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Unified Update Platform Reduces Update Complexity

Yesterday, Microsoft unleashed Windows 10 Insider Preview build number 14959. Usually I don’t cover previews here, because they sit at the bleeding or leading edge of Win10 technology. But a new feature in this build warrants mention. That feature is the Unified Update Platform, or UUP: it downsizes cumulative downloads and upgrades. A 11/3 Windows Experience blog post describes them as “differential downloads.” Basically, the unified update platform reduces update complexity … and update size.

Here are some details from that blog post:

We have converged technologies in our build and publishing systems to enable differential downloads for all devices built on the Mobile and PC OS. A differential download package contains only the changes that have been made since the last time you updated your device, rather than a full build. As we rollout UUP, this will eventually be impactful for PCs where users can expect their download size to decrease by approximately 35% when going from one major update of Windows to another. We’re working on this now with the goal of supporting this for feature updates after the Windows 10 Creators Update; Insiders will see this sooner.

What Does the Unified Update Platform Do?

Update checking is revamped with UUP. Data volume is cut, and processing on target devices (especially mobile ones) reduced. With UUP, asking for updates means checking for new items not yet applied. Only missing updates are assembled and downloaded. And with WU handling more processing, update checks complete more quickly. In terms of look and feel, WU looks unaltered. But behind-the-scenes optimizations make it faster and more efficient.

That’s the promise, anyway. Once UUP it begins rolling out we’ll know more. And by the time next Spring’s Redstone 2/Creator’s Build is unleashed in March, 2017, we’ll know what’s what. Warning! If recent issues with WU continue, there could be a few bumps for Insiders along the way. That’s what makes Windows-watching such an interesting sport!