Friday, July 26th 2019

Microsoft's Biannual Major Windows 10 Update Cycle to Slow Down

Microsoft has reportedly restructured the way it adds major features to Windows 10 over time. The company currently has a biannual (twice a year) cadence in updating Windows 10 version. A major update in this context refers to a multi-gigabyte update package that changes the operating system's version, its key system files, and makes significant changes to the user interface. The most recent of these was the Windows 10 May 2019 Update (1903).

With its new update cadence, Microsoft plans to distribute a major update in one half of an year, and a "minor" update in the other half. This "minor" update, or "point update," is much lighter in download size, but is still fairly bigger than a monthly "Patch Tuesday" update, and adds features and UI changes. The "major" annual update brings with it under-the-hood changes to the OS, such as updates to its kernel, scheduler, APIs, driver models, etc. The next version of Windows, which is expected to be Windows 10 version 1909, will be a lightweight update if you're already on 1903, but a "heavy" update if you're still on 1809. Its successor, Windows 10 version 2003 (March 2020), will be a "heavy" update regardless of which version you're on.
Source: ExtremeTech
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44 Comments on Microsoft's Biannual Major Windows 10 Update Cycle to Slow Down

#1
_Flare
This makes sense and i thought about that earlier when the "skip ahead" 2020H1 was made available before 2019H2 was even shown on microsofts "Flights"-website.

And i think its a better way to take bigger hurdles, wich then only occur once a year and not 2 or 3 times a year.
Posted on Reply
#2
jmcslob
Why not just update whenever?
When it's done it's done.
Posted on Reply
#3
tony359
It makes sense and this is what w10 users have been asking since day one.
What puzzles me is that MS decided to begin this fast upgrade scheme to be more competitive - previously any big change to the OS had to wait for years and it was hard to plan, particularly if the new feature could not make it in time for the release date - and now they’ve gone back on their footsteps.

I suppose that 12 months is still better than several years though - from an organisation and developer perspective.
Posted on Reply
#4
Kokorniokos
I never understood those fast updates. The have so many bugs to iron out and so much ui inconsistency to fix, and instead they offer new features every time, as if they dont care about the mess they leave behind.
At least this is a move toward the right direction.

My wish: dark mode everything! Even that old control panel.
Posted on Reply
#5
tony359
Kokorniokos, post: 4087363, member: 189232"
I never understood those fast updates. The have so many bugs to iron out and so much ui inconsistency to fix, and instead they offer new features every time, as if they dont care about the mess they leave behind.
At least this is a move toward the right direction.
I read an interesting article on the subject. When Windows was only updated every 2-3 years, any major project had to start with that deadline in mind. Failing to meet that deadline basically meant to scrap the whole project as the following opportunity to try again would be 2-3 years later with the next Windows version. Bear in mind that a big new feature is conceived 2-3 years before it actually gets live, if you missed the first deadline it would then mean that the project would be 5-6 years old and likely not suitable anymore.
Having a main release every year helps on this. I see why.
I don't mind. But MS finally realised that people also use computers to WORK or to do serious stuff and updates DO NOT COME FIRST! They finally gave the user some control.
Posted on Reply
#6
Mamya3084
How about fixing the broken update system in general? Why not work towards a way of updating without having to restart?
Posted on Reply
#7
bug
This is neither good nor bad per se. No matter how careful you test, bugs will continue to slip through.

But like suggested above, make Windows a rolling release and release when ready. There's a better chance to prevent bugs from slipping through when you don't have a bunch of other features and fixes lumped together. The problem is businesses won't go for that because they just have to be "special".

Edit: And btw, the cycle has already slowed down. I mean, we all got 1903 in June, right?
Posted on Reply
#8
Darmok N Jalad
The two times a year update plan was always too ambitious, IMO. It caused more trouble than it did excitement in Windows. Most everyday users don’t like software to change, especially when it is seemingly unnecessary. Often times it didn’t seem like Windows got better with a new update, and MS doubled down on updates.
Posted on Reply
#9
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
bug, post: 4087377, member: 157434"
This is neither good nor bad per se. No matter how careful you test, bugs will continue to slip through.

But like suggested above, make Windows a rolling release and release when ready. There's a better chance to prevent bugs from slipping through when you don't have a bunch of other features and fixes lumped together. The problem is businesses won't go for that because they just have to be "special".

Edit: And btw, the cycle has already slowed down. I mean, we all got 1903 in June, right?
Lol, no. Still on 1803 by choice. :)
Posted on Reply
#10
windwhirl
jmcslob, post: 4087348, member: 67555"
Why not just update whenever?
When it's done it's done.
No. It's way too unpredictable.
Posted on Reply
#11
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Should of just patched W7 with wddm.

W10s layout is annoying plus the updates...
Posted on Reply
#12
lynx29
as Linux continues to improve for gaming, I still have hopes someday I will be able to say goodbye to Windows forever. :) and give them the middle finger on my way out
Posted on Reply
#13
D.Crepit
Which "update" fixes that disaster of an access control system???

Who actually thinks posting your e-mail address on the login
screen is a bright idea???

I've been on Linux for years now. While I have no axe to grind
against MS products, I still think Win7 is better than Win10.
Posted on Reply
#14
nickbaldwin86
this has been a great Friday that just got better.

If you are in business IT you know the updates for Win10 is an on going pain in the rear and keeping up with every build is seemingly impossible without a huge crew.

