Microsoft discontinues delta updates for Windows 10 in 2019

Matthew Adams By: Matthew Adams
2 minute read
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Microsoft usually releases cumulative updates on Patch Tuesday. Those more regular updates provide small OS enhancements and bug fixes in Windows versions. Microsoft has now announced that it will abandon delta cumulative updates in favor of express updates during 2019.

Microsoft’s Mr. Benson announced on the Windows IT Pro Blog that the software company will discontinue delta updates from February 2019. There he stated: “Now that express update support for third-party update managers has been available for over a year, we plan to stop shipping delta updates. Beginning February 12, 2019 Microsoft will end its practice of creating delta updates for all versions of Windows 10.

A delta update is one that installs only when a device includes the previous month’s updates. They deliver full component updates for Windows 10. At the moment, Microsoft updates Windows 10 versions from 1607 to 1803 with cumulative delta updates.

The express update alternative patches files to update Windows. Those updates download what is needed instead of full components. As such, the express updates are typically smaller downloads. The graph below illustrates the size differential between the three types of updates.

Thus, express updates are more efficient than the delta alternatives. As they have reduced payloads, the express updates have less impact on network bandwidth. The Windows 10 April 2018 Update will be the final version to support delta updates. As such, there will be no delta updates for the Redstone 5 Windows 10 build that rolls out later this year.

So, updates for Windows 10 will probably be a little quicker with the express updates. For further details about the Windows 10 cumulative updates in July, check out this post.

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