back to article Creators Update meets its maker: It's 1903 or bust for those clinging to Windows 10 1703

Two faithful Windows 10 versions are to be led out behind the barn by a sad-faced Microsoft engineer. The software giant reminded customers this week that the bell had tolled for the original Creator's Update (aka 1703) with 1803, the Spring 2018 Update, not far behind. Microsoft warned admins in August that it would stop …

  1. Steve 114
    Thumb Up


    All the elderly cousins I have switched to Win10 - 'auto updated', no longer bother me with crash reports to resolve. Sure, they wait forever for 'do not turn off your computer', but everything then just works, again and again. Obviously I've given them Linux dual-boot, but there's never been a need and their ancient favourite software wouldn't work if there were.

  2. LeahroyNake

    The spport cycle

    'Microsoft warned admins in August that it would stop releasing security updates from yesterday, October 9.'

    OK so they warned admin peeps. What about the millions of users that now have 'incompatible hardware'¿

    Just because a random motherboard chipset driver will not work with MS latest and greatest shouldn't preclude the system from having security updates that have nothing to do with a manufacturers creaky drivers.

    Was hoping to not mention Creative DSP/ EAX audio cards, Anyone remember how good they were?

    1. Ian 55

      Re: The spport cycle

      Ha, my very good Turtle Beach sound card never got Win 7 drivers, never mind Win 10 ones.

      1. SteveCoops

        Re: The spport cycle

        My amazing Matrox Marvel never got Windows 2000 drivers either :(

    2. Dave K

      Re: The spport cycle

      MS will just trot out the line of "Free updates for the lifetime of the asset". Once the manufacturer pulls support and stops providing new drivers, MS will just say that the asset has reached EOL, hence they no longer support it.

      It's something I've always predicted from the start with Windows 10 - namely that it encourages planned obsolescence. Business assets should be OK as they usually receive support for a decent duration, but for cheaper home laptops? Expect more manufacturers to drop support after 4 years or so to try and force people to have to upgrade to a newer laptop. All they need is one Win10 upgrade that doesn't play nice with an older driver.

      It's already happened in fact with Clover Trail Atom users - they're stuck on the Anniversary update due to Intel declaring the platform as EOL and refusing to issue new drivers...

  3. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Creator Bollocks

    The interesting thing is the extent to which the stupid attempts to force the software on us that they thought we ought to want have been slowly dumped.

    The incredible lack of logic of forcing people to use stuff that they are meant to want still beggars belief.

    To spell it out, if it was what we wanted they wouldn't need to force it.

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Do it our way or not at all

    is the MS motto these day.

    "You Will Obey"

    followed by


    1. robidy

      Re: Do it our way or not at all

      People do it with iPhones and Mac and Androids and Linux...why should Windows be any different?

      1. Usermane

        Re: Do it our way or not at all

        With Linux too? How is that?

        1. SteveCoops

          Re: Do it our way or not at all

          Something like CentOS upgrades majorly every 6 months too doesn't it?

          1. Woodburner

            Re: Do it our way or not at all

            Go for a Long Term Support (LTS) release of Ubuntu and you will not be bothered by unnecessary feature updates for a few years. You still get kernel, security and hardware updates but these take a few minutes to install with minimal impact on system resources. You get a nice, secure, stable, familiar, OS for 3-4 years. I'm still a Windows fan and need it to run certain applications, but the current 6 monthly major release update cycle and the brutal amount of bandwidth and system resources it uses drives me mad. There is just no need. An annual cycle would be just fine, maybe even 18 months. Please Microsoft, stop fixing things that ain't broke. I only use Windows on machines I use for photo and video editing now. Any other PC's used for basic productivity and "consumption" are on Linux and I buy barebones machines wherever possible. I reckon I've saved over £500 on Windows licences in the past three years!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Do it our way or not at all

            CentOS is only a subset of linux, you are free to make your own distribution and update as you like

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        why should Windows be any different?

        Because MS Windows was always sold not leased, carpenter being paid for his work argument bites back.

