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There’s no rush, Mi­crosoft seems to be say­ing. Mark Hach­man re­ports

PC Advisor - - CONTENTS -

Mi­crosoft ap­pears to be tak­ing a go-slow ap­proach to rolling out Win­dows 10’s An­niver­sary Up­date (ver­sion 1607). At the time of writ­ing, just 34.5 per­cent of all PCs are run­ning it, ac­cord­ing to Ad Du­plex, maker of a Win­dows 10 SDK for third-party app mak­ers. The ma­jor­ity, 59.9 per­cent, are still run­ning the older ver­sion 1511, which was re­leased in Novem­ber 2015.

In Au­gust, Mi­crosoft said the An­niver­sary Up­date would be rolled out “in phases”, with newer ma­chines re­ceiv­ing the up­date first. That pre­sum­ably meant it was pro­vid­ing the up­date to those PCs that would likely have the fewest is­sues up­dat­ing. What’s sur­pris­ing is how slowly the firm is push­ing it to older com­put­ers. There are two likely rea­sons for this: Mi­crosoft, and busi­nesses, who want to en­sure the up­date doesn’t break their own apps.

“It’s hard to know ex­actly what is go­ing on,” Steve Kleyn­hans, an an­a­lyst for Gart­ner, said in an email. “Some of this is in­ten­tional throt­tling on Mi­crosoft’s part. I’ve got sev­eral ma­chines that are still wait­ing for the An­niver­sary Up­date. They are some of my older more ‘trou­ble­some’ ma­chines, so there is def­i­nitely some se­lec­tion process go­ing on. I think this is all part of the learn­ing process for Mi­crosoft.”

Mi­crosoft de­clined to com­ment on the Ad Du­plex data. “The An­niver­sary Up­date will con­tinue to roll out over time,” a com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tive said in an email. “Given the scale of de­liv­er­ing up­dates to more than 350 mil­lion monthly ac­tive de­vices around the world, our roll­out will be mea­sured and de­lib­er­ate to en­sure we de­liver a great cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The con­ser­va­tive ap­proach may sim­ply be an at­tempt to min­imise prob­lems that have al­ready plagued users, such as an is­sue where PCs run­ning the An­niver­sary Up­date froze when their data was split be­tween an SSD and a con­ven­tional hard drive. With Mi­crosoft now giv­ing you just 10 days to roll back to the pre­vi­ous build, some colum­nists warned en­ter­prises to avoid it al­to­gether. Still, plat­form frag­men­ta­tion is al­ready a con­cern for Mi­crosoft, with its user base split be­tween Win­dows XP, Win­dows 7, 8, and 10. A slow roll­out di­vides its re­sources fur­ther.

In any case, busi­nesses tra­di­tion­ally take a go-slow ap­proach, which ex­plains why a large chunk of en­ter­prise PCs won’t have re­ceived the up­date yet. “My thought is that busi­ness im­ple­men­ta­tions do take time pilot­ing, test­ing, ap­pli­ca­tion re­de­vel­op­ment, de­ploy­ment,” ar­gued For­rester an­a­lyst JP Gown­der.

The Cur­rent Branch for Busi­ness, an en­ter­prise up­grade pol­icy Mi­crosoft im­ple­mented in 2015, also de­ploys Win­dows 10 up­dates some­times months af­ter con­sumers re­ceive them. Com­pa­nies on the CBB will re­ceive the An­niver­sary Up­date most likely in De­cem­ber, Kleyn­hans added.

It’s also likely that Mi­crosoft’s con­ser­va­tive ap­proach is in­tended to change con­sumer at­ti­tudes and per­cep­tions about Win­dows 10 and its up­grades: that in­stead of some­thing to be avoided, they should be wel­comed. That’s not go­ing to be easy.

“I think some [of it] is cau­tion and some is a re­sponse to real is­sues (like the USB Kin­dle prob­lem),” Kleyn­hans wrote. “I think Mi­crosoft wants to be dou­bly cau­tious to un­der­stand how to en­sure up­dates are a pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence and not a neg­a­tive dis­rup­tion.”

With the An­niver­sary Up­date for Win­dows 10, you can now ac­cess Cor­tana on your lock screen for ba­sic func­tions

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