Making an end to the rumor mill that the Windows 10 October 2018 Update would be coming on October 2, Microsoft surprisingly started rolling it out to Windows Insiders as well as those ready to proactively grab the new bits.
Microsoft has skipped over the last ring of the Windows Insider Program, meaning that a few people who signed up for Windows 10 testing, haven’t actually tested it.
Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi at the Fall Surface event in New York City along new Surface devices said this update will be a “phased and controlled” roll out.
“As with previous rollouts, we will use real-time feedback and telemetry to update your device when data shows your device is ready and will have a great experience,” stated Mehdi. “You don’t have to do anything to get the update;” “it will roll out automatically to you through Windows Update.”
Microsoft will more broadly make the October 2018 Update available in the coming weeks starting on Oct. 9 via Windows Update, coincidently a Patch Tuesday.
Mehdi explained the April 2018 Update, which leveraged machine learning (ML) to find devices that were ready to update is now the most widely used version of Windows 10. Adding, “artificial intelligence (AI)/ML targeted rollout approach helped them with the lowest call and online support requests.”
Now, the company is expanding its AI/ML update approach by incorporating more device signals, like improved driver telemetry and weighting of key features, including anti-malware software with the broader phased rollout.
Windows 10 Insiders and other users who like to get the Windows 10 October Update can proactively grab the final bits by manually checking for updates. The final bits are believed to be Build 17763.1.
Just type “Check for updates” in the Search box in the taskbar and then click “Check for updates” to open Windows Update page and begin downloading.
Here are screenshots that show the ‘Check for updates’ process:
Powered by ML, “Check for updates” will only install an update to devices with no key blocking issues. If it detects any compatibility issue, the update will not install until that issue is resolved.
Insiders should take a note to remove their device from the Windows Insider Program to take the RTM Build of October 2018 Update without doing a factory reset until the first 19H1 build hits the Insider Preview Fast ring.
19H1, which a codename for the next Windows 10 feature update is being tested in the Skip Ahead. Slow ring users should have a plenty of time.
The release codenamed “Redstone 5 (RS5),” officially christened to Windows 10 October 2018 Update is version 1809 and comes with the latest features update plus fixes and refinements.
New features include a revamped search experience, battery details for Bluetooth devices, text size adjustment, new Snip & Sketch tool, cloud clipboard.
Additionally, Inking & typing personalization is split out from the Speech privacy page.
Some features, like Sets and Alt-Tab bringing up browser tabs, didn’t make into this release, but Microsoft has assured the feature will return.
“Your Phone” app allow instant access to Android phone’s photos and texts on a computer. It allows to view, send and receive SMS from Android on a PC. The app will be coming to Windows 10 version 1803, too.
For a quicker access just pin the app to desktop or taskbar, or fire it up through “All Apps” in Start Menu, or by clicking Windows key and searching for “Your Phone” app.
The timeline on phone helps quickly find what matters across devices. It also lets users pick up their tasks on iOS or Android or on Windows 10 PC.
It’ currently available as a preview on Android via Microsoft Launcher app, with a preview for iPhone “coming soon.”
Snip & Sketch app before known as Screen Sketch now appear in the list when pressed Alt + Tab. It is now available on Microsoft Store and let set the window size, and even supports multiple windows.
Snipping Tool will continue available until people show they don’t need both experiences.
Microsoft Edge general improvements, such as
- built-in Learning Tools help improve reading and focus, themes, Grammar tools, Line focus highlights lines of text, which helps focus eyes and attention, and Offline dictionary highlight a word and the definition automatically pops up.
- Edge PDF improvements include a Fluent design, Pin/unpin PDF toolbar, rendering improvements, see top sites in the Jump List.
- Toolbar can now be invoked by just hovering at the top, making the tools more easily accessible when a PDF document in Microsoft Edge. are open New options like “Add notes” make these handy tools available when you need them.
- “Downloads” pane adds options for “Show in folder” and “Copy link” to the right-click menu for items.
- Web Authentication API (a.k.a. WebAuthN) provides an open, scalable and interoperable solution to ease authentication, which replaces passwords with stronger hardware-bound credentials.
- Microsoft WebDriver a Feature on Demand (FoD) can be installed by turning on Developer Mode, or by going to Settings -> Apps -> Apps & features -> Manage optional features and installing it as a standalone.
- New Group Policies and MDM settings for IT administrators to manage Microsoft Edge.
- New users control setting in Microsoft Edge under Advanced settings -> Media autoplay, allow to customize whether sites can automatically play videos.
