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Microsoft Releasing Creators Update to Phones on April 25

The mobile version of the Windows 10 Creators Update will begin rolling out to Windows 10 Mobile devices on April 25, Microsoft said Thursday.

The news comes on the heels of Microsoft's announcement on Wednesday that April 11 would mark the general rollout of the "current branch" of the Windows 10 Creators Update (version 1703) for PCs.

Microsoft's announcement on Thursday also explained that the general rollout of the Creators Update for PCs and tablets will happen gradually. Newer devices will get the upgrade first, followed by other devices, which will get the upgrade "over a period of several months."

On the mobile front, there might not be a crowd anxiously poised to get the Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update, though. Microsoft's overall Windows Mobile market share slipped below 1 percent in Q1 last year to 0.7 percent, according to research by Gartner Inc. In February of this year, Gartner reported that the overall Windows Mobile market share in Q4 2016 was at 0.3 percent.

Early Mobile Upgrades
The phased Windows 10 Creators Update rollout plan for PCs and tablets also will be Microsoft's approach with its Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update release, starting on April 25. However, in the case of phones, such updates can get delayed. Mobile service providers typically have testing requirements to complete, for instance. They ultimately determine when Windows 10 Mobile upgrades arrive for their subscribers.

Older Windows Phone device upgrades may be possible. Some Windows Phone 8.1 devices are eligible to run the Windows 10 Mobile operating system, as listed here, but users must run an Upgrade Advisor application on those devices to further clarify if they can perform an upgrade. The steps are listed in this Microsoft FAQ.

Windows 10 Mobile adds the ability to take panoramic pictures. It has Continuum support, which lets the phone get docked to a screen to use it like a PC. There are also controls for notifications, which can show on a "glance screen," per Microsoft's support document.

Early PC Upgrades
PC and tablet users can get the Windows 10 Creators Update earlier, starting on April 5, using an "Update Assistant" option. The link to the Update Assistant currently lacks descriptive details, though. The use of the Update Assistant, according to Microsoft's announcement, "is intended for advanced users on devices running a licensed version of Windows 10."

The Upgrade Assistant is an application that will initiate "an immediate upgrade" to the Windows 10 Creators Update, according to a blog post by Andre Da Costa, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional. Da Costa was instrumental in telling us early details about Windows 10 prior to its initial launch via his extensive Wiki article series. He added that the Upgrade Assistant doesn't have the same options as Microsoft's Media Creation Tool for Windows 10. Users can't choose the apps, files and settings to keep, for instance, or control partitioning.

It's also possible for PC and tablet users to get the Windows 10 Creators Update in advance now by downloading the ISO. Da Costa described the steps here for using the Media Creation Tool to create the ISO.

Microsoft is now only offering the ISO directly (outside the Media Creation Tool) via the Windows Insider Program, which is a test-release venue. The Windows 10 Creators Update ISO, now at build 15063, was earlier pulled from Microsoft's general download pages and moved to the Windows Insider Program download page, according to this Neowin story.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.