On Windows 10 Major Update Changes affects on SmartSDR and DAX

Recently a Flex community member posted:


Changes to Windows 10 update model announced

Reported by ars technica on July 24, 2019


Quoting first paragraph: “Microsoft outlined new directions for Windows 10’s update model in a pair of blog posts. It looks like the company is shifting its twice-annual major release cycle to a twice-annual major/minor release cycle, with major upgrades in spring and minor upgrades in the fall.”

John – WA7UAR


And I commented:

AFAIK the present model replaces significant portions of the OS twice a year, with planned patches on “patch Tuesday” and unplanned patches at other times.

The new model appears to make one of the twice annual events a light lift, leaving the heavy lifting to the other.

With automatic updates enabled your system will still be touched a dozen or more times each year.

With build 1903 onward you essentially can force some grouping of updates, but the expectation is an implementation delay.

Turning off updates with third party tools, higher level policy control, or adjusting your system to appear on a very limited connection looks to still be possible. The end results of deferring updates has its own risks but many hams are finding those risks acceptable. It is likely to not be possible to shut off updates in some environments and eventually the system will need updating for other program based reasons, which can become a real chore when you let it happen.

The varying implementations of Windows 10 have differing control over updates, ranging from very good control for embedded & enterprise variants to minimal for home edition & certain “lite” variants.

How the bag of update surprises plays out for any machine seems to vary based on whether it is a recent clean OS install, if it is an OS upgraded machine, resources available, what your installed program load contains, and more variables than I can recall off the cuff.

So we don’t get too down on Windows, this same sort of schema is not unique to Windows 10. Most flavors of Linux have fairly well defined update programs, and when it comes to auto-updating Linux apps & packages there is an awful lot of (not well earned) trust needed at the consumer level.

The Apple iOS and macOS, as well a Google products have similar programs. I am sure we’ve all seen media about updates that brick devices.

Behind the scenes the great proportion of our IoT devices have under the hood update programs – whether it is your router, the modem you might rent from a provider, a security camera system, your smart thermostats or something you might not even think is connected (like the peer-to-peer connections among commercial grade kitchen appliances), I think we’ve all be faced with “An Upgrade is Available” message along the way. Be certain many of these devices have ways to auto-install critical updates or for support to help recover an errant unit.

Back to MS Win 10 change, without digging deeper into what is being reserved for the bigger update and what is not going to be allowed during the lighter update, it isn’t possible to predict what effect each update will have on our SmartSDR systems.

It is also worth observing that the Win 10 beta testing program releases seems to always be different than the actual release rolled out publicly! From the outside looking in the divergent team efforts to build a thoroughbred (at least from that team’s viewpoint) gets “cooperated” into a Frankenstein camel in the process that combines all of the team inputs into a distribution.

The massive flexibility of Win 10 is a feature than is also its weakest point when it comes to any updates.

Again stepping back from a SmartSDR Win 10 impact on DAX focus, these updates break LOTS of other programs. Whether other audio, whether CAD, whether video, or whether consumer grade games – they all take casualties by Win 10 updates.

The benefit of the updates should be in our focus – the fixes, feature expansions, security updates and more only occur via updates. Your system doesn’t learn to fight off attacks or learn to offer capability extensions or even fix problems on its own.

And again that applies to any OS, especially any that are connected to the WWW.



One thought on “On Windows 10 Major Update Changes affects on SmartSDR and DAX

  1. Ed Woodrick WA4YIH says:

    I’m on insider build and get updates at least once a month. All I might have to do is which device is my system audio. It’s not a big deal

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