Microsoft to name Windows 10 1803 'Spring Creators Update'

The feature upgrade is now expected to be released in early April; Microsoft's naming convention drew some barbs on Twitter.

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Reuters/Pichi Chuang

Microsoft will name the next feature upgrade for Windows 10 as "Spring Creators Update," according to a tipster who has a solid track record on the operating system.

The feature upgrade, which Microsoft continues to tweak, will likely be released in early April.

"1803 = Spring Creators Update," wrote "Walking Cat" on Twitter Thursday. Walking Cat, who also goes by "@h0x0d" on the micro-blogging service, has been the source of numerous tidbits of Windows 10 information. He or she had queried a Windows Insider participant who had the latest build and asked for a read-out of a PowerShell command. The result: a list of feature upgrade names.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reported earlier Thursday on Walking Cat's finding.

Walking Cat's referencing 1803 referred to Microsoft's other name for the upcoming upgrade. The company has numbered all five versions of Windows 10 thus far using a yymm format that purportedly identifies the release timeline.

Microsoft began naming the feature upgrades with 1607, which was dubbed "Anniversary Update" in a nod to the operating system's mid-2015 debut. Since then, it has used simply "Creators Update" for version 1703, then added the season to reach "Fall Creators Update" for 1709. Microsoft issues two feature upgrades annually, one in March-April, the other in September-October.

Some of the comments on Twitter about the company's fixation on Creators were cutting:

  • "Not to be confused with last spring's Creators Update," said Robert Herman.
  • "August 2018 headline: 'Late Summer Creators Update confirmed!'" chimed in Kamil Dudek.
  • "Who's taking bets on [Redstone 5] being Fall Creators Update Second Edition with Plus?" asked Gwidon.
  • "Someone at [Microsoft] misunderstood the move to WaaS [Windows-as-a-service] to mean Windows-as-a-season," poked Bryn Thomas.

Microsoft's unimaginative christening of feature upgrades may have made tongues wag, and wags get inventive, but the stuck-with-Creators mindset could pose problems. What does Microsoft title the second upgrade of the year? It's already used "Fall" as an adjective. Does it switch to "Autumn?" And in March 2019, does it simply multiply "Spring" to end with "Spring x 2 Creators Update?"

(Not to boast, but Computerworld anticipated Microsoft's dilemma months before Windows 10 first launched, when it pointed out that a naming convention was necessary because the company contended that "Windows 10 is the last version of Windows." Microsoft did not take Computerworld's advice.)

Or maybe the names don't matter.

For Microsoft's real customers, enterprises, the names are superfluous because numbers - 1607, 1709, 1803 - are what IT tracks as it cycles through each upgrade, or after Microsoft extended support from 18 to 24 months, every other upgrade. Consumers can suffer through confusion with the marketing-driven naming, struggle to remember whether Creators Update came before or after Spring Creators Update. Consumers are, after all, not only Microsoft's almost-accidental customers, but those that it's losing fastest.

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