New clipboard experience! (Cloud Clipboard) syncs with the cloud across devices. Enable this on settings page under Settings -> System -> Clipboard. And, Simply press the Windows key + V.
SwiftKey offers more accurate autocorrections and predictions by learning writing style including words, phrases, and emoji.
This feature is now available in SwiftKey on iOS and Android, as well as on Windows 10 onscreen keyboard.
Start tile folder naming. To create a tile folder in Start, just drag one tile on top of another for a second, then release. When expanded, a new option to name it will appear.
The animation below shows the start title folder naming process:
Search Improvements introduces enhanced home screen and help save time with Search Previews.
Save time and keystrokes by scanning the ‘Pick up where you left off’ section for recently accessed items.
Focus search with a filter to quickly find content from PC and the cloud.
Cloud-search enhancements include an email from Outlook.com and documents from OneDrive.
Use Search previews to, get back to what you were doing, jump-start tasks with quick actions, easily distinguish between files, and get web search results like quick answers, news, and websites, without opening a browser.
To find the image and video results for a web search, select an option at the top of the preview.
Another big change in the File Explorer is a dark theme that reflects the system settings, despite it being a Win32 app.
Mixed Reality Flashlight allows mixing physical and virtual realities.
Immersive Application Quick Actions can be launch by simply pressing Windows key to let Go Home, view time or launch Mixed Reality Capture tools (Photo, Video and more).
Stream audio to both the headset and the PC speakers simultaneously. Close all apps, including MRP, and go to Settings -> Mixed reality -> Audio and speech to turn on “When Mixed Reality Portal is running, mirror headset audio to a desktop.”
The game bar now sports a new look, audio controls, is also now an app. Launching Game bar is now easier than ever, whether through the desktop, apps, the Start menu, or taskbar.
Game Mode is now auto-enabled for all games with a master On/Off toggle in Windows Settings.
Game Mode suppresses Windows Update driver installs and blocks Windows Update interruptions, like restart notifications while gaming. Also, game performance is improved with less FPS variability depending on the specific game and system.
Skype for Windows 10 gets a big update that includes To-Do, Call recording, allow private conversations, Themes, archive conversations, the ability to mute others in a group call, @mentions and more.
Microsoft Font Maker app allows using a digital pen to create a custom font based on the nuances of users own handwriting. Currently, it supports basic English font.
Remote Desktop with Windows Hello Biometrics can be used on Azure Active Directory and Active Directory to authenticate to a remote desktop session. This feature works with Windows Hello PIN, however, it does not work with convenience PIN.
Web Sign-in to Windows 10 support for non-ADFS federated providers e.g. SAML
To try out Web Sign-in:
- Azure AD Join your Windows 10 PC. (Note: Web Sign-in is only supported on Azure AD Joined PCs).
- Set the following policy to enable Web Sign-in (Policy CSP/Authentication/EnableWebSignIn).
- On the lock screen, select Web Sign-in under Sign-in options.
- Click on the “Sign in” button to continue.
Faster sign-in to a Windows 10 shared PC. To enable Fast Sign-in:
- Set up a shared or guest PC with Windows 10.
- Set the following policy to enable Fast Sign-in (Policy CSP/Authentication/EnableFastFirstSignIn).
- With the policy enabled, sign-in to a shared PC with your account, and check out the difference.
Windows Defender Security Center is now called Windows Security can be accessed by asking Cortana to open Windows Security or using the taskbar icon.
Current threats area displays all threats that need action.
Controlled folder access help prevent ransomware and other destructive malware from changing personal files.
A new page called Security providers in the Settings section of the app show a list of all the security providers including antivirus, firewall and web protection that are running on a device.
Device health assessment for the Windows time service let properly sync with time servers.
Windows Defender Firewall now supports Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) processes to add specific rules for a WSL.
Windows Security Center (WSC) service now requires antivirus products to run as a protected process to register.
Windows Defender Application Guard now has a new user interface inside Windows Security aims to improve the overall experience for users to manage and check their Windows Defender Application Guard settings.
Windows Account Protection section in Windows Security Center now identifies a paired device that is being monitored for a dynamic lock.
Ease of Access (Accessibility) manageable by going to Settings -> Ease of Access -> “Make everything bigger.” This feature enables making text bigger in Start menu, File Explorer, Settings, etc., without having to change the overall scaling of your system.
A new option under Settings > Ease of Access > Magnifier > “Keep your mouse…” > “centered on the screen” enables easier tracking and use of the mouse, especially helpful at higher magnification levels.
