Microsoft on Wednesday began letting antsy customers download Creators Update, the latest Windows 10 feature upgrade.
Last week, the company had said it would make Creators Update available for manual download on April 5, about a week before it will pull the Windows Update trigger and start pushing the upgrade to most users.
[ See Computerworld’s Review of Windows 10 Creators Update. ]
Creators Update is also known as 1703 in Microsoft's yymm format, even though the upgrade wasn't released in March.
To jump the Windows Update line, current Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro users can run the Update Assistant, a small 5MB installer available on Microsoft's website.
Customers can also download a disk image as an .iso file, from Microsoft's site. Using the Media Creation Tool -- available from the same web page as the Update Assistant -- they can create an installation DVD or USB flash drive with the .iso file. Alternately, they can use the .iso file to install a clean copy of the operating system in a virtual machine.
Mac owners who want to install -- not upgrade -- Creators Update in Boot Camp must follow a more circuitous route, according to a Microsoft support document. Rather than apply the Creators Update .iso, they must first install an .iso of 2016's Anniversary Update, aka 1607, to Boot Camp. Only then should they upgrade to Creators Update.
Those willing to wait for Creators Update will be automatically served the feature upgrade eventually. While some Windows 10 Home users will be offered Creators starting April 11, others will have to wait weeks, even months. Last year's Anniversary Update, for instance, took about three months to be proffered to, and installed on, 80% of the eligible Windows 10 Home devices.
Microsoft uses this phased distribution to collect and evaluate diagnostic data from devices being upgraded, and then if necessary, addresses problems that crop up before offering it to more PCs.
Most Windows 10 Pro systems won't receive Creators Update via Windows Update until Microsoft certifies the upgrade as business ready, a milestone typically met about four months after code debuts to Home users. Under that timetable, Creators should begin to download to Windows 10 Pro PCs in August.