Windows updates which are optional will no longer be provided by Microsoft from May 2020, with the software giant only producing vital security updates going forward due to the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
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We should stress that this is only optional updates, and not security fixes which will continue to be deployed as normal (so Patch Tuesday, the day when Microsoft releases its monthly security rollup, is still a thing).
Microsoft said in a statement: “We have been evaluating the public health situation, and we understand this is impacting our customers. In response to these challenges we are prioritizing our focus on security updates.
“Starting in May 2020, we are pausing all optional non-security releases (C and D updates) for all supported versions of Windows client and server products (Windows 10, version 1909 down through Windows Server 2008 SP2).”
No crystal ball
Microsoft didn’t mention any timeframe for how long this state of affairs might last – but obviously the company doesn’t have a crystal ball, and that will depend on how the situation with coronavirus unfolds as we move into the future.
Optional updates are just that of course – you don’t have to install them anyway. And we suppose one brighter chink of light in this is that the fewer updates applied to Windows, the less likely that any spanners are going to be thrown into the works of the OS, what with Microsoft’s track record of patches breaking things in recent times.
Most recently we’ve seen a Windows 10 update reportedly mess up the operating system’s built-in antivirus protection, causing an error message explaining that some files haven’t been scanned (for an unknown reason). Hopefully that problem with Windows Defender will be fixed soon enough.
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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).