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March 3, 2017

Microsoft rolls out Universal Update Platform for all Windows Insiders

by John_A

Why it matters to you

As the release of the Windows 10 Creators Update draws near, Microsoft is testing out its new functionality to make sure it works as expected.

Microsoft has announced that its Universal Update Platform, announced in November 2016, is being rolled out to the PC side of the Insider program. Mobile users who are enrolled in the Insider program have been testing out this functionality since it was distributed to in Build 14959 of Windows 10.

From the user’s perspective, the biggest change being brought about by the Universal Update Platform is a reduction in download size for build updates. Microsoft has been able to considerably slim down the size of update installation packages by implementing a technique known as differential downloads.

Differential downloads allow the user to download only the changes that have been made since the last update, rather than the entire build. Files that are currently installed as part of the operating system are reused either as is, or with binary deltas or diffs applied to create newer versions.

More: Windows 10 Creators Update bringing real changes to updates and privacy

Users can apparently expect to see the download size of a major Windows 10 update being reduced by as much as 25 percent, according to Microsoft’s announcement post on the Windows blog. However, it’s noted that since Insider builds are much more frequent than standard builds, the difference might not be as noticeable as it will be for retail users.

Microsoft plans to roll out the Universal Update Platform to all Windows 10 users alongside the Creators Update. The company has been talking up the Creators Update since it was unveiled at a showy event in October 2016, and it’s finally set to be distributed to users sometime next month.

From the earliest days of Windows 10, Microsoft has made no secret of its ambition to use the new version of its flagship operating system to simplify the update process. The Unified Update Platform seems to be a step in the right direction, and hopefully its lengthy testing process will ensure that it’s capable of yielding positive results.

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