Last night, Microsoft announced the Windows 10 November 2019 Update, which is coming soon. And that doesn’t mean what it used to mean. Previously, the company assumed that if you were checking for updates, you were seeking the update, so it would just give it to you. It had the potential to cause real problems on Patch Tuesday when you might have just wanted a cumulative update instead of a feature update.
But earlier this year, everything changed with the Windows 10 May 2019 Update. Microsoft finally added a ‘download and install’ option to Windows Update. That means that you could check for updates, and then be presented with an option to download the update, rather than being forced to.
There’s a catch though, which is that if the version you’re running is near the end of support, you’ll be automatically moved to the newest version. For the Windows 10 version 1903 rollout, this was version 1803, which won’t be supported after November. Each feature update is on an 18-month lifecycle, and it seems that Microsoft will start thinking about how to move you forward about six months ahead of time.
Now, if you’re on Windows 10 version 1809, Microsoft is going to start pushing you to version 1909. But here’s the deal: this is probably the update that you’ll want to install. It’s focused on stability and reliability, and there aren’t any major new features that might break your workflow.
But wait, there’s more. While Microsoft hasn’t committed to releasing a major update in the spring and a stability-focused update in the fall, this seems like the way forward. With the way that Microsoft is rolling out feature updates now, you’re pretty much on a yearly upgrade cycle, if you’re not a seeker that will look for that ‘download and install’ button. And if you’re not a seeker, then you probably don’t want the spring update; you probably want the one with a greater emphasis on reliability.
If that’s the case, then Windows 10 version 1909 is the one that you want. After you install this update, that will put you on the path to receive the fall updates moving forward. Six months ahead of the end of support for version 1909, Microsoft will start talking about moving you to version 2009, and the cycle will continue.
Naturally, you don’t have to install the update as soon as it’s released; you might want to sit it out while Microsoft services it for a couple of months. But until then, it’s something to think about.