When Microsoft releases feature updates to Windows 10, these are delivered as staged roll outs and not pushed instantly to the whole Windows machine population.
There are several reasons for doing so, including bandwidth and control. While Microsoft has a powerful infrastructure in place to ship updates to users, it is not designed to distribute a Gigabyte sized update to hundreds of millions of machines on a single day.
This goes along well with the extra bit of control that a staged roll out offers. Microsoft may monitor the initial deployment on machines to catch any issues before it affects the whole Windows population.
Windows Update Targeting Framework
While Microsoft revealed that it is testing a new update targeting framework, it made no mention as to what is new or changed.
While we don’t know anything about what has changed, we know at least where the test will take place.
Microsoft plans to test the new framework on the Windows 10 Insider Slow Ring, and there when it releases the forth Windows 10 Fall Creators Update build.
With the forth coming release of a new Windows 10 Fall Creators Update build to the Slow ring, we are testing a new update targeting framework and will be delivering the build in staggered phases. This will simulate the rollout process we use when we release major Windows 10 feature updates to retail customers.
The underlying system remains the same from a user perspective. The feature update will be rolled out to the machine population gradually.
Users have options to wait until it is their machine’s turn to receive the update, or may hit the “check for updates” button in the Settings app under Updates & Security > Windows Updates to bypass the queue and get the update immediately. This method works for release versions of Windows 10 as well.
There is also a third possibility, but it is only an option if Microsoft released an ISO image of the new version of Windows.
The change replicates the updating system that Microsoft used on stable versions of Windows. Microsoft made no mention as to whether it will use the system in other Insider build channels as well. It seems likely that it will keep the system in place on the Slow Ring only for the time being.