Software

Enterprises should make plans for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update now--before it's too late

Microsoft will begin updating Windows 10 PCs again after October 17, 2017, and IT admins had better prepare themselves for the inevitable glitches and hiccups.

Microsoft is set to start rolling out the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update on October 17, 2017. And while the company always promises these major updates (this is the fourth for Windows 10 so far) will install smoothly and with little disruption, it seldom works out that way. There is usually an unforeseen glitch, foul-up, or hiccup to contend with after the update starts to download.

For busy enterprises, these installation hiccups can lead to downtime and lost productivity, which directly affects the bottom line. Not only that, but changes to how Windows 10 operates, and the addition of new features, can lead to outright confusion in the workforce. IT departments and administrators should be ready with a plan before the update reaches their network.

SEE: 50 time-saving tips to speed your work in Microsoft Office (TechRepublic PDF)

Fall Creators Update

In an enterprise setting, time will be the most impactful factor stemming from the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Even if the installation on every computer in an organization is smooth and perfect, the amount of time it takes to complete the process will be significant. At the bare minimum, IT admins should expect the installation process to take at least an hour for each PC.

Obviously, the best solution is to install the update during off business hours if possible to prevent productivity downtime. That means IT departments and administrators should take a proactive approach to the deployment, either by deferring it or by scheduling it for a time that is more convenient.

If your enterprise is running the Pro, Enterprise, or Education versions of Windows 10, you can defer the upgrade by adjusting the Advanced options under the Update & Security settings. You can defer the deployment of the update for up to a year, although that would not be an ideal situation.

SEE: Windows 10 power tips: Secret shortcuts to your favorite settings (Tech Pro Research)

Fall Creators Update features

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update adds several new enterprise-friendly features to the operating system. Many of them will be under-the-hood upgrades and enhancements, but some will be noticeable and presumably welcomed by users.

a000000058418.jpg

Image: Microsoft News

For enterprises embracing the benefits of OneDrive for Business, the most anticipated feature for users is likely to be the addition of OneDrive Files On-Demand. This feature will allow users to see documents stored on their One Drive system whether the document is stored locally or on the server, or both. The new feature effectively gives users access to documents regardless of where they're physically stored and grants them the flexibility to make that decision for themselves.

Behind the scenes, and most important to IT admins, the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will add more threat detection to its Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) service. This staple service of the enterprise versions of Windows 10 will add Windows Server support to its list of protected Microsoft operating systems. In addition, the update will add more monitoring administrative services and provide better resource protocols using the intelligent cloud across all systems.

SEE: Ultimate Windows File Management Suite (TechRepublic Academy)

Early access

Enterprise IT departments and pros looking to get a head start on deployment, or perhaps looking to test compatibility with current legacy applications and systems, can download the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update before it begins its scheduled rollout on October 17, 2017, by downloading the installation file directly from Microsoft. Early access to this update and all future updates can be accomplished by changing the configuration settings of a test PC to become part of the Windows Insider Program. The process is a bit convoluted, but this article outlines the entire procedure.

Also read...

Your thoughts

Are you looking forward to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update? Share your thoughts and opinions with your peers at TechRepublic in the discussion thread below.

featureifa2017terry-myerson.jpg

Image: Microsoft News/Alex Schelbert

About Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox