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February 19, 2020

MS Proclaims 1903 Ready for Commercial Deployment

I had to chuckle when I checked in on Windows 10 1903 Known Issues today (they usually update it on Fridays). I found this language in the Current status banner: “We recommend commercial customers running earlier versions of Windows 10 begin broad deployments of Windows 10, version 1903 in their organizations.” What does this mean? It means that based on telemetry and related metrics, MS now believes that 1903 is stable enough to warrant wide-scale and wholesale commercial deployment. So, what made me chuckle? Let me explain . . .

MS Proclaims 1903 Ready for Commercial Deployment.banner

Here’s the whole banner section from today’s updated Known Issues, with the quoted sentence above outlined in red. Talk about enshrining conventional wisdom!
[Click image for full-sized view.]

When MS Proclaims 1903 Ready for Commercial Deployment, Then What?

Once upon a time, MS used to release major updates to Windows in the form of so-called “Service Packs.” Unlike Windows 8.x and 10 versions, these came at irregular and somewhat unpredictable intervals. Nevertheless, it was something of a best practice for business users of Windows to trail one service pack behind the leading edge of releases. Often, the first service pack for a Windows version (95, 98, NT and 2000 are all good cases in point) would show up 6 to 12 months after the new release made its public debut (General Availability, or GA, as it’s sometimes called). My chuckle at the outline language above comes from a profound sense of deja vu upon reading Microsoft’s pronouncement that the trailing release — 1903 — is ready for commercial deployment, in September of 2019.

That’s because September 2019 can also be denoted 1909 as a kind of moniker for the up-and-coming Windows 10 release. It is actually called 19H2. Cynics attribute this change in nomenclature to give MS more wiggle room to release another Feature Update without having to explain why it comes out later than September. And with October (1910) just four days away as I write this blog post, the cynical view probably includes at least a grain of truth or two. Shoot, it’s possible that 19H2 may not even show up until November or December. There’s really no way to know for sure.

But it’s fascinating to learn that old-school conventional wisdom — trail one service pack behind for commercial use — also now applies to Feature Updates as well. Sometimes, the old ways really are the best ways.

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.

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