        You might consider that Apple products are similar to MS but since the latter do not make their own hardware the price for windows is always present even where they pretend it isn't.

        Android is free so long as you follow their requirments and linux is free for anyone to build and maintain.

        In summary if you sell something then most countries require that it works as expected for a reasonable period, yes for years MS have been able to to dodge but that doesn't mean they are the same as the guys who never took a penny directly.

        Windows 10 was never free i.e. open to everyone, you had to have paid MS for a previous version and this change to as a service after the fact was not agreed to.

  5. David 132 Silver badge

    I’d upgrade if I could.

    I have one 2-in-1 laptop/tablet device that just won’t even offer me 1903; it’s determinedly stuck on 1803 - a virgin installation, no extra software at all. Must be some weird hardware or crappy firmware. Maybe I should contact the manufacturer to find out why it doesn’t play nicely with Microsoft’s Windows 10.

    The device is called a “Surface Book”. I wonder who made it.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      Re: I’d upgrade if I could.

      I have a similar device in a similar state, but made by lenovo :-(

  6. I3N

    Put an end to that superstition ... knock on wood ...

    Finally was pushed to work at problem since 7 ...

    During upgrades would get various blue screens .... up grades to 30% and then back-off ... last one had been a consistent not enough memory for ramdrive ....

    Reboot always lead to power supply lock up ... 1000W Real Power Pro ....

    I'd pull out the three EVGA GeForce 9800 GTx+SSC's and reseat them to fix power supply issue ... got to the point where I'd just unplug the aux 12V ...

    FINALLY, deleted every NVIDIA driver and app ...

    Took 6 hours to go from 1709 to 1803 ... and the device manager knew I had 9800's ...

    Can't wait to try 1903 ... backup first ....

    1. I3N

      Too Soon ...

      So shutdown took 3 minutes ... so today ... boots with no video .... time to pull power again ...

      A couple of hours waiting for 1903 to finish ...

      Tomorrow a single EVGA GeForce 8400 GS ...

  7. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I don't know what market research did before they decided on their you will get a new Windows 10 version every 6 months. But I have never met anyone who actually wants these updates, they want a OS that is stable, secure and runs the software they want to run. And I fail to see how these monolithic updates help with that.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      El reg comments for years have been suspicious that "SaaS" meant software as rental. i.e. that ultimately we'd have to pay annually for our Windows to keep working fully.

      It's why I've practised switching to 'Nux and LibreOffice etc.

      I'm still on Win10 - but the swap would be easy.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "I'm still on Win10 - but the swap would be easy."

        Luckily, most of my employers systems I need to access remotely are all usable through the web. The only times I must use windows, they supplied a laptop and tablet which does everything else.

        My personal usage patterns switched to FreeBSD years ago. So long that I don't even look at Windows-only apps. Maybe I'm missing some wonderful, time-saving, incredible apps, but probably not.

    2. Stuart 22

      Yes, I rather like the *buntu approach. A major LTS release every two years on a predictable date. That's when I upgrade my client kit. There is a six monther for those who prefer to die on the bleeding edge. Meanwhile my servers upgrade (or rather re-image) after 4/5 years (that's 2xLTS versions). Simples.

      You feel, no YOU KNOW you are in control of upgrading rather than being at the random mercy of an unpredictable supplier (why is my only Windows kit refusing to offer the upgrade from 1809?).

      1. The Original Steve

        I despise the overly complex way MS are handling Windows and the updates.

        But my (possibly incorrect) understanding is that Windows is similar to Ubuntu as you describe. LTSC every 5 years (I think, maybe 3), for servers or you could go with the 6 monthly releases for the latest features. Regardless of which one, there's monthly security patches too.

        LTSC is also available for the client too, although I know MS highly discourage use of it for normal desktop usage. (In the past at least Office literally wouldn't install if you were using LTSC on Windows 10 which is fucking mental, but since when were MS sensible in that regard?!)

