We've all been there. You're sitting there, gaming or doing your work, when suddenly a blue screen overtakes your screen as Windows 10 decides to automatically update. Fortunately, Microsoft is looking to make its notoriously disruptive update process a thing of the past.
In a post on the Windows Blog, Windows corporate vice president Mike Fortin announced that the Windows 10 May 2019 Update will give users much greater control over when and how Windows updates happen. For starters, there will be a new "download and install now" option specifically for manually downloading feature updates, which are separate from the monthly "quality and security" updates that Windows typically rolls out.
Microsoft will now let you pause both feature and monthly updates for up to 35 days. which seems ideal for when you're on the road for a long stretch and don't want to be interrupted during an important work event. The May update will also roll out "intelligent active hours," which will give users an option to let Windows Update decide on the optimal time for an automatic update based on their typical PC usage habits. Finally, Microsoft also promises to "improve system responsiveness" by better coordinating both Windows and Microsoft Store updates for when you're away from your PC.
Fortin's blog post also vows to deliver an "expanded focus on quality" in the wake of the numerous issues caused by the Windows 10 October 2018 update. Fortin says that the May update will spend more time in the Preview Ring before rolling out widely, giving Microsoft more time to squash any nasty bugs. Microsoft also promises to work with its partners, including top PC makers, to begin manufacturing their devices with the latest build so that they can test it out before releasing their machines.
Microsoft says that it will be using machine learning to identify the most urgent issues that people register in its online Feedback Hub so that it can more quickly resolve them. The company also plans to launch a new public dashboard where all users can see the latest Windows 10 rollout information as well as which issues are being actively worked on.
The Windows 10 May 2019 Update will begin rolling out next week for those in the Release Preview ring, and in late May for users "on a currently supported version of Windows 10." If Microsoft can successfully make Windows updates less disruptive while also avoiding the problems of last fall's update, this could be one of the best versions of Windows yet.