Having recently promised Windows 10 users full control over updates with its major 1903 upgrade, Microsoft has now walked that back and it is Windows 10 Home users (who account for the lion’s share of the OSes 800M-strong userbase) who are hit hardest.
CNet breaks down the new rules, and the shocker is Windows 10 Home users “can’t automatically defer any updates”. All you get is the option to manually pause updates for up to 35 days. This is a process you must keep repeating every week to account for new updates. Worst still, Microsoft will apply “end-of-service dates” to Windows 10 versions and when that date is hit, the next updates are installed automatically and there’s nothing you can do about it.
How will you know when your version of Windows 10 has reached end-of-service? Again it’s a manual process: you have to find your version number (Settings > System > About) then locate that number on the official Windows 10 Release Information site. The vast majority of users are not going to know this.
And why should they? It’s grossly unequal. Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education users can now set automatic deferral policies for both quality updates and feature updates while the latter two versions get leeway of up to 36 months for some major upgrades.
So Windows 10 Home users, no, this is not what you wanted. Moreover, it’s a confusing mess. CNet describes it as akin to understanding “differential calculus” (and users were already baffled) while the ever-excellent AskWoody bemoans: “As usual, Windows 10 Home users come out on the short end”.
So Windows 10 Home users it’s time to study hard and spread the word if you don’t want to get caught out by the usual flurry of bad updates, including the one which deleted your personal data, the one which made Windows 10 downgrade itself, the one which broke app updates, the one which crippled gaming performance and the one which slowed Chromium browser speeds by up to 400%.