insiders test builds, but has allowed Insiders to only test some of them (so far).
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