    3. Carpet Deal 'em

      Ubuntu and the like supposedly proved that biannual releases worked - except the various packages in a Linux distribution all have separate release cadences and project teams, so you can release as often as you like without ever including a single testing or development version. A six month cycle of a monolithic release is just the worst of both worlds.

  8. Kev99 Silver badge

    " would drop every six months, an inexplicably rapid cadence" With all the bugs, back doors and security problems that seems way to slow. And don't flavors of Linux come out almost that often?

    1. Dwarf

      The difference with Linux is that :

      1. Its not forced down your throat

      2. You choose if / when you want the update.

      3. Things will still work afterwards - both hardware and software

      4. Most of the updates don't need a reboot.

      So, it is possible, just not in the Microsoft World

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "3. Things will still work afterwards - both hardware and software"

        If you really want, you can recreate the "I'm not sure if my computer will work after this update" feeling by using the unstable release. Although to be honest, the "unstable" release of most distros are usually quite stable...

      2. SteveCoops

        The amount of times I do need a reboot to fix a problem in my few Linux boxes at work is on a par with Windows

    2. Snorlax Silver badge

      And don't flavors of Linux come out almost that often?

      I went to download Ubuntu Desktop last night because I'm a masochist - version 19.04 to be precise.

      This is what the page says:

      The latest version of the Ubuntu operating system for desktop PCs and laptops, Ubuntu 19.04 comes with nine months, until January 2020, of security and maintenance updates.

      Great. 2.5 months of updates for the 'latest' version of Ubuntu.

      Apparently you can download some LTS version which gives you a couple of years of updates

      Somehow linux users accept this, but don't understand how different versions of a Windows desktop OS can have different end dates for support.

      1. drewsup

        Maybe because...

        When we upgrade our Linux boxen, everything usually still works? Not so much with a MS update, it's a bit of a crapshoot whether your system will boot with Windows Uber updates.

        I stayed on Mint 17 for way too long, it worked ok, but was having an occasional hiccup coming out of hybernation, took the plunge, did a backup, and slapped 19 on it, with ZERO problems, did a restore and was back up and running better and faster than before, all this on an aging dual core Toshiba laptop, with even older printer and scanner.

        I would hate to think what would happen if the same thing was done with Windows.

      2. Dwarf

        To put things into context, the link you are referring to is presumably this one - Ubuntu Download

        The top entry says :

        Download the latest LTS version of Ubuntu, for desktop PCs and laptops. LTS stands for long-term support — which means five years, until April 2023, of free security and maintenance updates, guaranteed.

        and the section below that says

        The latest version of the Ubuntu operating system for desktop PCs and laptops, Ubuntu 19.04 comes with nine months, until January 2020, of security and maintenance updates.

        So you have the choice of a long-term support version for 5 years, or a bleeding edge version that will be frequently updated, you just have to choose which one is more appropriate to your use case. The wording can't really be a lot clearer but you seem to want to take it out of context for some reason.

        You might note that the longer-term supported version comes first and for those who know why they might need bleeding edge, can find it too.

        Compare that to the bleeding edge versions of Windows and the long-term versions that don't seem to be particularly long at all. 2 years to quote the article for Windows vs 5 years for Linux. This is not my opinion, just plain old facts from the article and the source you misquoted.

    3. Carpet Deal 'em

      You'd do well to look up the term "distribution". The packages are all developed separately, with "flavors of Linux" just combining them into a convenient bundle.

  9. Carl D

    "El reg comments for years have been suspicious that "SaaS" meant software as rental. i.e. that ultimately we'd have to pay annually for our Windows to keep working fully."

    That might be why it is becoming more and more difficult to install Windows 10 with a local account instead of a Microsoft account (hint: make sure the PC does not have an Internet connection during the install).

    After MS make it almost impossible to install W10 without a Microsoft account (they will then claim no-one uses local accounts anymore, of course) the next step will be to introduce monthly or yearly fees - with the added 'convenience' of being able to set up direct payments to them through your MS account, naturally.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I just set up a W10 Thinkpad for someone. Setting up a local guest account was very much like the old Rogue game with the maze of twisty little passages. But eventually I got there despite, as I thought, being Internet connected.

