Too many Windows 10 feature updates?

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 3, 2017
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Microsoft, Windows 10

Microsoft announced a while ago that it plans to release two feature updates for its Windows 10 operating system per year.

This year -- 2017 -- saw the release of the Windows 10 Creators Update back in March, and will see the release of the Fall Creators Update in September/October (anyone wondering if Microsoft will keep the names of the updates linked to each other in the coming years?).

The Creators Update brought along with it new features such as App Groups in the Start Menu, Mixed Reality support, Game Mode, or Dynamic Lock.

Some features like My People were postponed however, and will come out in the Fall Creators Update later this year.

Today, Joe Belfiore revealed that Windows 10 Timeline won't be included in the Fall Creators Update release, but will be released in the feature update that comes next (probably around the time the Creators Update was released).

windows 10 features delayed

Timeline was revealed back in May 2017. While the full functionality of Timeline is not entirely clear, the part that was revealed  gives users a view of the apps that they used on all their devices, and an option to continue where you left off.

Joe revealed as well that another feature, Cloud Clipboard, will be part of the next feature update after the Fall Creators Update.

One could argue that Microsoft has a bit of a timing issue when it comes to feature announcements for the next version of Windows.

Fans of Windows want to know what Microsoft plans to release in the next feature update. Microsoft on the other hand needs to weight showing features to the public against the possibility that they won't make it in the next update.

It is better obviously to delay a feature release than to ship a weak version of it with the operating system just so it makes the cut.

One has to ask whether this can be attributed to the rapid release cycle of Windows 10. If features are announced but then not ready to be included in a feature update, and any feature update is just six months away on average, Microsoft either has to make sure that these feature announcements are only made when the company is certain that a feature makes it into the next feature update, or consider changing the release cycle to give developers enough time to ensure that.

One possibility for the latter would be to designate one of the two feature updates as a major update, and the other as a minor update. This would still serve the purpose, and would probably also help organizations and end users in regards to updates. A minor feature update might on average require less testing than these feature updates that Microsoft pushes out right now.

Now You: What's your take on this?

Too many Windows 10 feature updates?
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Too many Windows 10 feature updates?
Is Microsoft's plan to release two feature updates for its Windows 10 operating system too ambitious of a plan for the company?
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  1. TomAnon said on February 2, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    omg yes there are way to many upgrades. about the time you have your system stable on the current version, there is a new damn version out. Not to mention how many devices I have seen fail the upgrade then requiring a manual update with a USB. Win 10 is nice but make these “feature” upgrades once ever 12 – 24 months so business can have a damn stable environment to work in. picture how long XP was out, picture how long 7 has been out. Now picture if instead windows 95 was out for six months then 98 came out, 6 months later ME came out, 6 months later xp came out, 6 months later 7 came out, 6 months later 8 came out, 6 months later 10 came out. it would be a disaster and that is exactly what they are doing with 10, each iteration is supposed to be in place of what would be a new OS, they have never released a new OS 6 months apart, why do they do it now?

  2. Anonymous said on July 5, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    @dark. I did not know that a Windows 10 update could include a BIOS update – really? I can believe that being so for Surface systems but surely not for OEM systems. If so, this is insane. What immediately came to mind was those users who grabbed the W10 license entitlement freebie back in 2015 and immediately reverted back to W7 or 8. They may find that originating PC is in mortal danger.

    As far as two feature updates a year – I see it more as a marketing ploy. This MS decision is not in the interest of the Enterprise license holder even though they can delay the updates. The delays add complexity and important in-house stuff starts to back up. It is the imposed imposition that will eventually push the company to the cloud. Manipulation is the game.

  3. Ray Matthews said on July 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    I also use Windows 7 and refuse to use the neverending mess of Windows 10
    I think its misleading to corporations and consumers that rely on stable hardware/peripherals, and software setups, for Microsoft to continue to name their OS Windows 10
    This implies that the ongoing major updates wont at some point affect drivers, hardware an software compatibility
    Microsoft should be honest, and call the current OS, as Windows 11, due to the fact that the sheer number of changes means it o longer resembles the 2015 version of Windows 10.

