Only a third of Windows 10 PCs have received the Anniversary Update

Windows 10 Anniversary Update

We knew that the Anniversary Update was going to be a phased rollout way back in July, but the major upgrade has been out for almost eight weeks now – and according to one batch of statistics it's only arrived on 34.5% of Windows 10 PCs.

So barely more than one in three Windows 10 computers are running the Anniversary Update (version 1607), according to the freshly released figures from AdDuplex (a cross-promotion ad network which is responsible for a Windows 10 advert SDK).

The vast majority of Windows 10 PCs, 59.9% of them, are still running the 'fall update', the major upgrade from last November.

The stats also showed that in the last month, adoption of the Anniversary Update has risen from 16.2% to the current level of 34.5%, so there has been a slight increase in the speed of the update rolling out. However, broadly speaking the pace of the rollout is pretty much flat, and Microsoft appears to be maintaining a steady stream.

That's not surprising, given the news we heard earlier this month, when Microsoft said that the rollout would take place over three months – meaning that some folks won't get the Anniversary Update until early November.

Essentially, these figures are confirmation that Microsoft is indeed proceeding along these lines, although at the pace outlined by these stats, early November is looking optimistic for a finish date. It's certainly all going way more slowly than we expected.

Still, it's better to be safe than sorry, and as we noted in our previous report on the speed of the rollout, Microsoft is on a go-slow in order to be able to carefully monitor progress and bugs affecting machines, so the firm can cross-reference which flaws affect which hardware, and take appropriate action.

And Microsoft is apparently being particularly careful with older hardware, unsurprisingly as this is where the upgrade may hit more problems with outdated drivers and the like.

Intentional throttling

As Steve Kleynhans, a Gartner analyst, told PC World: "Some of this is intentional throttling on Microsoft's part. I've got several machines that are still waiting for the AU. They are some of my older more 'troublesome' machines, so there is definitely some selection process going on."

We contacted Roy Illsley, Principal Analyst at Ovum, who told us: "I think it is a combination of events. I do agree with Gartner that Microsoft has been clever with its selection process and that will certainly account for some of the difference."

He further observed that the sluggish adoption of the Anniversary Update is also down to companies being cautious about applying the upgrade to their PCs, and indeed Microsoft's own upgrade policies for enterprise versions of the OS.

Illsley continued: "But in my experience it's more about businesses adopting newer approaches to managing workspaces and therefore making more considered choices of what and when upgrades are needed or required.

"The rise of SecOps is seeing the traditional approach to when upgrades are done and why change, so organizations are less likely to adopt the branch for business and more likely to think about the long-term services branch."

Even those firms on the Current Branch for Business likely won't receive the Anniversary Update until December, Kleynhans observed.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).