Windows 10 Updates Could Get Big Change

John Lister's picture

Microsoft may be planning to change the way it issues updates for Windows 10. It could help break the cycle of updates fixing previous problems and introducing new ones.

Windows 10 represents a shift in the way that Windows Updates are applied. In addition to frequent updates to fix bugs and add features, the biggest changes are saved for two major updates each year. The idea is that Windows 10 will be updated indefinitely, rather than introducing a totally new edition.

This replaced the previous model of each edition of Windows getting a "Service Pack" of updates every year or two and then eventually being phased out as a completely new Windows was released.

Windows 10 Updates Problematic

It's fair to say the new system hasn't always gone smoothly, particularly with how updates are tested before they are rolled out to the public. This is particularly an issue with multiple versions of Windows 10 in use, often on overlapping schedules.

That's been blamed for the almost comical situation where each new update aims to fix a problem created by the last, only to bring its own new problems. In turn, it makes it difficult to get around major bugs by simply rolling back to a previous update.

New Features Could Be Optional Download

The Windows store recently got a new entry of an app named "Windows Feature Experience Pack." At the moment it's just a dummy app that's effectively a placeholder. However, since first appearing it's now represented by a "download" icon.

While it's totally speculation at the point, analysts believe it's a sign Microsoft is splitting the development process so that updates to the basic code of Windows itself are treated separately to the addition of new features.

That could mean Windows Update is used simply to deliver the code updates and plug any security bugs. Meanwhile new features would instead be downloaded individually, perhaps in a similar way to installing applications. (Source:

Windows Could Become "Freemium" Product

The most immediate effect would be that it would be easier to set a computer to automatically run the latest Windows code, which would ideally have any known problems or security plugs fixed, without automatically getting extra features that might introduce compatibility problems.

More cynical analysts suggest it could also pave the way for a new pricing structure in which "Windows 10" itself always remained free to keep up-to-date but new features could carry a fee.

What's Your Opinion?

Does this sound like a smart move from Microsoft? Would you use a "system updates" only setting if it was available and then decide manually about new features? Do you trust Microsoft to introduce these changes without further disruption?

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Average: 4.8 (11 votes)


LouisianaJoe's picture

In most cases I do not need new features. I like the option to install or wait until I am sure that they work.

imallett_8441's picture

At some point Microsoft will want to regain revenue from Windows. They will not give it away for free indefinitely. Charging for feature looks like a way to get that revenue.

Personally, I wouldn't bother. Windows started as a graphical OS, now it is trying to be everything to everybody. I couldn't tell you any new features from the last couple of years. They may be in there, but I don't bother with them. Windows just makes my computer work and I use browsers, word processors etc not a windows "feature".

buzzallnight's picture

I also DO NOT WANT A NEW GUI EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What I do want is M$ to fix their product that has more security holes than Swiss cheese!!!!

We really should pass a law that M$ can not come out with a new product until they fix anything they have ever made so it works properly!!!!!!!!!

fconte_11857's picture

I actually think that XP, when finally freed of its bugs, was a decent OS. Far inferior to Linux or Apple OS but decent.
Windows 10 leaves a lot to be desired.

russoule's picture

what MS has been downloading, without the request for it, are a lot of packages that are based on the XBox, which costs more money than I want to pay for a "gaming device". so if there were a way to prevent MS from sending me updates to XBox Game Console and 3D Photo blah, blah - I would love it! it is time-consuming to get rid of that junk after every "upgrade".

rohnski's picture

So if they are going to make "new features" an optional update, while keeping "security" updates mandatory, it sounds like back-to-the-future to me. And the worst of both worlds.
We will still get mandatory updates and then we are back to Service Packs. But now we will have to pay for the service packs.
Anyone hear the cows coming home to be milked.

andred99's picture


It was time for someone to wake up at Microsoft. In 2018, they were talking about this scenario, but there was no follow-up. What I hate about Windows 10 are all these updates which for the vast majority of users are useless and which brings a lot of problems.

What I have been hoping for over two years is that Microsoft can create two versions. One for people who want to work and who only need security updates and another for those who want to play. The gang of developers that MS has hired sees only games and all kinds of developments that may seem interesting to them, but that has no use for the vast majority of us.

So, if Microsoft can finally understand its customer base and move forward with

fconte_11857's picture

"What I hate about Windows 10 are all these updates which for the vast majority of users are useless and which brings a lot of problems."

Navy vet's picture

This last update several months ago destroyed my home network. Tried for weeks to fix it, no luck. Called Microsoft support and they told me it will be fixed in the next update. It hasn't.
Windows should stop trying to be all things to all users. I know I am not as tech savvy an many of you, but please don't attack me for this post. If I wanted to be abused, I would simply ask my wife how her day was.

Jim-in-kansas's picture

I have been upgrading from Windows7 pro to Windows10 pro on both my personal and business networks.
Thanks to YouTube and this forum I have had very little problems with the upgrading outside of the a couple of HP printer drivers I had to re-install. The process is still on ongoing but I am more optimistic than 10 days ago.

Let's hope M$ has final heard the rumblings from afar. YouTube seems to be full of very unhappy "former" Microsoft software engineers who have been let go and now are praising the virtues of "Linux". Much of the angst is that Microsoft has greatly reduced their in-house software development checking before just releasing it to the public as an Alpha release when, in fact, it is still 50% Beta. Thereby, making the public the actual "beta testers" for new updates and "features".

For many years I have felt the software guys worked developing code during the day and were black hat hackers by night :-) .. Great job security.

Wishing everyone here a Hopeful and Prosperous New Year.