CORPORATE BABYSITTER Microsoft cares about you and your computing experience.
That's why (and for no other reason) it is now forcing the latest version of Windows 10 (May 2019 or 1903) on any machines running the previous year's version (Spring 2018 or 1803).
Many users opted to avoid the step in-between, the fabled and legendarily bork-ridden Fall 2018/1809 update, and are, therefore, now a year behind the curve on updates, both feature-led and security.
It's not a complete surprise - Microsoft did warn us last month that it would be making in-roads to right the ship soon. Regular updates are at the heart of the "Windows-as-a-Service" model as the company is desperate to avoid the fragmentation experienced by other operating systems.
All builds have their own end-of-support date and in the case of 1803, that comes on 12 November. Microsoft says it will force an update to stragglers' machines between now and then in a phased rollout. Once you get the message that your time is drawing near, you can defer for a further maximum 35 days, before it becomes non-negotiable.
As Microsoft explains: "Keeping these devices both supported and receiving monthly updates is critical to device security and ecosystem health."
If it hadn't been for the blessed 1809, this would probably not be news, but given that it has been suggested that less than a quarter of machines have made the update from 1803, this is going to affect a lot of users:
"Based on the large number of devices running the April 2018 Update, that will reach the end of 18 months of service on November 12, 2019, we are starting the update process now for Home and Pro editions to help ensure adequate time for a smooth update process."
Microsoft recently announced that it would be giving users more control over when new builds of Windows would be installed. So that turned out well, didn't it?
Microsoft has confirmed that it intends to use its power of blocking veto to prevent installation on any machines which may still have compatibility issues. Windows 7 will reach End-of-Life in January 2020 leaving Windows 8.1 as the only remaining legacy version of Windows to be supported.
We have a hunch that once the Windows 7 deadline passes, these happy few Windows 8.1 users (less than 10 per cent) will be heavily targeted so another piece of Windows can be consigned to the dustbin of history, or "The Zune Zone" as one might call it. μ
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