    3 things I would prefer Microsoft to do rather than endless useless upgrades
    1)Focus on a solid security core – and updates for this core should be mandatory
    2)All other design updates should be optional. Im sure most businesses dont want the latest neon design UI. The just want their printers to work reliably
    3)Stop the telemetry and data collection. Period. (which will never happen)

    Reasons I prefer Windows 7 to Wndows 10
    1)Compatible with all the hardware and software I have spend my money on, in the last 10 years
    3)No need for new design UI upgrades Windows 7 UI is reliable and just works
    4)No sneaky data collection by Microsoft
    5)No stupid advertisements on the Start Menu I have to shut down
    6)No reference to stupid Microsoft apps, I dont want apps
    7)No chance my OS will be made subscription based in the future

  4. dark said on July 4, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Windows 10 also now updates bios whch means high chances of bricking your motherboard.
    Watch the lenovo yoga 910 video on FastGadgets channel.

  5. MazTerGee said on July 4, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    1 Feature update every decade would be great

  6. Curtis K said on July 4, 2017 at 8:15 am

    I am staying on Build 10240 that it bought from Costco (North America/USA) and I’m not going to update the computer to the latest build.

  7. Dilandu said on July 4, 2017 at 7:37 am

    What about software compatibility ? How many feature updates can they withstand before having to be *all* updated or start acting wonky ?

    I don’t want to update my entire fucking computer every six months, only internet-facing and security apps need updates.

  8. dmacleo said on July 4, 2017 at 1:47 am

    never thought I would miss patch tuesday but the amount of win10 updates constantly popping up in wsus as critical is getting old.

  9. T J said on July 4, 2017 at 12:35 am

    Still using Win 7 very happliy and not even wearing a tinfoil hat any more. :))

    Where have all the Win 10 cheer leaders / fan boys/girls gone??

    Read this and weep, Win 10ers:

    1. Womble said on July 4, 2017 at 3:16 pm


      Ghacks welcomes it’s first preteen reader.

      The reason you don’t hear from Win 10 cheerleader is that they don’t feel the need to prove anything, unlike hipsters such as yourself.

      1. T J said on July 5, 2017 at 10:57 am

        Womble, keep living on Wimbledon Common and collecting rubbish.
        Read more about your Womble family here:
        Watch them here (Are you in the video ?):

        “The reason you don’t hear from Win 10 cheerleader (typo correction should be cheerleaders plural) is that they don’t feel the need to prove anything”

        As you are a Win 10 cheerleader, let’s hope Win 10 comes out of Beta soon so that you can really cheer.

    2. Tom Hawack said on July 4, 2017 at 11:43 am

      Edifying indeed. What I and many of us don’t understand is that European instances seem to be the only ones to oppose users’ rights to Microsoft’s ambitions… and obtain results, i.e []

      July 29th will be Win10’s birthday, 2 years old and, to what I read from users, still not stable, if it ever will be.

      1. Douka said on July 4, 2017 at 8:45 pm

        It’s France here, not EU. EU just smacked Google though.

      2. Womble said on July 4, 2017 at 3:34 pm

        You read about issues because people are more vocal when they have them.

        Here’s proof that you can type “problem with [anything]” into google and get hits.

        But in the end it’s nothing more than confirmation bias.

      3. Tom Hawack said on July 4, 2017 at 11:56 am

        EDIT : I translated French “instances” to English “instances” … when I should have written “[…] European exhortations (entreaties) […]”. Not the first time I assume a same word has the same meaning …

  10. Howard A Pearce said on July 3, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Everytime I install a major windows 10 update, windows decides to install the drivers it wants regardless of past settings I have tried to set to prevent this from happening.
    Why can’t windows wise up and allow users to decide what drivers they want installed.

    It frequently takes me at least a couple of hours merely to restore my driver in an appropriate fashion so Windows doesn’t beat me too it or install over it again..

