Monday , September 26 2022

Windows 10 Upgrades: More Flexible Compulsion | c & # 39; t magazine


With Windows 10, Microsoft has promised to provide continuous functional updates. But the WaaS process brought many problems. It is now upside down again.

The fact that "Windows as a Service" (WaaS), ie the continuous rollout of new features for Windows 10 has always led to problems, mainly due to the way new features are implemented. They come not as updates, but as upgrades: While the updates link or exchange only individual files, the upgrade replaces the entire operating system with one with a newer version number (currently "1903" version). The setup program then tries to move the configuration, user data, and programs from the old installation to the new installation. The problem: So far, something has always gone wrong.

Sometimes the drivers crash after installing upgrades, there were boot issues, privacy settings were reset, or features were missing. In some scenarios, the upgrade fails completely. Some things, such as incorrectly accepting profiles or problems installing existing USB storage media, are sometimes repeated with each new upgrade.

The two 2018 upgrades to 1803 and 1809 had to be suspended due to huge errors or even withdrawn (see Windows Update Misery in c & # 39; t 4/2019). Even the first upgrade to be released this year by 1903 suffers despite the long test phase of various bugs, which is why Microsoft blocks the import of certain devices. However, for many users, everything works fine, but the circle of those who have experienced issues with the add-ons is increasing every day.

Windows 10 will continue to forcibly install upgrades to new versions, but at least with considerable delay.

Windows 10 will continue to forcibly install upgrades to new versions, but at least with considerable delay.

So much more was the search for ways to control and slow down the upgrades. Until now, Home Edition users were even forced to install updates as soon as Microsoft deemed them ready. The good news: at least in part the answers are now answered. In short: coercion remains, but the frequency decreases. And Pro Edition is losing value for companies.

By the way, one thing has not changed: Microsoft is still trying to hide problems with the improper upgrade. Although not updates, the company officially calls the upgrades "feature updates." Nevertheless, we use the technically correct term "superstructure" for better distinction.

Windows 10 users get to upgrade to higher versions themselves, because not around, because support for the old version has expired at some point, so there are no more security updates. Support periods have been redefined in 2018. Each version of Windows 10 will receive at least 18 months of support. For home and professional publications, it's basically over. Support for all versions up to and including 1709 has already expired.

Support for Windows 10

Version 1703


October 8, 2019

Version 1709


April 14, 2020

Version 1803

November 12, 2019

November 10, 2020

Version 1809

May 12, 2020

May 11, 2021

Version 1903

December 8, 2020

December 8, 2020

Enterprise and education have different rules. Releases in the spring of the year also receive only 18 months of support, but those released in the fall receive 30 months of support. An exception to this is the LTSC versions: Enjoy ten years of support, but get no functional enhancements. LTSC stands for "Long Term Service Channel", which was originally called the "Long Term Service Branch" (LTSB). LTSC versions are only available with volume license agreements.

Support for versions of Windows 10 Enterprise LTS

Enterprise 2015 LTSB

October 13, 2020

October 14, 2025

Enterprise 2016 LTSB

October 12, 2021

October 13, 2026

2019 LTSC Enterprise

January 9, 2024

January 9, 2029

When exactly starting support for a version of Windows 10, it is subject to confusing rules. In the past, this was the moment when Microsoft announced a "semi-ready channel" version – thus suitable for company use.

It may take five to six months after the release of the version until this status is reached. For version 1903, Microsoft announced the start of the support period in advance until May 2019. In addition, in the past, there were occasional special promotions from Microsoft that suddenly announced a support extension – most notably at the pressure of a corporate client base. Detailed dates for currently supported versions are listed in the table on this page. At Microsoft you will find a constantly updated overview of all meetings.


However, there are exceptions to the rule. The first refers to the already mentioned versions of LTSC, which have their own maintenance periods (see table). The second exception is version 1607 for Cherry Trail chipset systems: Microsoft has promised updates by 2023 here. Background: Intel does not provide new drivers and with the existing ones fails to upgrade to version 1703.

Upgrades are no longer automatically installed. If Microsoft has classified the computer as compatible, a proper upgrade of the update search feature will be suggested, but the user must begin the installation. This behavior was introduced in version 1903 and improved in 1803 and 1809 with an update. Home and Pro users can theoretically delay installing a feature update for up to 18 months – after which support is completed.

Only when support expires soon will Windows force the existing installation to be updated to a newer version. This should ensure that security updates are available. Shortly before the deadline for editing, Microsoft began forcibly installing upgrades in version 1803.

Things are different with Enterprise editions. They are usually not updated through a Windows update, but in other ways managed by administrators. Administrators already have more time. Since the fall versions already receive 30 months of support, it is theoretically necessary to change the version of Windows every 2.5 years. In fact, it lasts up to two years plus some scope to the specific recording date: Just record every second fall version.

The upgrade control model, which was previously thought of as a "Windows Update for Business" for Pro, also survived. With WaaS Pro it is no longer flush with Enterprise, but with Home. After all, this does not make any difference for private professional users compared to earlier ones. But for businesses looking to take advantage of the new 30-month support, Pro will be less important – Microsoft will need more expensive enterprise licenses.

It will change even more in the future, starting with the naming scheme: internally the heirs to version 1903 are no longer (as expected under the previous scheme) 1909 and 2003, but 19H2 and 20H1 (H means "half" year ").

As Microsoft has already tested 20H1 in the insider program since spring 2019, there has already been speculation about whether 19H2 will drop. Instead, Microsoft surprisingly announced that 19H2 would be deployed using a different distribution method: PCs with the 1903 version would no longer receive 19H2 as an upgrade, but as an update. However, this does not mean a general goodbye to the upgrade: All older versions receive 19H2 as an upgrade, ie. by exchanging an operating system.

However, it is clear that Microsoft is looking for a way to escape the six-month upgrade cycle. For the first time in the history of WaaS 19H2 will be a kind of "service pack". With 30-month support for this release, this means Enterprise Edition users will be able to wait until the first service pack is released, following the old-fashioned custom, to install a new version of Windows. In addition, they have two years until the game starts again – but keep in mind, then again by upgrading. Microsoft still calls everything "experimental," but if the experiment doesn't go completely wrong, one has to keep that approach.

For Home and Pro users, this is basically the same thing, but you don't have two years to go to the next version, but you have to repeat the game every year. From this point of view, they serve as guinea pigs that are forced to install new versions a year before Enterprise customers. So far, the role of quasi-beta testers has been retained for home users. A little consolation: What the home and professional users will get now is not only tried out by the insider program participants, but also by those enthusiasts who immediately click on "Install Now" for each upgrade offer. This at least remains voluntary.


This post is c & # 39; t 17/2019

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