Microsoft's Windows 10 April 2018 Update arrives on Monday

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 feature update has an official name and a release date. You've got questions? I've got (some) answers.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Windows 10 "Redstone 4" finally has an official name: The Windows 10 April 2018 Update. And it also finally has an official availability date. On Monday, April 30 -- the last day of April -- it finally will begin to roll out to non-Insider testers.

Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft is staggering the rollout of its newest Windows 10 PC feature update, like it has most of its past few such releases.

Here is what to expect.

Q: When will existing Windows 10 users be able to get the April 2018 update?

A: Tech savvy users who are interested in proactively grabbing the April 2018 Update can get it starting on April 30 by downloading it. Microsoft will start rolling it out to other Windows 10 users via Windows Update on Tuesday, May 8.

Q: When will the April 2018 Update be available on MSDN and the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC)?

A: MSDN users should be able to download the bits as of April 30. VLSC users should see them on May 7.

Q: What's the build number for the April 2018 update?

A: Given Microsoft's testing trajectory, the original plan seemed to be for Build 17133, delivered to Fast Ring testers in late March, to become the base for the April Update. The actual RTM, instead, is 17134, which first went to Insiders in mid-April. Microsoft nixed 17133 as its RTM release for unspecified quality/reliability reasons.

Q: Wasn't Redstone 4 supposed to be called the "Spring Creators Update"?

A: Yes, but Microsoft officials seem to have come to their senses about the potential confusion around that name, giving the original "Creators Update" release came out in Spring 2017. They opted to go with the April 2018 Update, which is definitely clearer.

This update also is still known as 1803, even though it actually didn't end up"RTMing" in the third month (03) of 2018. (Microsoft officials no longer use the RTM terminology, but these days RTM corresponds with the year/month of the release of the build which Microsoft plans to use for its latest feature update.)

Q: When will Microsoft make Windows Server 1803 (the next semi-annual channel release) which corresponds to the April 2018 client update available?

A: The Windows Server 1803 bits will be available on May 7, Microsoft says. A list of some of the key Server 1803 features that will be included is in this Microsoft blog post.

A little back story: On April 4, Microsoft posted to one of the company's blogs that Windows Server 1803 was generally available. (Microsoft has since pulled that reference from the post.) Even though the GA notice went out, the Server 1803 bits were never available to non-Insider testers.

Q: What's going to happen re: Windows 10 S Mode as of the April 2018 update?

A: As Microsoft announced previously, customers will be able to choose to buy a new Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro PC with S mode enabled, and commercial customers will be able to deploy Windows 10 Enterprise with S mode enabled as of the release of the April 2018 update.For anyone who wishes to switch out of S mode, they will be able to at no charge, regardless of edition.

"This new approach will make it possible for more customers to start using Windows 10 in S mode: a productive, familiar Windows experience that is streamlined for security and performance," a Microsoft spokesperson reiterated.

Q: Is there a Windows 10 Home Advanced edition as of the April 2018 update? If so, what's different about this edition vs. Windows 10 Home?

A: Microsoft has nothing to share on that, said a spokesperson. A Microsoft document leak earlier this year indicated that Microsoft is planning to add a Home Advanced edition to its line-up, but didn't specify when or what might be included in it.

Q: Is Microsoft estimating how long the rollout of the April 2018 Update might take?

A: "The April 2018 Update will begin rolling out on April 30 in a measured, deliberate way to ensure quality experience for all. It will begin with devices that are ready for the April 2018 Update based on specs to ensure the highest levels of compatibility and rollout to the nearly 700 million devices running Windows 10 over time," said a spokesperson.

Q: What are the primary new features in Windows 10 April 2018 Update?

A: Timeline replaces TaskView, allowing users to see previously opened windows. Focus Assist is the new "Quiet Hours." In Edge, there are audio-tab management, grammar, autofill and dictation additions. Edge also will support Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) as of this release. A more comprehensive list is available on ZDNet.

Q: What about business-specific features in the April 2018 update?

A: Microsoft declined to provide a list of what's new for businesses. But our sister site TechRepublic has a good list of what's new for business users in the April 2018 update. There are a number of VM deployment enhancements, new features in the Windows Subsystem for Linux, and support for Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection in the Pro Edition of Windows 10 (which, oddly, still requires customers to have Enterprise licensing to use).

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