Question from Paula H.: I’ve noticed that Microsoft releases most Windows Updates to everyone at once but every now and then they’ll release one to people in batches, over several days.
Why don’t they just release all updates to everyone at the same time? Seems like it would be simpler that way.
Rick’s answer: That’s a great question, Paula. And if memory serves you’re the only person who has ever asked it.
There are actually two reasons why Microsoft “rolls out” some updates instead of making them available to everyone at the same time:
1 – Server Stability and Internet Bandwidth Management
The updates that Microsoft release in batches are typically major updates, and if they pushed those massive files out to everyone at once Microsoft’s servers and Internet connections would be overwhelmed and knocked out of service.
Releasing those large updates in stages allows Microsoft to control how many users will be connected to their servers at one time. That ensures a smooth roll-out without them having to deal with server and Internet outages.
2- Quality Control and Customer Satisfaction
While Microsoft is actually quite good an making sure their updates are pretty stable before they release them, bugs and other glitches do pop up from time to time. And some of those bugs and glitches can cause major problems when they’re installed on user’s machines.
Releasing major updates to just a few customers at a time (relatively speaking) allows them to respond to negative feedback/complaints by fixing any issues while those issues are still affecting only a relatively small subset of their customer base.
Can you imagine the uproar that would occur if a buggy update prevented hundreds of millions of PCs from booting up at the same time? Staged distribution allows Microsoft to avoid that kind of nightmare scenario.
That pretty much sums it up, Paula. Thanks again for asking such a great question!
Bonus tip: This post explains how to make Windows start up with your last-used programs and websites already open.
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