SOME MACHINES will be forced into an unexpected end-of-life next month after Microsoft announced a huge jump in the minimum requirements for running Windows 10.
The forthcoming Windows-as-a-Service (WaaS) May 2019 Update (Build 1903) will need a rather hefty 32GB in free space before you can install it - that's double what you've needed in the past.
The news means that a 32GB tablet running Windows (and there are a lot of them) will be physically incapable of installing the new OS, because even if you wipe the whole thing and start again, a 32GB drive will only register as about 31.7GB.
Yes, once again, Microsoft knows what's best for you and is quite happy to bork your machine to get there.
The decision has echoes of Updategate, where amongst other borks, Microsoft preloaded Windows 10 automatically on machines in the background, often crippling their limited storage in the process.
In reality, though, it's more likely that this is padding. After the disastrous 1809 Build which boasted amongst its borkage ploughing through existing user files where there wasn't enough room for the install, this seems to be a way of double-double checking there's a place for the old operating system and the new one.
Whatever the reason, it certainly isn't an extra 16GB of features. Build 1903 is a modest upgrade, offering the 'Sandbox' feature, access to Windows files from Linux, a new 'light' theme and a preview of the new Chromium-based Edge browser. That's about it.
Microsoft has already introduced the idea of "reserved space", which will block off part of the hard drive from being accessed to ensure that updates, patches, paging files, restore points and the like have got room before you start clogging it up with files.
Build 1903 is currently in testing with the Windows Insider Programme ahead of a full release later this month. μ
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