For the first time ever, MS will “skip over” upgrades to 1809 in favor of the latest Feature Upgrade come June 2019. Gregg Keizer reported on this for ComputerWorld on May 28, on the back of Microsoft’s KB4499183 Support Note. I must cheerfully confess I read this item, and completely missed the following statement, which appeared in the “fine print” at the end of its introduction:
The Windows 10 April 2018 Update will reach end of service on November 12, 2019 for Home and Pro editions. We will begin updating devices running the April 2018 Update and earlier versions of Windows 10 in late June 2019 to help ensure that we keep these devices in a serviced, secure state.
To his great credit, Gregg connected the dots implicit here to focus on the key point that MS will upgrade 1803 PCs directly to the May 2019 Update, skipping over 1809 altogether. This is positioned as a move to “keep . . . devices supported and receiving the monthly updates that are critical to device security and ecosystem health” in the words of the afore-linked KB4499183 note. And it’s pure coincidence that this allows users to bypass 1809 completely. Yeah, sure!
When MS Skips Over 1809 to the May 2019 Update,
What Does This Really Mean?
According to Keizer, MS is using this opportunity to bypass potential gotchas that 1809 brought to some who updated to that release with less than satisfactory results. As Keizer puts it, the planned option to add manual controls to “Download and install” a feature upgrade at the user’s discretion also means they can choose NOT to upgrade as well. As he puts it in his story “The gist of “Download and install now” was that Windows 10 Home users could, for the first time, skip a feature upgrade simply by doing nothing” (italics and emphasis are his, not mine, in this quote).
FWIW, I concur with Keizer’s analysis. This new approach to updating — which will FORCE users to upgrade to the latest and greatest feature update as end-of-life approaches for whatever Windows 10 version they’re running — means that users can take their time and watch as issues and answers unfold for current releases. This means they can decide when (or if) they want to take the plunge into a specific upgrade. This is how things used to be with Windows through Windows 7 and into the 8 versions. I’m glad to see that MS is restoring at least some semblance of user volition and control to the upgrade process with this move. Kari and I have been arguing for such an approach ever since MS starting forcing Windows 10 users to upgrade, ready or not.
It’s a good thing to see the company take a more user-friendly stance toward the upgrade process. Users can only benefit thereby. “Better late than never” is how I could characterize this change in approach on Microsoft’s part, if I wanted to be cynical. I think I’ll applaud instead, and thank the Windows team for finally coming to rest on a more sensible approach to upgrade handling. By the time the most reluctant upraders find that process thrust upon them, one can only hope that the kinks will be worked out and the issues answered. Changes I’ve seen — and reported on here at Win10.Guru — about changes to the Windows Upgrade and clean install processes give me hope that such improvements will make it easier and less stressful for ordinary users (and IT pros) to tackle and survive the challenges of the upgrade process going forward.
Author: Ed Tittel
Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.