Windows 10 1903 Upgrade: A Repeat Of 1809 Nightmare?
Microsoft lost a lot of user confidence when the company released the half-baked Windows 10 1809 upgrade October last year, which unexpectedly deleted files of users without any warning during the upgrade process. The company was forced to recall the update to the embarrassment of Microsoft developers which leads to a steady increase of “Windows 10 sucks” articles and Youtube videos being posted by both critics and veteran users alike.
Microsoft is once again in the middle of an upgrade cycle beta testing, which will be known by Windows 10 Insider users as the 19H1 update. The company has migrated away from the major Windows release cycle of once every three years to a quick update cycle, with big feature upgrade twice a year starting with Windows 10’s first version in 2015. Now, after what happened with the disastrous October 2018 Update, the question that sure is being made from Redmond is to what extent users will willingly accept to install 19H1 when it is pushed to end-users machines a few weeks from now (around March to April 2019).
The 19H1 upgrade contains new features that may range from very basic iconography facelift to under the hood changes, which may or may not be compelling to a particular demography of users. Here are some of its features:
- Windows 10 19H1 brings a Focus Assist enhancement, with it the operating system automatically turns off all notifications every time an app runs in full screen mode. As a reminder, Focus Assist is a feature that mutes notifications when playing or watching movies, playing games or scanning for malware. Windows 10 has been trained to automatically determine when to intervene. In addition, the maintenance center now incorporates improvements, which include a brightness slider as one of the visible features.
- Emoji 12 also comes to Windows 10 and Microsoft says it is currently working on its implementation without the performance penalty for 19H1 users. “The full emoji list for the Emoji 12 version is still in beta, so the Insiders may notice some changes in future compilations as soon as the emojis are finished. We still have work, like adding keywords in the search for emoji. new emojis and add some that are not yet complete, ” says Microsoft in their press release.
- Additional improvements have also been made, including High DPI (full support for 4k and future display technologies like 8k), including the default configuration of a function that allows Windows to try to correct applications that appear blurry on the screen.
- Windows Defender, the built-in antimalware app in Windows 10 has been fully upgraded with additional button to manage access to the camera and microphone when navigating with Application Guard for Microsoft Edge. Any user can enable this feature in the Application Guard for Microsoft Edge, the camera and microphone settings must already be enabled for the device in Settings > Privacy> Microphone and Settings> Privacy> Camera.
Of course, there is still a criticism of Microsoft’s downgraded quality control, as the company under Satya Nadella heavily depends on the Insider beta testers to report bugs instead of heavily relying on the internal debuggers. It will take a lot of courage for a regular non-technical user to try to become an Insider beta tester. The last 1809 update has proven that end-users performing the beta test voluntarily are not enough to fix showstopper Windows bugs before public release. Microsoft is set to release the April 2019 upgrade as Windows 10 1903, if all things will turn-out ok after the Insider preview program.
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Kevin Jones, Ph.D., is a research associate and a Cyber Security Author with experience in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Monitoring solutions, Surveillance and Offensive technologies etc. Currently, he is a freelance writer on latest security news and other happenings. He has authored numerous articles and exploits which can be found on popular sites like hackercombat.com and others.