Microsoft has been promising smaller updates to Windows 10, through various methods, for what feels like years, but the company is now starting to test a new Unified Update Platform (UUP) that will make a big difference. "One of the biggest community and customer benefits of UUP is the reduction you'll see in download size on PCs," explains Bill Karagounis, a Windows program manager, in a blog post on UUP today. "We have converged technologies in our build and publishing systems to enable differential downloads for all devices built on the Mobile and PC OS."
Differential downloads only include the changes that have been pushed out since you last updated a Windows 10 PC. This new change will debut with the Windows 10 Creators Update that's expected to arrive in March, but Windows Insiders can start testing the technology in today's latest build update for mobile devices. Microsoft will start rolling this out to PC builds later this year, alongside HoloLens devices. Xbox One devices running Windows 10 won't benefit from UUP as Microsoft distributes operating system updates to consoles using different methods.
Download sizes will decrease by 35 percent
The real benefit for Windows 10 users will be when they move from one major update to another, as Microsoft expects download sizes to decrease by around 35 percent. That's a great saving for those on low-bandwidth connections, or people with internet caps. This new technology could also help Microsoft roll out changes to Windows 10 machines a lot faster.
Microsoft has already successfully updated more than 400 million Windows 10 devices, and the company now ships out beta builds to Windows Insiders on a weekly basis. That's a big change from a few years ago, and it will likely shape the path for Windows in the future.