  11. Sir Pixelot said on July 3, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    The updates are far too constant for my needs. Personally, I’d prefer 1 feature update a year, with a focus on system stability and security. This is why I’ve gone back to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 on my household systems. So long Windows 10, you won’t be missed!

    1. John said on July 3, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      Same here, in fact I already decided to “upgrade” to 8.1/7 this year (still undecided between the two though).

      I’m using Windows 10 Pro (still in 1607 build) for less than a year and I’m already fed up with it. It’s clearly an OS in BETA stage: bugs, UI inconsistency, two control panels, apps crap, etc…

      And, from the looks of it, it will be forever a BETA. They don’t focus on “polishing” the system, it’s just about new features, which end up leaving the OS even more “unfinished” than before. For example, with the new Neon UI coming soon, what we will have, three interfaces? Because currently there’s already two: the new Metro UI and the old Windows 7 UI.

      I don’t like to do feature upgrades without a clean install, and I don’t like to do a clean install every year either. So, the result is that I end up with an outdated system in less than a year with this crazy release cycle from Microsoft. I’m done with this.

      1. dark said on July 5, 2017 at 1:37 am

        Neon UI? So MS is copying KDE neon?

  12. Yuliya said on July 3, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Hard to believe that people are subjecting themselves to using this piece of junk:

    They keep adding crap to it and not fixing anything on their way.

    1. TianlanSha said on July 4, 2017 at 1:27 am

      Sometimes I ask myself if MS are actually adding all this garbage to test how far they can go before people run out patience and do something.

      1. AnorKnee Merce said on July 4, 2017 at 4:27 pm

        @ Corky
        “Volume Licenses customer pay a yearly fee regardless of how quickly new versions of Windows are released.”
        Only those corporations who paid less money upfront to lease/rent Win 7/8.1 Ent VL through 3-yr Enterprise Agreements have to pay yearly to M$, ie either as quarterly/yearly lease/rental installments and/or as yearly premiums for the separate 3-year-term Software Assurance(SA)/Insurance(= entitles “free” upgrades or “insure” against paying for future upgrades).
        ……. Those who paid much more upfront money to buy Win 7/8.1 Ent VL outright do not have to pay any yearly fee to M$. It’s like the difference between buying an Office 2016 license and subscribing/leasing Office 365; or like the difference between buying and renting a home/apartment.

        Only those who lease/rent Ent VL were required by M$ to also buy SA. It was only in 2014 that M$ unfairly required new corporate customers who wanna buy the Win 7/8.1 Ent VL to also buy the 3-year term Software Assurance at least once.

      2. Corky said on July 4, 2017 at 10:47 am

        @AnorKnee Merce, Volume Licenses customer pay a yearly fee regardless of how quickly new versions of Windows are released.

        Also while you’re correct to say Microsoft earns more from corporate (Volume Licenses customers) when compared to the other sources of revenue generated by the Windows OS the revenue Windows generates as a whole pales in comparison to their other sources of revenue.

        Microsoft made it clear they’re refocusing the company on a mobile first, cloud first, strategy and seeing how they’ve so far failed in the mobile arena that leaves them migrating everything into the cloud, including Windows eventually.

      3. AnorKnee Merce said on July 4, 2017 at 9:41 am

        @ DVDRambo

        Not really. Corporations are M$’s cash cows, not consumers or home-users. M$ releasing new Win 10 versions about every 6 months is to force corporations to pay more for Win 10 Ent Volume Licenses(VL).
        ……. Previously, M$ released new Windows versions about once every 3 years, eg Win XP in 2001, Win Vista in 2006, Win 7 in 2009 and Win 8 in 2012. To M$ and Nadella, 3 years wasn’t quick enough for Windows Volume Licensing money$$$$ to roll in to their coffers because many corporations chose to buy and use Win 7/8.1 Ent VL for about 10 years, ie until EOL in 2020/2023.

