How Windows 10 users can dial back upgrades to just one a year

In recent months, Microsoft has changed Windows 10's upgrade cadence in ways that allow users to slow the pace at which their computers are updated.

windows 10 windows microsoft laptop keyboard update  by nirodesign getty
NiroDesign / Getty Images

Microsoft had such grand plans for Windows 10.

Like any proud parent, the company wanted its offspring to succeed in life, to have opportunities galore. Go to an Ivy League college, land a good job.

To Microsoft, Windows 10 would be different than, better than, the other kids. It would improve itself several times a year, not just once every several years. It would be smarter, more helpful because it evolved faster and, so, adapted with the times. While its older siblings remained mired in their outdated habits, Windows 10 would rapidly learn new skills because it upgraded itself multiple times each year.

If Apple boasted that its OS X, later renamed macOS (like that fooled anyone), was smarter than Windows because it upgraded annually, Microsoft could brag that its Windows 10 was three times smarter than macOS because it morphed three times a year.

Or not.

Over the last nine months, Microsoft has so altered Windows 10's effective upgrade cadence - the practical rate at which users will upgrade - that it's no more ambitious a parent than Apple.

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