Microsoft Promises, Microsoft Delivers! Windows Installation Time Reduced to 30 Minutes

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Mar 19, 2018
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Only last month we saw Dona Sarkar responding to a tweet that was complaining about Windows’ download and installation time. It appears the company has really been focusing on improving this process, as Microsoft has just announced reducing the time it takes to install Windows 10 feature updates to an average of 30 minutes instead of an average 82 minutes that it took to install the Creators Update. [This doesn’t apply to Patch Tuesday updates that usually don’t take this long.]

Microsoft: You will now be able to install Windows 10 updates in under 30 minutes

In a blog post, Microsoft details how it has managed to improve Windows update model by keeping most of the process “online” instead of offline – referring to the installation period when a PC can’t be used. Joseph Conway, Senior Program Manager on the Windows Fundamentals team, explained this in detail:

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To achieve this, we moved portions of the work done during the offline phases and placed it in the online phase. Because of these changes, the average offline time for the Fall Creator’s Update released last October has dropped to 51 minutes, a 38% improvement! But we didn’t stop there. We’ve done additional work in the upcoming Windows release to move portions of migration operations to the online phase as well. This has resulted in an overall reduction of offline time when installing builds in the Insiders Program to an average of 30 minutes. That’s a reduction of 63% from the Creators Update!

These changes will also result in the online process taking longer but Conway said it won’t be noticeable “to most users,” since the process will run at low priority, without having any significant impact on battery life or system performance.

The reduction in average offline time it takes for a feature update to install from 82 minutes to 30 minutes will be a massive improvement for the end user. This improvement in the update model is, however, only limited to Insiders right now. Microsoft is expected to roll out these improvements with the next major Windows 10 update, but it isn’t clear if we will experience this with the upcoming Windows 10 Spring Creators Update.

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