        Notice that each version of Win 10 has an EOL of about 18 months only. In comparison, Win 7/8.1 Ent has an EOL of about 10 years, ie until 2020/2023 = corporations could buy and use Win 7/8.1 Ent VL for about 10 years.
        ……. With Win 10 Ent, corporations could no longer buy and use the OS for about 10 years unless they buy the doubly-expensive Win 10 Ent E5 LTSB VL or continuously pay for Software Assurance/Insurance every 3 years or subscribe/lease Win 10 Ent VL.

      4. DVDRambo said on July 4, 2017 at 6:38 am

        I think they keep changing Windows 10 as a distraction to consumers, making it look “new”.

  13. TianlanSha said on July 3, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    When will MS ever get a clue that nobody gives a damn about the Store and its useless apps on desktop? They keep shoving it and shoving it down people’s throats. I was originally very annoyed with Windows 10 after using it for 1 year after Release Day and decided to go back to Windows 7 and stick with it until programs and games I use stop supporting it, but I encountered a game that I wanted to play and it wouldn’t run on WIndows 7 so I was forced to update to 10 for the fun of it just to see if it works and since it does I’m sticking with Windows 10 without really liking it – the UI is slow and whatnot, but what caught my attention is that in order to get new themes for it, you have to visit the stupid Store, well good luck with that because I disabled/uninstalled it with the rest of the apps (now I don’t even have a built-in calculator xD).

    I wish MS would just focus on making it fast and stable, not adding useless features no one gives a damn about, the UI is really a mess between something new that’s unfinished and something old that ironically works better and faster. Edge is so useless that they should just scrap it and work with Google to integrate Chrome as a built-in with Windows 10 or something, that’s how pathetic of a job they’ve done with it so far.

    1. Womble said on July 4, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      I totally agree with the sentiment of your post. However they reckon that there will be 6 billion smartphones users by 2020, that market is triple that of the desktop. Whether we like it or not the best way for Microsoft to gain a piece of that pie is through familiarity. This means we have to suffer the same crappy apps on PC as other devices.

      However it is an abuse of their monopoly, we’ve seen this before from Microsoft, but again nobody will intervene until it’s too late.

  14. Dilandu said on July 3, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    It’s going to be hard to ensure control over an OS whose behavior can change arbitrarily every six months.

    I heard LTSB has issues and shouldn’t be used or something. What’s up with that ?
    What’s the lowest update rate one can get ? (security updates excluded of course)

    For now, staying on Windows 7, which I control 100%.

    1. dark said on July 4, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      LTSB is actually the most stable version because no feature updates, only security and hotfix updates. Its not even rolling release so you will have to download the ISO when newer version 1703 or higher becomes available in 2018 or 19.

      The only problem with LTSB is telemetry which you can block with WPD, Spybot Anti-beacon and PeerBlock.

      Gaming performance is also slightly higher in LTSB because not many things running in the background.

    2. seeprime said on July 4, 2017 at 6:36 am

      What have you “heard” about LTSB? I think it’s just fine, and is the most Windows 7-like version of Windows 10 that exists.

      1. seeprime said on July 4, 2017 at 8:02 am

        Dilandu: LTSB was stripped of the “features” that people complain about. Game apps, telemetry can be set to lower than basic levels. Best part is that it’s stable. No new unwanted features will be added. If you have access to it, try it.

      2. Dilandu said on July 4, 2017 at 7:32 am

        That it was seldom tested, a lot more bugs than other versions, and stripped of more features than one might expect by looking at Microsoft’s descriptive.

        I sure hope it’s untrue.

  15. Rick said on July 3, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Delay or accelerate new Win10 new features.. I don’t care either way. They have been pretty useless for me, and frankly, I would rather see them focus on refining the actual OS than adding what is already available in other forms.

    1. Coul said on July 22, 2017 at 10:43 pm

      Agreed 100%. My main quirk is still that the scaling isn’t consistent through the ui and far from perfect. How hard can it to fix the basics first.

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