When Microsoft took the wraps off its upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update 10 in October, the company initially set a vague "early 2017" release deadline. Now, a clearer picture of when the company intends to release the upgrade is emerging.
Sources have revealed to MSPoweruser that the Creators Update will start rolling out in April with a final version number of 1704 (where 17 represents the year 2017 and 04 the month of April).
Earlier builds of the operating system for members of the Windows Insider early-access program contained mentions of version 1703 (March 2017), suggesting that Microsoft is pushing back the release date to the second quarter.
Meanwhile, there's another indication that Microsoft is entering the home stretch.
The pace of Windows Insider preview releases has slowed. MSPoweruser also reported that the Creators Update will be "feature locked" by the end of this month, meaning that Microsoft will make the final decision on which new features to include in the final software package.
As its name suggests, the Windows 10 Creators Update focuses on content creation, particularly 3D graphics. In addition to a new 3D Paint app, the update will include software components that enable augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences on standard-issue Windows systems.
The company has even marshaled its hardware partners to support the initiative. Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo are expected to launch compatible VR headsets this year with prices starting at $299. By comparison, the Facebook's Oculus Rift retails for $599.
During the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, several PC makers are showing off the near future of VR on Windows.
MSI upgraded its Trident series systems, which company claims is the industry's most compact line of VR-ready PCs, with seventh-generation "Kaby Lake" Intel Core processors.
For VR enthusiasts that don't want to lug around a desktop PC, Acer announced a revised version of its Predator 17 X notebook. The VR-enabled notebook features an Intel Core i7-7820HK processor and a powerful GeForce GTX 1080 graphics processing unit (GPU) from Nvidia, complete with 8GB of video RAM.
Businesses, on the other hand, can expect the Creators Update to keep a tighter lid on their data.
Microsoft is adding new capabilities to its Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) offering, including the ability to detect memory and memory and kernel-level threats.
Since no two corporate user environments are alike, the company will enable organizations to add their own data security intelligence to the Windows Security Center. In effect, IT departments will be able to customize the machine learning malware detection technology for their specific needs.
The company is also including new remediation actions Windows Defender ATP, enabling IT personal to isolate infected systems, block malicious files and collect forensics with a single click.
The update will also include mobile application management capabilities that organizations can use to protect business data on personal devices that haven't been enrolled in a mobile device management platform.