So, I set about in October with great hopes of updating my Windows 10 boxes to the new Fall Creator’s Update. I was most interested in the enhanced security in Windows Defender. I had mixed success with the update (NOTE: #1). Here’s some of the features therein:
- Windows Mixed Reality
When actual reality just isn’t good enough! This feature provides 3D rendering of documents and photos. It now has a Mixed Reality Viewer, and continues support for Microsoft Paint 3D.
This is a new App for Windows 10 that provides indexing, annotation, and filtering capabilities similar to those found in Smartphone Apps.
- My People
Provides an annoying icon near the Status Bar to allow a quick and convenient way to contact your Peeps via Email or Skype.
Audio and Voice Recognition enhancements. It now finds just about any file or folder on your computer along with the Windows system stuff; much more useful.
- Microsoft Edge
Provides enhancements to allow pinning of favorite websites to the taskbar, editing Favorite URLs, and convenience full-screen mode (F11).
- Microsoft Store
Updated to consolidate both PC and XBox Apps.
Increased Malware and Ransomware protection with Windows Defender Exploit Guard. For those people that use the standard storage location for files and folders, the Protected Folder/Controlled Folder features are useful.
- SmartPhone Integration
Increased functionality when the Microsoft Launcher is installed on Android phones. It is easy to share links between your mobile device and your PC (NOTE: #2).
- PC Gaming
A new gaming toolbar is available with better video switching and audio broadcasting support.
NOTE 1: I kept getting error codes 0xc1900208 and 0xc1900209 on one of my Windows 10 boxes. Naturally, there wasn’t any real useful data associated with that. I found useful files in the directory C:\$WINDOWS.~BT\Sources\Panther\CompatData_*.xml that listed problematic files (5 of them). These were all associated with files in a backup UBCD4Win Boot-CD folder that I had compiled (BartPE) for Windows XP some 10 years ago. When I deleted those files, the upgrade went flawlessly. Oh come on, Microsoft; that’s just too picky.
NOTE 2: On one of my Windows 10 boxes, I would enter my Android phone number in Settings->Phone and the phone would get the generated SMS Text message. However, the PC would not add the Phone’s ID to the screen. Nor would that PC appear in the list of devices to send to from the Android “Continue of PC” function. This turned out to be due to a service that was disabled on the Windows 10 PC called “DNS Cache”. Once the service started, it all worked normally after that. I’ll talk more about SmartPhone/Android integration in another post.
The Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update 2017 is impressive. Cortana finds any kind of file or setting on your computer, which has proved to be very useful so far. I was pleased to see that Exploit Guard is enabled by default in Windows Defender. I found that SmartPhone integration to be useful, albeit a little limited. There is enormous potential there – Microsoft is on the right track.
On a normal working system, you can expect this update to take about 1.5 – 2.0 hours to download, run, and complete. I recommend that you give it a try!