With reliability issues unexpectedly dogging the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, I recently questioned whether Microsoft needed to make major changes to its servicing model. But with the update still rolling out in a measured fashion, Iím beginning to wonder if this isnít all part of the plan.
Premium members can and should check out Microsoft, Itís Time for a Reliable Computing Initiative if you havenít already. But the short version goes like this: A number of problems with the Anniversary Update only came to light after it was released to the public. This despite the fact that it was the most-heavily-tested Windows upgrade that Microsoft has ever created.
But as I noted in a recent episode of Windows Weekly, itís interesting to compare the speed of the Anniversary Update roll-out to the issues that have popped up since August 3. That is, I think we have enough evidence to state that Microsoftís processes are in fact working, at least in part, because it has clearly staged this release to ensure that its users have a high-quality experience.
The notion that Microsoft would deliver any major update, and not just this particular update, to known-good configurations first is not new. Microsoft has been doing this since the initial release of Windows 10 a year ago, and it was transparent doing so. The Anniversary Update, like Windows 10 versions 1507 and 1511 before it, was rolled out first to those PC configurations that Microsoft knew would result in successful upgrades.
Thatís common sense, even obvious, but this approach has some interesting side-effects too. As more and more people upgrade their PCs to the Anniversary Update, Microsoft is able to gather even more information about PC configurations. And it can adjust which configurations get the update based on the relative successes of those upgrades. If enough power users successfully install the Anniversary Update via ISO, for example, new configurations can be added to the known-good list.
But I think it works in the opposite direction too. And this is what I mean by the process working. When problems come upóas they must have with the webcam issue, or the even more recently discovered Kindle issueóthen Microsoft can also shut off the spigot on what are now known-bad configurations. And do so until those issues are fixed.
This results in a high-quality experience for everyone. Those people who have known-good PC configurations will get the update and should see positive results. And as more data about all upgrades arrives, more PC configurations will be added to that known-good list. And yes, some may be added to a known-bad list because Microsoft has found issues too. The result? A slow but measured and reliable roll-out...