We don't need biannual button move rebuilds
Posted on Reply
#15
bug
lynx29, post: 4087573, member: 153071"
as Linux continues to improve for gaming, I still have hopes someday I will be able to say goodbye to Windows forever. :) and give them the middle finger on my way out
Already done that when I realized I don't have time to game anymore :D
These days I only boot into Windows to print stuff (I got a printer with drivers for Ubuntu, joke's on me for not checking IPP) and for the occasional site that doesn't work without a MS supplied browser.
Posted on Reply
#16
_Flare
tony359, post: 4087351, member: 186575"
It makes sense and this is what w10 users have been asking since day one.
What puzzles me is that MS decided to begin this fast upgrade scheme to be more competitive - previously any big change to the OS had to wait for years and it was hard to plan, particularly if the new feature could not make it in time for the release date - and now they’ve gone back on their footsteps.

I suppose that 12 months is still better than several years though - from an organisation and developer perspective.
Yes, it´s not about fastest updatecycle, it´s about the best possible way to do the specific updates.
Like intels understanding that being to aggressive in taking risks (10nm with cobalt) could cost more time (trial and error cycles) and is more expensive.

Pre-testing is cheaper than hotfixing most of the time.
Posted on Reply
#17
lynx29
bug, post: 4087640, member: 157434"
Already done that when I realized I don't have time to game anymore :D
These days I only boot into Windows to print stuff (I got a printer with drivers for Ubuntu, joke's on me for not checking IPP) and for the occasional site that doesn't work without a MS supplied browser.
whats IPP?
Posted on Reply
#18
bug
lynx29, post: 4087655, member: 153071"
whats IPP?
Internet Printing Protocol.
A got a Brother that, while it supplies .deb. and .rpm drivers, leaves you out in the cold when you cannot install those. IPP is supposedly supported way better on Linux.
Posted on Reply
#19
lynx29
bug, post: 4087656, member: 157434"
Internet Printing Protocol.
A got a Brother that, while it supplies .deb. and .rpm drivers, leaves you out in the cold when you cannot install those. IPP is supposedly supported way better on Linux.
can you link me to a printer from Amazon usa that should work on IPP ubuntu linux? I'm genuinely considering making the move last few months. i think i just might.

also, does AMD or Nvidia support Linux better? gpu wise
Posted on Reply
#20
bug
lynx29, post: 4087659, member: 153071"
can you link me to a printer from Amazon usa that should work on IPP ubuntu linux? I'm genuinely considering making the move last few months. i think i just might.
Not exactly an Amazon link, but here's what I should have checked: https://www.openprinting.org/printers
lynx29, post: 4087659, member: 153071"
also, does AMD or Nvidia support Linux better? gpu wise
I cannot answer that honestly.
AMD has migrated their driver onto the standard architecture for Linux (Mesa), so their cards work without moving a finger. However, that doesn't jive too well with Ubuntu, because that's a conservative distro and pack rather old packages. So if you want to use a very new card, support may not be baked in yet. You can, of course, update Mesa yourself (and it's not even that hard), but the extra hassle kinda negates the built-in support plus. There were troubles with HDMI audio if you're into that kind of thing and if you need compute, I think AMD's closed driver is still the better option.
Nvidia has their own driver that you must install yourself (Ubuntu has a graphical tool for that). It's what I'm using and it worked for me for 10+ years. Support for new cards is usually day 1; if not, it's within a week or so.
Posted on Reply
#22
danbert2000
Honestly, this is a much better tactic as there aren't too many features that can't wait 6 months to come out, and people rely on Windows 10 to be stable and update correctly. They drank a bit too much of the Agile Koolaid if they thought they could release so often for THE major consumer operating system. Hopefully grandmothers everywhere will stop calling their grandsons so much because Windows may only shit the bed once a year instead of twice a year.
Posted on Reply
#23
yogurt_21
windwhirl, post: 4087463, member: 175818"
No. It's way too unpredictable.
nearly everything is moving to that model. You're either failing to understand what "done" means or you're completely against CI/CD. Either way it's a losing game to fight it. With DevOps and modern tools there is no point to have these monolithic release prone to massive flaws when you can release incrementally with 0% downtime and min to no bugs.

Microsoft is still failing massively at this of course. With Azure growing though there is hope that they'll start seeing what all their customers are doing and begin to mimic. If you need to update a single line of code, do it. Don't wait to pair that change with 3000 others and hope it's all just ok.

I mean QA automation is great and all but seriously it's not a Genie.

Continuous deployment is about reducing risk, not increasing it.
Posted on Reply
#24
bug
yogurt_21, post: 4087682, member: 23675"
nearly everything is moving to that model. You're either failing to understand what "done" means or you're completely against CI/CD. Either way it's a losing game to fight it. With DevOps and modern tools there is no point to have these monolithic release prone to massive flaws when you can release incrementally with 0% downtime and min to no bugs.

Microsoft is still failing massively at this of course. With Azure growing though there is hope that they'll start seeing what all their customers are doing and begin to mimic. If you need to update a single line of code, do it. Don't wait to pair that change with 3000 others and hope it's all just ok.

I mean QA automation is great and all but seriously it's not a Genie.

Continuous deployment is about reducing risk, not increasing it.
I don't think this is a matter of MS not getting it, it's matter of appeasing enterprises. My current employer has all machines stuck on Windows 10 1704. (And they want us to do Linux development on them, but that's another story.) You just can't fight stupid.
Posted on Reply
#25
yogurt_21
I think most enterprises are fighting through that culture change right now. I mean scheduled releases were put into place because it used to be a wild west and older IT executives remember when things were that way. They're afraid to embrace the change now because they confuse it with the older "push button and pray" release methods of the early 2000's.

Modern tools thus are looked at with distrusting eyes and many arguments happen between younger and older engineers.

I get it, but when you're the guys supposed to be leading the charge like MS, it's bad. Azure cloud has a long way to go to catch AWS but it's growth is still amazing and they're still beating google cloud ffs.

How in the world do some of these older practices still exist when they've developed all kinds of these tools for their own cloud platform?

it's weird.
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