Microsoft’s plan to ignore Windows 10 1809 worked

As expected, Microsoft never put Windows 10 1809 on a majority of users’ PCs, instead sidestepping the problem-hounded upgrade that was delayed by months earlier this year.

According to AdDuplex, a Lithuanian company whose metrics technology is embedded in thousands of Windows Store apps, Windows 10 1809 powered 26% of surveyed Windows 10 systems as of Sept. 25. The decline from August was small, only 3 percentage points, yet it was the largest since the version peaked in May.

Windows 10 1809, unlike its predecessors, never powered even a third of all Windows 10 systems: It peaked at 31% in May. That was at odds with its immediate precursor, Windows 10 1803, which hit 90% for a high, and the upgrade before that, version 1709, which pegged 92% before falling.

Instead, Microsoft pushed Windows 10 1809 into the background, for all intents skipping past it to instead offer Windows 10 1903 to most users after it was released. That upgrade, also known as “Windows 10 May 2019 Update” (Microsoft abandoned descriptive naming at the end of 2017), got a slow start but by August was on 33% of all Windows 10 machines. A 13-percentage point increase in September pushed that number to 46%, making 1903 the most-installed version of Windows 10.

The switcheroo from the usual meant that Microsoft never aggressively delivered Windows 10 1809 to its forerunner, 1803 – last year’s spring upgrade – as it should have by former practice. Windows 10 1803 has plunged in its share of all Windows 10 PCs – last month it was on just 24% of the total. But the beneficiary of that decline was not the next in line (1809) but the one after that (1903).

Microsoft is responsible for the shunning of 1809; it isn’t something that happened organically. Why? Because through 1809’s release – originally slated for October 2018 but effectively delayed until early 2019 because of problems, including data loss experienced by customers who upgraded before the company shut off the spigot – Microsoft was the sole determiner of how quickly a feature upgrade was adopted by unmanaged PCs.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.


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