Windows Enterprise Desktop

Jun 15 2018   11:06AM GMT

AI Drives Win10 Update Access

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

Tags:
Windows 10
Windows Update
Windows Update Management

The title grabbed my attention right way: “AI powers Windows 10 April 2018 Update rollout.” This fascinating post appeared on MS’s Win10 blog yesterday. It’s from John Cable, Director of Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery. Basically, it explains how MS uses device telemetry to decide which machines get offered updates or upgrades. Cable said: “Our AI approach intelligently selects devices that our feedback data indicate would have a great update experience and offers the April 2018 to those devices first.” He continues: “Our overall rollout objective is for a safe and relaible update, which means we only go as fast as is safe.” And that is how AI drives Win10 update access for the latest Win10 versions.

When AI Drives Win10 Update Access, What Happens?

Microsoft has been slowly but surely taking advantage of machine learning. It’s using AI in analyzing which machines can handle updates, and which ones have problems. According to Cable, this started in earnest with a pilot during the Fall Creators Update last year (version 1709). The company identified device characteristics likely to lead to a positive update experience with Insider Previews and “trained our model to spot and target those devices” when the update went into more general release. He goes on to say of this pilot that “… we consistently saw a higher rate of positive update experiences identified using the AI model.” That experience included “… fewer rollbacks, uninstalls, reliability issues, and negative user feedback.” That’s just what MS wants, so it’s no surprise that the 1803 rollout leans heavily on this methodology.

The Results Are Encouraging

Cable claims that this approach is working. He reports that over 250 million devices are running 1803. He also seeing “higher satisfaction numbers, fewer known issues, and lower support call volumes compared to previous Windows 10 releases.” Interestingly, press and forum coverage indicates that many users are having problems with 1803. But apparently overall satisfaction is up and trouble reports down from the MS perspective.

IMO, the uptake numbers speak for themselves. Given that 1803 appeared on April 30, for 250 million devices to have upgraded in 1.5 months is noteworthy. And, FWIW, these “official” MS numbers more or less prove my June 1 assertion  about AdDuplex numbers. I said that the 50% uptake figures extrapolated from AdDuplex numbers were flat wrong. MS currently puts those numbers at 35% of the Win10 user base, which more or less proves my point. ‘Nuff said!

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