Microsoft wants to make Windows 10 upgrade blocks easier to understand, according to new report

Laurent Giret

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Every time Microsoft releases a new major Windows 10 update, not all users are able to install it immediately. As we’ve seen it earlier this year with the May 2020 Update (version 2004), there were once again several upgrade blocks in place preventing many consumers, including those with recent Microsoft Surface devices, from installing this update immediately.

It was quite surprising to see that the latest version of Windows 10 was not ready on day one for some of the company’s own Surface devices. Compatibility issues can also be frustrating for other Windows 10 users, especially since Windows Update doesn’t do a great job at explaining why someone can’t install the latest Windows 10 release.

According to a new report from ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is aware that it can do better to avoid compatibility issues by working more closely with its hardware partners. Additionally, the company may already be working on better communicating why major updates can’t be installed immediately.

Regarding the first issue, Foley’s sources said that “Microsoft is working on beefing up the driver test matrix by adding more hardware/driver combinations and coupling that with their artificial intelligence/machine learning tech to highlight potential problem areas before and after rollouts begin.” As of this writing, Microsoft is still investigating a compatibility issue with certain Conexant audio drivers, and an upgrade block is still preventing affected users from installing the May 2020 Update.

As for better explaining to Windows 10 users why they can’t install a new Windows 10 release when they want to, the company’s plans are still a bit unclear, though making some improvements is on the roadmap according to Foley.

“Speaking of the “after” rollout period, Microsoft also is working to do what many Windows users have been requesting: Make blocking issues clearer and more customized. Microsoft’s goal is to provide Windows 10 users with much more specific information on why their machines are blocked from receiving a particular update and to give them an inbox notification that is both specific and actionable, I hear. None of my contacts would say when something like this might happen, unfortunately, but at least it’s on the list.”

Due to the huge variety of hardware in the Windows 10 ecosystem, it’s likely impossible for the company to make a new Windows 10 release available for everyone on day one. Even though major updates are being tested for months with Windows Insiders, there will always be some compatibility issues with certain hardware.

It also doesn’t help that Microsoft continues to ship two Windows Updates every year in the spring and fall seasons, though things could eventually change on that front. According to a previous report from Foley, Microsoft could be planning one major Windows 10 update every year starting next year. to give engineers more time to work on Windows10X. The latter is a new lightweight version of Windows 10 designed for Chromebook-like devices, and it was initially expected to debut on the dual-screen Surface Neo later this year.