Microsoft deviates from the norm, forcibly upgrades Windows 10 1903 with minor 1909 refresh

The latest 1903-to-1909 migration, a departure from the company's recent practices, may offer clues to how Microsoft plans to service Windows 10 next year.

Microsoft has begun forcibly upgrading Windows 10 PCs running version 1903 with that same year's 1909 faux upgrade as the former's retirement deadline waits just weeks away.

Windows 10 1903, the operating system refresh that Microsoft launched in late May 2019, will fall off the support list Dec. 8. On that date, Microsoft will issue the final set of security updates for 1903.

"To keep you protected and productive, we will soon begin updating devices running Windows 10, version 1903 to Windows 10, version 1909," Microsoft said on the Windows release health dashboard in a Nov. 9 message. "This update will install like a monthly update, resulting in a far faster update experience."

Microsoft's behavior here goes against the grain of its prior practice.

After ceding control to users running Windows 10 Home and unmanaged Windows 10 Pro in 2019 with the "Download and install now" option, Microsoft reserved the right to forcibly upgrade devices. If users refused to upgrade, Microsoft took it upon itself to do so when the in-place version neared support retirement. Previously, Microsoft began such forced upgrades about four months before a version was due to retire, and fulfilled the upgrade with the latest release, or at least the latest release that had been out in the real world for several months.

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