      Then I discovered that for some reason the thing had become disconnected from the router.

    2. Timmy B

      "That might be why it is becoming more and more difficult to install Windows 10 with a local account instead of a Microsoft account (hint: make sure the PC does not have an Internet connection during the install)."

      Twaddle. I did exactly that yesterday. No issues at all.

    3. SteveCoops

      It asks you once, then asks you to confirm it, then you can specify a local user. Hardly "almost impossible".

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows Hell

    I had to dispose of at least one AMD laptop which didn't support the latest update: something about the CPU being incompatible. Yet it worked fine with 10 from the get go and ran 8GB of DDR3 perfectly well

    Its now been downgraded to a faster dual core from someone's cast off, as the quad chip got "misplaced" somewhere. RIP Phenom 2.

  11. TheProf

    What's My Line

    Why is it such a rigmarole to find out what version of Win 10 one is using? I need to Google the long winded instructions every time this sort of article gets published.

    Maybe putting the version number in a prominent place, that notification area springs to mind, would nudge users to upgrade.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's My Line

      You mean clicking on Settings -> System -> About and the Windows version is at the bottom of the page under Windows Specifications?

    2. Snorlax Silver badge

      Re: What's My Line

      Why is it such a rigmarole to find out what version of Win 10 one is using?

      Win key + i -> System -> About

      Jeez man, how's that a rigmarole? Do you dress yourself in the morning?

      1. Not also known as SC

        Re: What's My Line

        or you can type in winver in the search bar.

    3. Timmy B

      Re: What's My Line

      Because selecting File->Help->About in an explorer window is very difficult.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: What's My Line

        >Because selecting File->Help->About in an explorer window is very difficult.

        No its because you have to do it at all.

        With ALL previous versions of Windows, you knew without really looking which version you were running. you only ever had to look to determine which Service Pack level you were running. With Windows 10, MS decided that such obvious signposting was so last century...

        However, from a usability point-of-view, I know which systems are running W7 and which are running W10, yet with the W10 I can not tell you without looking which build/version each is running.

        1. Snorlax Silver badge

          Re: What's My Line

          With ALL previous versions of Windows, you knew without really looking which version you were running.

          What are you going on about?

          1. Timmy B

            Re: What's My Line

            I came to ask the same thing. I think that he's saying that each version doesn't look the same so you could get from the look if you were running XP, vista, 7, etc. But that only works if you don't use the classic theme in which case they all look the same!

    4. TheProf
      Thumb Up

      Re: What's My Line

      Thanks for all the helpful comments. I followed your methods to find the Windows version number and they all worked.....but.......

      V.1 Click, click, click, scroll, click, scroll.

      V.2 Two keys, click, scroll, click, scroll.

      V.3 Click, find 'File', click, find 'Help', hover, slide, find 'About Windows', click.

      Not exactly simple are they? A combination of clicks, scrolls and hovers needed to find the magic number. And you need to know where to look to find the version number.

      All I was suggesting was that maybe putting the version number in the notification area would be an easier way of doing things. Click on notification icon and there's the version number.

      @Snorlax. Of course I don't dress myself in the morning. Who gets out of bed before noon?

  12. Snorlax Silver badge

    In Before...

    ...the first comedian chips in with "Windows 10...blah blah...beta test."

  13. johnnyblaze

    LTSC all the way

    If you absolutely have to run Windows 10 - and Microsoft are doing everything they can to push everyone to it - the only release worth installing are the LTSC versions. Stipped back, no crap, no feature updates - UI consistency. Unfortunately, it's only available to Enterprises, but any enterprise doing anything with 10 should be looking at LTSC first - no matter what MS says.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One day

    Microsoft will issue a W10 update that has been inadequately tested, and find out that they have switched off Windows 10. I don't know if this is a nightmare or a fantasy

  15. SteveCoops

    So annoying that the LTSC version doesn't support this new fangled Windows Terminal app

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