Apps and Software

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Here’s good news to all Windows 10 users -- Microsoft is promising a 63-percent reduction in user downtime from 2017 levels in future upgrade releases for Windows 10, according to Gregg Keizer, reporting for ComputerWorld.

To realize such a big reduction, portions of the upgrade process done during the offline phase were moved to the online phase, according to Joseph Conway, Microsoft’s senior program manager for upgrade technologies. The online mode represents the period when the computer can still be used even if the upgrade has already started. On the other hand, the offline mode is the phase when the computer can no longer be used during the upgrade process.  

Conway said it will take a lot longer to complete the online portion but it will not be noticeable to most users. The setup processes will also run at a low priority so as not to degrade battery or system performance.

The offline part is what most Windows 10 users are familiar with, being the source of their aggravation when they cannot work. It is also the bane of Microsoft being the cause of the majority of complaints about the time it takes to process a feature upgrade.

Previously, it took an average of 83 minutes of offline time in completing the upgrade for Windows 10 1703, which went down to 51 minutes for the 1709 upgrade. The average downtime is expected to go down to 30 minutes for the 1803 upgrade, which Microsoft will roll out in early April 2018.

A reduction in offline time can be crucial to some organizations such as hospitals, which have workstations that are being used 24 hours a day. They and their patients just cannot afford to wait for an hour and a half just to let a feature upgrade complete itself.