Microsoft Gives Up Its Update War With Users
Recently, it was reported that the upcoming May 2019 Update (AKA Version 1903, Redstone 6, April 2019 update) would be released with a known flaw that could serious problems for users who had external drives connected during the update.
Today, it was reported in a “ComputerWorld” article, that Microsoft is finally giving in to the wishes of its customers and will no longer force Windows 10 Feature Updated down their throats.
In a ComputerWorld article dated 06 May 2019, Preston Gralla writes in an article entitled “Microsoft surrenders in its Windows Update war with consumers“:
…With the upcoming release, Windows won’t automatically install a feature update when it becomes available. Instead, Windows will notify you that it’s available by showing a “Download and install now” message and link in the Windows Update Settings pane. If you don’t want to install it, you can ignore the message. If you want to install it, click the link and follow the instructions. And if you want to wait a while — a few dasta few weeks, a few months — until you can make sure that the update isn’t problematic, you can go ahead and do that. The control, finally, is in your hands.
Well, not completely. There is a caveat. When the version of Windows 10 you’re running reaches “end of service” and Microsoft no longer supports it or issues security updates for it, you’ll have to install the latest feature update. Usually, that’s 18 months after your current Windows version’s release. This makes plenty of sense, and it’s completely analogous to similar issues in public health. Just as it’s vital that people get vaccinations against diseases to protect everyone’s health by ensuring herd immunity, PCs should be protected against malware. If there are lots of unprotected PCs around, they can be used to breed malware or be turned into malicious bots and attack other people’s PCs.
Note that you’ll still have to install the small patches Microsoft issues every month. That’s because they are often security updates, and everyone should have them. However, Microsoft has agreed to give you some control over when they’re installed. You’ll be able to delay them for up to 35 days…
We think it’s about time that Microsoft allowed users to delay feature (version) updates given that Windows 10 Version updates have been plagued with bugs and sometimes serious issues that have caused many Windows 10 users serious problems.
For instance, early adapters of the April 2018 Update (Version 1803) experienced BSODs and even bricked some machines. Then, the October 2018 Update (Version 1809) was infamously flawed from the get-go with early adopters reporting the update erased files and folders on their machines which they were not able to recover. It was so bad that Microsoft suspended the update from October 5 until November 13 while they fixed the bugs and flaws in the update that caused some users big problems. So the “October 2018” update really wasn’t fully released until November 2018. And even so, it was the least installed Windows 10 update as Microsoft put the update in the “very slow” lane. As of today, with Version 1903 looming, less than 30% of all Windows 10 users are running Windows 10 Version 1809.
It’s about time that Microsoft stops forcing users to install version updates. We don’t think Microsoft needs to be sending two new version updates a year anyway. But putting users in charge of their own Windows 10 computers for the first time, makes a lot of sense. Now users can choose when to install the version updates – or not install them at all. However, Windows 10 users will still have to install version updates before then end-of-life cycle of the version they’re using. Windows 10 versions have a life-cycle of approximately 18 months.
Our advice is to hold off installing version updates until enough Windows 10 users have installed the version update, that you can be fairly certain that the version update isn’t buggy and flawed. In other words, let the risk takers take the risk. And when its finally clear the version update is stable and free from major bugs and flaws, then install it.
Hats off to Microsoft for this consumer-friendly decision – as belated as it may be.