Q: What can you tell me about the Windows 10 anniversary update and should I download it?
The Windows 10 anniversary update is a combination of bug fixes and feature updates that would likely have been called a service pack in the past.
Whether you love or hate Windows 10, it’s the future of the platform and with it comes many changes to the way we’re all used to working with Microsoft.
To better understand this update, it’s important to understand the changes in the way Microsoft is going to support and update Windows from now on.
For starters, Microsoft has referred to Windows 10 as “the last version of Windows,” not because they plan to abandon Windows altogether, but because they plan to abandon the numeric upgrade cycles that they have followed since the first version was released.
Instead of creating completely new versions with new numbers on disks that you buy, Microsoft is following Apple’s approach of delivering all future Windows upgrades as downloads.
Microsoft’s ambition is to get you thinking of the Windows interface like you do Gmail or Facebook, where upgrades to the platform just happen.
The business case for this shift in approach is very clear: They don’t want to have to support multiple old versions of Windows decades after they are released like they have to do today. They want to get everyone on one platform so they don’t have to employ different programmers to support old versions that users have chosen not to upgrade.
If you look at the current global OS market share numbers, you’ll better understand their problem:
Windows 7: 47 percent
Windows 10: 21 percent
Windows XP: 10 percent
Windows 8.1: 8 percent
Windows 8: 2 percent
Of the five versions listed above, only Windows XP is no longer supported, yet there are as many users still using XP as there are using 8 and 8.1 combined.
Microsoft knows today’s users are much less inclined to make a change to their operating system than in the past, so they want to control all of that in the future.
This brings us to the current state of Windows updates for anyone that’s using Windows 10. They’re just going to happen.
If you’re tech-savvy and don’t mind dealing with new issues, you can manually download the Windows 10 anniversary update which was released on Aug. 2, but for most, I’d recommend waiting for the auto-update process to deliver it.
We have seen a few issues in our tests of the anniversary update, especially with third-party software, such as security programs, and there are the usual early complaints posted in various tech forums outlining various other issues.
Many of these issues will be resolved as third-party software vendors work through the compatibility issues and provide updates of their software to work with this new Windows update.
There are many interesting new features and tweaks included in the anniversary update, but I wouldn’t hurry to download it just yet.