In an update to its Known Issues document for Windows 10 1903, Microsoft announced on July 16 it would begin upgrading Win10 1803 PCs to 1903. The gist of the announcement is that with 1803 reaching end-of-life in November, it will start updating PCs from 1803 to 1903 via Windows Update. According to the Windows lifecycle fact sheet, in fact, 1803 reaches “end of service” on November 12 for Home, Pro, and Workstation editions, and on November 10 for Enterprise and Education editions. Here’s the full text of the announcement in graphical form:
IT Pros: Please note discussion of “targeted deployments” for organizations in the final paragraph. November is less than four months away!
[Click image for full-sized view.]
End-users and Small Orgs vs. Large Orgs
The way that the update plays out will differ by size of organization (and by typical methods by which updates get deployed). In general, end users, SOHO users, and small businesses rely on Windows Update to do its thing directly from Microsoft Update servers. To these constituencies, this announcement provides “fair warning” that some or all of their machines currently running Windows 10 1803 will see the increasingly familiar “Download and install” button for Windows 10 1903 (May 2019 Update) through the Windows Update GUI. That still leaves somewhat open exactly when that button gets pushed. But indeed, all these parties will have to prepare for that eventuality, as the end-of-life date for 1803 creeps ever nearer.
As the final paragraph of the foregoing announcements indicates, it’s time RIGHT NOW for larger organizations to start test deployments of 1903 so they can find and fix (or mitigate) potential stumbling blocks to deploying 1903 within their production infrastructures. Given that many big companies and organizations typically schedule such deployments on a quarterly basis, this means MS is warning them that scheduling deployment of 1903 on their infrastructures is now on the “to-do” list for the next quarterly deployment window. Hopefully that will occur in early November, to give them as much time to prepare as possible. If not, this might be fair warning that such organizations might want to add a special deployment window to their schedules to give themselves as much time to work out the kinks as possible.
Ultimately, this means that for 1803 users everywhere, 1903 is coming to their PCs sometime soon, ready or not!
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.