Microsoft gives Windows 10 1903 the ‘go’ sign for business, four months after release

Microsoft has officially told corporate customers that Windows 10 May 2019 Update – the year’s first feature upgrade – is suitable for widespread deployment.

The announcement last week came four months after the launch of the upgrade, which also goes by 1903 in Microsoft’s yymm format.

“Windows 10, version 1903 (the May 2019 Update) is designated ready for broad deployment for all users via Windows Update,” Microsoft stated on Sept. 26 in the Windows 10 release information page. “We recommend commercial customers running earlier versions of Windows 10 begin broad deployments of Windows 10, version 1903 in their organizations.”

Until this year, Microsoft declared each Windows 10 feature upgrade business ready when it promoted the refresh from the “Semi-Annual Channel (targeted),” or SAC-T, distribution line, to the “Semi-Annual Channel,” aka SAC. But after dumping SAC-T, only a discrete message was expected from Microsoft.

The business-ready milestone is intended to give enterprises confidence in the stability and reliability of a given feature upgrade. That confidence is based on the time beta testers from the Windows Insider program, early adopters and most importantly because of their numbers, users of Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro – the former forced to accept upgrades on Microsoft’s timetable – had run the code and reported bugs that Microsoft reflexively fixed.

Microsoft was originally motivated to report the transition because, first of all, the action catered to its most important customers (enterprises) and second, the assurance was something at least some of those customers relied on – because of history, including service packs – to trigger deployments. Microsoft was motivated to continue publicizing the mileposts for the same reasons, even as markers disappeared.

Just last week, Computerworld questioned Microsoft’s commitment to continue alerting commercial customers, wondering whether the Redmond, Wash. developer would simply skip the notification and instead let the appearance of the impending Windows 10 1909 – the fall’s “upgrade” – serve as the milestone for commercial customers to install 1909.

That prediction rested on the fact that 1909 is to be little more than a rerun of 1903, a cumulative update of the fixes since late May. Because the two – 1909 and 1903 – are essentially identical, testing of 1903 was testing of 1909.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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