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Microsoft enters last leg of development on the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

With just a couple months to go before sign-off, development on Microsoft's next feature update for Windows 10 known as the Fall Creators Update has entered its last leg of development internally. This means that from here on out, Microsoft will be mostly focused on readying up the OS for release by squashing bugs, improving performance and doing a bit of house-keeping before launch. This is a typical part of Windows development and is right on schedule.

We may still get a few smaller features show up between now and release, but we won't be seeing anymore big new features or changes from here on out.

My contacts say that internally, Microsoft is now compiling builds in the rs3_release development branch. This is the branch where Microsoft will compile the release build of the Fall Creators Update, just like with the Anniversary Update and Creators Update, which had its release builds compiled in rs1_release and rs2_release branches respectively. I expect Microsoft will start rolling out rs3_release builds for testing to Insiders in the next few weeks.

While development of the Fall Creators Update is on track, some might argue that Microsoft has cut a lot of what it originally had planned for this release. That's not necessarily a bad thing, of course, cutting features allow Microsoft more time to perfect them before they're readily available to the public. It also means Microsoft can keep on schedule without needing to delay an entire release if one or several features won't be ready in time for it.

Still, with things like Timeline and Cloud Clipboard, two blockbuster features, not coming in this release, the Fall Creators Update is turning out to be much more of a minor update than originally expected. There are lots of other improvements to enjoy, however, including OneDrive placeholders, Story Remix, My People, Edge improvements, Fluent Design and many more general enhancements to the OS that users are going to appreciate.

Regarding Windows 10 Mobile, it's unclear of Mobile development follows the same release cycle as PC anymore. In the past, with the Anniversary Update and Creators Update, it did, but with feature2 there's no reason for PC and Mobile releases to be tied together. I'm just speculating, but considering we're still waiting for Microsoft to add new enterprise features to Mobile, I doubt it'll be finalized alongside the PC version.

Of course, now that the Fall Creators Update on PC is winding down development, Microsoft is already hard at work on the update coming after it, codenamed Redstone 4. Insiders will learn more about Redstone 4 shortly after the Fall Creators Update is finalized, which we're expecting to happen sometime in September. Redstone 4 will include features such as Timeline, which was cut from the Fall Creators Update release, as well as new yet to be announced features.

What are you most looking forward to from the Insider Program over the next year? Let us know in the comments!

