If you're eagerly awaiting Microsoft's next major Windows 10 feature update, you'll have to wait much longer.
The update, internally codenamed "Redstone 4," has been pulled back due to reliability issues. The bugs are reportedly causing a higher percentage of Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) errors on machines.
The major update, unofficially known as the "Spring Creators Update" was supposed to have been released on April 10 but is now delayed due to the system-breaking bugs.
Starting from scratch
In a departure from the norm, Microsoft has decided to create a new build with the fixes already in place instead of simply patching the issues after release.
"In certain cases, these reliability issues could have led to a higher percentage of BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) on PCs, for example," wrote Microsoft's Dona Sakar on an official blog post. "Instead of creating a Cumulative Update package to service these issues, we decided to create a new build with the fixes included."
Don't confuse these major feature updates with the monthly Patch Tuesday updates. The monthly updates are typically smaller security patches and bug fixes while the major updates bring brand new features and functions, design overhauls and system improvements.
The last major update for Windows 10 was the Fall Creators Update released back in October.
Is the delay a good thing?
The pullback of the update indicates that Microsoft is now deadly serious about ironing out serious bugs first even if it means missing its own internal deadlines. You can't blame the company for being overly cautious this time.
If you can recall, all the Windows patches released this year so far were so buggy and inconsistent, they were even causing some Windows PCs to be rendered unbootable.
January's Windows Meltdown patch, in particular, was found to be incompatible with various types of anti-virus software. To counteract these issues, Microsoft released an emergency patch in late January to disable that patch.
March's Windows updates were likewise riddled with critical bugs and it forced the company to roll out more out-of-band emergency patches to fix the nagging problems. Even worse, all the Windows 7 patches this year were found to harbor security holes that are yet to be fixed.
The issues were so alarming that we even advised you to delay, postpone or defer your Windows updates until it's known that any lingering system-breaking bugs are squashed. (Now, you won't even have to delay the updates yourself. Microsoft is doing it for you!)
Needless to say, an improved final build of the "Spring Creators Update" without any major bugs will be much better than having to deal with multiple emergency patches down the road. This will hopefully avoid any further customer backlash brought about by quality and reliability issues.
There's no word yet when the update will finally drop but the delay can push it further to May.
What should you expect from the next major Windows 10 update?
The "Spring Creators Update" will bring a slew of new features to Windows 10 including a new Timeline feature, a smarter Cortana, Fluent Design tweaks, more Edge browser features and an expanded People Hub.
Here's a rundown of what you should expect:
One of the major features being introduced in the next Windows 10 update is Timeline. This feature is a new management system for current and previously running apps. By adding a history feature in the Task View, you can see what apps you ran during the course of a day and resume them.
Not only that, similar to Apple's Continuity and Handoff features, you can resume the tasks on other Windows 10 machines and compatible apps on iOS or Android gadgets.
The Fall Creators Update made Cortana smarter with faster answers without the need for an open browser.
With the Spring Creators Update, Cortana will go cross-platform! With an improved collections feature, you'll be able to create lists and sync between gadgets that have the Cortana app installed, going beyond Windows 10 computers.
Natural language voice control for third-party music apps like Spotify and Pandora are also being introduced.
Windows Fluent Design System
The Windows Fluent Design philosophy was introduced in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, bringing elements of transparency and animation that it previously lacked.
We're expecting more Fluent Design improvements in the next update that will focus on light, depth and motion effects in the Windows 10 user interface.
A new way to communicate with your family and friends was introduced in the Fall Creators Update via the "My People Hub." Basically, it's a taskbar icon that provides a quick way to launch communication apps.
With the Spring Creators Update, Microsoft will let you add up to 10 contacts on the People Hub and see them on its pop-up menu.
A number of worthwhile features are also slated for Microsoft's browser, Microsoft Edge.
First is the ability to mute audio from specific tabs. This will definitely come in handy when silencing browser auto-play videos.
Microsoft Edge will also get more Fluency Design improvements, expanded eBook support and more touchpad gestures.
April Patch Tuesday rolls out 65 Microsoft security fixes
Microsoft's April 2018 Patch Tuesday came and went this week and the company issued its regular monthly software patches to fix various vulnerabilities. This month's updates contain 65 security patches, including 24 that are rated critical. Click here to read more.