Microsoft to begin Windows 10 Creators Update sign-off process this week
After several months of development, the Windows 10 Creators Update is just about ready for prime-time. This coming week, Microsoft is expected to begin its internal sign-off process, in which the company will compile RTM (Release To Manufacturing) candidates and then select a release candidate for Insiders to test before deeming it good enough for the public.
Sources familiar with the matter say Insiders will likely receive the release candidate for the Creators Update next week, and if said build meets all of Microsoft's quality assurance criteria, will be the build that eventually rolls out to the public. Microsoft is targeting April 11th as the release day for select devices running the Anniversary Update, with all other devices expected to get the update before May.
This is the same process Microsoft used last time with the Anniversary Update rollout. To avoid mass upgrade issues, the company rolls out feature updates in waves, first targeting a selection of whitelisted devices, and then eventually opening the floodgates to everyone once it's clear that there aren't any major upgrade issues taking place.
It's unlikely that Xbox or Windows 10 Mobile will receive the update on the same day, however. It's looking like the Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update will rollout a few weeks later, as will Xbox once the update is ready there too. April 11th is the current plan for the desktop release, but as always that date could change.
Once the release build is selected as such, Microsoft will continue squashing bugs up until launch. As with all major Windows releases, Microsoft will issue a number of 'Zero Day Patches' for the build that will tackle any last minute bugs that are still popping up for Insiders. These patches will show up much like any other patch via Windows Update, and will rollout as one big cumulative update for the public once the Creators Update is available.
For Insiders, you won't have to do anything to get the final build. Microsoft will roll it out much like any other Insider Preview build to the Insider rings, and you will also receive any Zero Day Patches via the Insider Program too. It'll probably take a few days before Microsoft are confident that the release candidate Insiders receive is good enough for the public, at which point Insiders will be able to leave the Insider Program on the Creators Update build if they so choose.
If you are planning to stay on the Insider Program, you can expect to see the first Redstone 3 preview build arrive sometime in late-April. It's a great time to be a Windows fan, with the Creators Update fast approaching and the Redstone 3 preview kicking off very soon, there's lots to be excited about over the next few weeks!
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Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.