Zac Bowden
Zac Bowden

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

40 Comments
  • But... I have the last Insider build and no Story Remix in it. Where is it ?
  • They removed updates to Inbox Apps like this on purpose. It may likely return with the official release, or be present in other channels of the insider program.
  • All right, thanks :)
  • The gutted most of that feature and moved it to the production ring release of the App last week I think.
  • I don't quite get the reason behind the hype for the Fall Creators Update in order to get the Fluid design in particular - I mean, the Fluent Design is indeed really nice, but literally every needed API and component for it is already present in the Creators Update, as seen in many apps that already feature those effects (both from MS and from 3rd party devs, like myTube and OneLocker).
    Every single developer can already implement the Fluent Design UI without having to wait for the Fall Creators Update.
    That said, I'm still looking forward to it, the Story Remix feature looks awesome and the Edge improvements are always welcome!
  • Is Edge gonna be in the store finally?
  • Nope
  • 😔
  • With the fall creators update, adding the fluent design effects are super easy. Just copy and paste these lines of code and your done. Sometimes they are even built in. While the same effects can be achieved in the creators update, they are harder to achieve as the developer would have to create them themselves.
  • Yeah, I 100% agree (even though manually implementing them has the advantage of being able to customize them a lot).
    What I meant was just that, from a non-developer point of view, it's not entirely correct to say that Fluent Design will be added with the Fall Creator's Update, as all the features of the 1st wave are already here (and a good part of them has already been available since the Anniversary Update).
  • What happens when you call the same lines of code on a device running 15xxx
  • They're not exactly the same lines or code, on build 15xxx you'd manually use the Composition APIs and Win2D APIs to achieve those effects (acrylic, reveal highlight etc...) while on 16xxx you'd use the "official" APIs (example, the official acrylic brush), and that will use the same APIs behind the scenes, without you noticing.
    Still, the end result is the same, that's why I said we don't actually have to wait for the Fall CU to see Fluent Design being used in apps.
  • I've used some of the APIs in 15xxx so far, but not looked into 16xxx specific things yet, it's definitely made a lot easier. It's going to involve quite a bit of extra version checking for now, I did that with 15xxx to make sure I didn't call APIs that don't exist in older versions. I would not target 16xxx as the minimum version yet - Although it guarantees the new APIs are available a small number of users will be on it in production for the first 6 months, and if you target 16xxx minimum then you exclude Mobile completely. One thing I really want to use, but will avoid for practical reasons are some of the new XAML controls - They look very convenient, but using them without messing around will again mean targeting 16xxx and excluding Mobile and older PC builds - I think it's fine and easy to check the version for certain things I'm calling in code, but I don't really want to build two versions of XAML for my main page, one with a SplitView and one with the new Navigation Control
  • If it can help, you can use my library UICompositionAnimations (it's on NuGet and GitHub: https://github.com/Sergio0694/UICompositionAnimations), it contains ready to use acrylic and reveal highlight effects for build 15xxx. You can literally just declare an acrylic brush like with the Fall CU preview SDK and you're good to go (check the readme out for some snippets, and you can try my app OneLocker to see it in action).
    As for the XAML part, I 100% agree, it's one thing to check the APIs at runtime, but building and managing two separate views would be too much work and hard to debug as well.
  • Your library looks great - Thanks for that. I will definitely make some use of it. I'm excited to use those XAML controls but it will be in 2018 for me - I will continue to use SplitView etc. for now as I already have them setup in existing apps in a way I can easily re-use for new projects. I'm probably going to look more and more into building Cortana (and others) Skills too, I think the App paradigm needs to fade away a little so technology becomes more transparent and just works, and I don't need an App to check train times or get an Uber because I can just tell Cortana (or Siri/Now) to do it - The train time thing is an example of what I want btw, you can't do that in Cortana now and there's no Cortana Uber integration in the UK either
  • Let's hope that leg doesn't turn out to be lame.
  • If Microsoft doesn't bring acrylic to edge browser and taskbar in FCU, I'll be dissapooointeeedddd!!!!
  • They've shown it in Edge before, in a Build session - They said it was a video of how it actually looks with it. Acrylic was in the Tab Preview view
  • They better fix the bug that is causing Forza Horizon 3 to crash every time you load the game.
  • I hope this release is going to be stable...
  • Why is anyone pretending there's any development going on with mobile?  All they're doing is cleaning up whatever mess is left before they start the End Of Life clock on it and give us the finger.
  • Nevermind.
  • ScubaDog,  100% percent correct my friend!  Time to move on to greener pastures when it comes to mobile...
  • This is not exactly true. Some important updates coming to Windows 10 Mobile. (New photos app design, new enterprise features, landscape mode etc) Microsoft gonna keep this OS for its partners and firms... Probably you only read windowscentral for the news. But there are a lot news around. We all see those features approximately in 2 months. So useless to talk same old dead cliche over and over again.
  • Landscape mode....Where did you hear that was coming?
  • Until MS proves otherwise....then I am standing by my original statement....windows 10 mobile is dead man walking.
  • It is what it is, and won't change much. If somebody isn't happy with it now, then that isn't going to change in the next 12 months. You can keep using it, and it will continue to work fine which is great for those happy with it. Eventually, probably sometime between the early and late 2018 update it will become more necessary to switch to something else, as existing things perhaps start to become unavailable.
  • If I am not mistaken, landscape was only part of the builds which got accidentially published to all rings, including mobile. It was part of Cshell I think. So if I am correct in my assumptions: No, Landscape mode will not come in two months time, unfortunately =/ All Feature2 contains is bug fixes and TINY improvements.
  • I wouldn't say they're cleaning up - From what you've said that wouldn't make any sense would it. They are providing security and bug fixes though - That means no new features and it is also being phased out as they entice developers into using new XAML controls that aren't in 15xxx builds. I don't actually care that much about new features, I'm more bothered from a selfish point of view that I can't make use of some of the new XAML goodness without excluding mobile.
  • Let's hope it will be more exciting than the boring update Creators Update became.
  • Yes....make sure it's stable upon release....I Lost it when the news broke that timeline was being axed...but then found out it's not what I thought it was...ha ha...story remix was what I was confused in.....So as long as that, place holders,  and fluent is active...I am 100 percent happy with the fall,  excuse me,  autumn update!
  • waaaahhhhhhh  whiny fanboy downvotes!
  • OneDrive improvements are the biggest by far. But EIGHT years ago, I used to be able to tap the Start Button and type in 3 letters to find any of my contacts. I am flabbergasted that this simple task of locating PEOPLE cannot be done from the Start menu in Windows 10. Even if I could launch People with a keyboard shortcut, you have to tap TAB 6 times for the focus of the mouse to end up in the search box. Sure its a first world problem, but when your job is piling through contacts all day long, its a problem. So if the build is close to feature complete that is fine, but from what I have seen of the new "People" feature, its ******* useless without Groups and search from Start. I must have the build that messed up the People App because I have not reached for it intuitively one single time. I struggle to see its usefulness. I just want my productivity that they stole from me when they removed Contact Search from start YEARS ago. And every single customer of mine that was forced off of Windows Live Mail as the free email client and onto Mail App, all of them ask me how to send to a Group of contacts. Am I supposed to tell them to bounce over to the website or subscribe to Outlook 2016? That's an anti-consumer answer.
  • What no one has been talking about is what this update will mean for developers. .Net Standard 2.0 and XAML Standard are getting 20000 APIs added (back) in.  The big one for me is the SQLClient api.  This will allow UWP apps to once again connect directly to SQL databases and not require a intermediary app to connect the two.  https://blogs.windows.com/buildingapps/2017/05/11/windows-home-developers-windows-10-fall-creators-update/#S40YimBpfbPpXJQG.97 is a fair read about some of these features. 
  • What is "Story Remix?"
  • Story Remix is a new feature to the Photos app that allows you to easily create professional-looking slideshows and videos using existing photos, videos, and music. Most excitingly, Story Remix allows you to add Mixed Reality and 3D effects to your videos with minimal work.
  • Yep.  It is going to be an awesome peice of software for me.  I tried going fast ring to get it early but screwed over my notebook.  So I am waiting impatiently for this to be released.  
  • I seriously miss 8.1 on both PC and Mobile for some reason 😂😂😃
  • Oh, what a lovely question! Thank you. My outlook for the next 12 months: -further polishing and bugfixing a backlog of the windows tablet experience pre-dating the anniversary update.
    -further polishing of the current added tablet experience features.
    -in incentives push to stimulate the development of more uwp apps.
    -More language support for Cortana (Looooooooooooooooooonnng overdue!!! Predating first officll launch of windows 10)
  • i have no problem with ms cutting features. and i get that this clearly helps for staying on schedule and with not releasing half backed feature. but i do hate that even if they cut features they still deliver bad implementations and half features. look at my people or fluent design implementations. those features are what consumers will see at first sight. and they are BAD and UGLY. microsoft needs to get things sorted out. maybe some more team realignment?