I think we could all agree that one of the most annoying features of Windows 10, is the fact that Microsoft force feeds you updates, regardless if you are ready and willing or not. For the purposes of security, this makes a little bit of sense when it comes to taking action against the vulnerabilities that are constantly being discovered in software. However, it can wreak havoc on users who rely on the uptime of their systems.
Let’s say you depend on your PC to run 24/7 because you have a media server or something comparable running on it that feeds the rest of the house or remote content no matter where you are in the world. You wake up the next day to realize you can’t access it because Windows decided to install an update and restart to the system. Or, you are giving a presentation at an important conference related to your industry and Windows decides that it wants to interrupt your efforts in front of everyone to let you know it thinks that it would be a good time to install some time-consuming updates. I could go on forever with examples of how annoying this can be at times.
After all of this time, Microsoft is finally listening to the users who have been raising flags since the start, voting it as one of the most needed improvements since the release of the OS. Now, they are taking action to win a little love back.
Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President, Mike Fortin, reached out in a blog post to announce that are working to bring control back to the user when it comes to Windows updates. A new update coming in May (version 1903) will bring the ability to choose when you want to install updates–allowing the user to run them right then, or postpone them for as much as 35 days.
“We have heard clear feedback that the Windows update process itself can be disruptive, particularly that Windows users would like more control over when updates happen.” — Mike Fortin (Microsoft Corporate Vice President)
There is still room for improvement as it doesn’t come anywhere near the flexibility of Windows 7 and earlier, where users had complete control over the update process, even being able to select individual updates within the list while ignoring others. Fortin also points out that machines that have come close or at their “end of service” will be set to automatically force updates again for security reasons (which could be bad if the resources of older systems can’t handle the updates).
“When Windows 10 devices are at, or will soon reach, end of service, Windows update will continue to automatically initiate a feature update; keeping machines supported and receiving monthly updates is critical to device security and ecosystem health.” — Mike Fortin (Microsoft Corporate Vice President)
So they still have a way to go before they completely satisfy the people, especially power users who rely on system stability 24/7 (as mentioned earlier). Of course it’s a double-edged sword since delaying updates creates the chance that certain vulnerabilities might not get patched in a timely manner. For now, this is a major improvement at least to user control and flexibility.