What we know about the Win10 version 1909 upgrade — and what you can do about it

Win10 version 1909 is an odd beast. The first of its kind. Billed as a feature update (read: version change) disguised as a quality update (read: pedestrian cumulative update), the general rollout that began on Tuesday seems to be progressing well.

Mind you, I don’t recommend that you install 1909 just yet. Like any Windows update, it needs time to ferment before consuming. Version 1909 has a particularly paltry — almost non-existent — list of worthwhile new features.

Some of the rollout details have come into focus. 

Microsoft has long referred to an “enablement package” that turns a 1903 installation into a 1909 installation. In a nutshell, Win10 version 1903 already has all of the 1909 bits, waiting to be lit up like unplugged lights on a Christmas tree. The 1909 upgrade simply plugs in the lights. As Microsoft puts it on the Windows IT Pro Blog:

Windows 10, versions 1903 and 1909 share a common core operating system with an identical set of system files. As a result, the new features in Windows 10, version 1909 were included in the latest monthly quality update for Windows 10, version 1903 (released October 8, 2019), but are currently in a dormant/disabled state. These new features will remain dormant until they are turned on via an “enablement package,” a small, quick-to-install “master switch” that simply activates the Windows 10, version 1909 features.

Moving from 1903 to 1909

The path from Win10 version 1903 to 1909 goes through a very genteel gateway. If you’re running Win10 1903, you only get the 1909 lights turned on (at least at this point) if you explicitly click on the Download and install now prompt.

1903 after reboot installing 449

That prompt appears (Start > Settings > Update & Security) after you install this month’s Win10 1903 cumulative update, KB 4524570. As I explained earlier this month, you’re under no obligation to click the “Download and install now” link. 

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.


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