- Narrator scan mode now supports selecting content in Microsoft Edge, Word, Outlook, Mail, and most text surfaces.
- Narrator now ships with a new keyboard layout that is designed to be more familiar to screen reader users.
- Narrator will now automatically read the contents of a dialog box when brought to the foreground.
- A narrator adds a new Scan Mode secondary action command and Spell current selection command.
Improved Update Experience
- Intelligent scheduling of update activity for laptops and 2-in-1 devices will perform certain updates only at night when a device is not in use and plugged in.
- In case of updating overnight, Windows now silences audio when to lower disruptions. If a device hasn’t updated for several nights, Windows will suggest to plug-in the device to start update at night.
- Intelligent reboot scheduling for Windows Update will now automatically determine the least disruptive time outside of Active Hours.
- Feature update installation is now faster and is 31 percent less on downtime during updates.
- October Update’s new update package delivery for monthly quality updates are 40 percent more efficient and creates a compact update package for smaller and faster deployment.
Enhanced Privacy Controls
- Each new account on a device can personally tailor main privacy settings.
- During new device setup, a new activity history page let users opt into sending activity history to Microsoft, so they can pick up where they left off in various activities.
Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) Released
Windows 10, version 1809, starting Oct. 2, start the servicing timeline for Semi-Annual Channel (“Targeted”) release.
This release and all future feature updates of Enterprise and Education editions that release around September will now have “a 30-month servicing timeline.”
Microsoft is advising IT administrators to follow the phased roll out to validate “apps, devices, and infrastructure” compatibility with the October 2018 Update release before broadly deploying.
“We use data to guide our phased consumer rollout and encourage commercial customers to do the same through Windows Analytics,” Mehdi stated.
The update is now available through Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Windows Update for Business (WUfB) and System Center Configuration Manager’s (SCCM) phased deployment.
There’s even more, including more Fluent Design elements, new emoji, Notepad improvements, and more.
Microsoft has also pushed updated “Media Creation Tool” to let create an ISO or USB stick with the October 2018 Update media.
The Windows 10 October 2018 Update is a free update for all Windows 10 PCs, and you can grab it by heading to Settings -> Update & security -> Windows Update -> Check for updates.
For developers Windows 10 October 2018 Update build 17763 (or 1809) and SDK is now available.
Here are a few new APIs and features:
- WinUI Library is a way to get new controls! We are shipping new controls out-of-band such as Menu Bar and Navigation View. Head over to this page for the latest package.
- Density UI improvements include default spacing and sizing about 20% tighter compared to the old standard.
- MSIX packaging tool makes upgrading existing applications a breeze to the new packaging format. It works both in an interactive UI or command line! If you want to learn more about MSIX, head over to Docs.
Microsoft also said that Windows Server 2910 was available for download for those with Software Assurance via the Volume Licensing Center, and via the Azure Marketplace.
And, that they will add Windows Server 2019 to Visual Studio Subscription (formerly MSDN) and the Microsoft Partner Network, “later in October.”
For more information, watch this video “Updating tips for the Windows 10 October 2018 Update” that outlines how to get the October 2018 Update process:
Microsoft To-Do task app adds new ability to update tasks by ink using a digital pen and a touch enabled Windows device. Simply add a task to the list using ink, and then strike out when complete.
When signed into Microsoft Account, tasks will sync to To-Do app across iOS, Android and Windows and the web.
Outlook.com receives two new updates that include new Tasks experience to manage tasks right from the inbox.
This feature uses To-Do and allows creating tasks by dragging and dropping an email to the task list. Or, easily schedule items by dragging a task to a calendar.
Another new experience in Outlook.com let brands to obtain a “verified” icon to easily identify legitimate businesses in the inbox. A blue checkmark will let them flag Outlook.com emails from verified businesses.
Brands will also be able to customize their business profiles and other Microsoft products for the future. Later in 2019, Microsoft will offer businesses and brands a way to “get more prominent placement for their email, coupons, and promotions before customers even open their email.”
New profile card offers quick access to contact information, package deliveries, reservations, store locations and more.
New subscription portal let users view all the newsletters they’re enrolled in and “unsubscribe” them in one click.
Finally, identifying promotions in an inbox is easier now as the details in the message list help in discovering them.
Microsoft says these features will be rolling out to Outlook.com customers in the US in the “coming months.”
Microsoft Forms that let users create surveys and quizzes is now extended to consumers as well. Simply share a link or QR code and the recipient will access the form from virtually anywhere.
Microsoft Font Maker app allow using a digital pen to create a custom font based on the nuances of own handwriting.