Most Surface PCs are Not Getting Windows 10 Version 2004 Yet

Posted on July 10, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface, Windows 10 with 39 Comments

No, you’re not crazy. Microsoft has not unblocked the release of the May 2020 Update on most Surface PCs, contrary to reports.

My Windows Weekly cohost Mary Jo Foley had been doggedly following this story because the reality we’re hearing from readers and listeners has never matched Microsoft’s claims from about 10 days ago that it had removed the update blockers on most Surface PCs. And today, she found some proof: Microsoft has quietly reworded a support document that previously stated that most Surface PCs would soon get the May 2020 Update.

“This issue was resolved in KB4557957 and the safeguard hold has been removed as of June 29, 2020,” the support document originally noted. “It can take up to 48 hours before the update to Windows 10, version 2004 is offered.”

Microsoft fans aren’t known for their patience, but as that 48 hours quickly turned into a week or more with no updates in sight, the complaints started pouring in. And now, the support document has been reworded.

“This issue was resolved in KB4557957 and the safeguard hold has been removed as of June 29, 2020,” the document now reads. “Please note, if there are no other safeguards that affect your device, it can take up to 48 hours before the update to Windows 10 version 2004 is offered.”

The key bit, Foley says, is the part that reads, “if there are no other safeguards that affect your device.” As it turns out, there are other safeguards in place that are keeping most Surface PCs—including many Surface Laptop 3s, Surface Pro 7s, Surface Go 2s, Surface Books 2 and 3, and Surface Pro Xs—from getting the May 2020 Update. And no, Microsoft isn’t saying what those are.

And yes, we’re all wondering why this is such a clusterfuck. Seriously, Microsoft.

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Comments (41)

41 responses to “Most Surface PCs are Not Getting Windows 10 Version 2004 Yet”

  1. alsorun

    My surface go 2 was definitely offered 2004 update. I have also installed it without problem.

  2. olditpro2000

    This happens every time there is a new Feature Update. It's pathetic. They have these devices in-house and there are only a few variations of them. They can't get some in a lab for testing?


    Yes, I know most Windows testing is on virtual machines now, but come on guys. This is your own hardware!

  3. epguy40

    well MS. Foley of ZDNet wrote this in her recent article:


    "Next Tuesday, July 14, is Patch Tuesday. Will that be the magical date when Microsoft unblocks the 2004 update for Surface devices? No word from Microsoft."

  4. pesos

    Grab an ISO and do a clean install :-)

  5. Alex Taylor

    Weird, my rather aging Surface Pro 3 was offered and installed without issue.

    Yes it was the opt-in (of course I wish everything were opt in), but runs fine.

    Perhaps the issues that have them gun shy are on newer models?

  6. pgiftos

    I have had 2004 running on my Surface Pro 3 since it was released. There has been no issues with it.

  7. mog0

    My Surface Go2 was updated to 2004 shortly after that original announcement. No problems experienced. Wonder if some people had issues so they added a new block for those who hadn't installed yet.

    • jgraebner

      In reply to mog0:

      Yeah, my Surface Go 2 got it right after the announcement as well. Maybe it is some specific variation on the hardware or some specific software that blocks the release?


      My Surface Book 2 got it quite a while ago (and hasn't had any problems), but I do have it on the Release Preview Insider ring. The Go 2 is simply stock, though, with no insider.

  8. Dale Griffin

    I haven't gotten the update yet but who cares. My new SP7 works fine and it doesn't make any difference. What's the hurry? I don't need t he update. As for naming the OS, who cares about that really. What difference does it make what you call something if it does what its supposed to you could call it "Fido" for all I care. Just make it work.

  9. naddy69

    I swear, I don’t understand all of the whining about this. What is the rush? If it ain’t ready, it ain’t ready.


    I have several PCs here, including a new Surface Go 2, a new Pro X, an old Dell 7140 tablet, a fairly recent Lenovo laptop and an ancient Acer tower. No PC I own - nothing - has been offered the latest update.


    Do I give a crap? No. I actually LIKE that it is not just being pushed out to everyone, with no testing. Which is how these updates always were handled in the past.


    Let the fools rush in. I will install it when I’m good and ready. iOS 13 was (hell, still IS) a bigger cluster F than this, and I only just installed it on my iPad Pro a couple weeks ago. I’m still on iOS 12 on my other iPad and my iPhone.


    Again, there is no rush. Relax, folks.

  10. brettscoast

    The fact that some surface users are able to receive and install this update and many cannot should be of extreme concern to Microsoft along with their apparent apathy in communicating updatesinformation in a timely manner to their user-base.

    • Paul Thurrott

      The problem is that no one knows why Surface A gets it and Surface B does not. Could be a software configuration, a peripheral. Could be the phase of the moon. But Microsoft knows. And instead of putting up a goofy "something's coming" message in Windows Update, they could just communicate what the issue is.
  11. geoff

    SP4 with Windows 10 Pro. It's running 2004 with no issues.

    SP4 with Windows 10 Home. It's running 2004 with no issues.


    Both were offered via Windows Update with no insider channels or offline installer downloads.


    Perhaps it's blocked for some specific application or hardware that I don't have.

  12. SvenJ

    To add insult to injury, my OG Surface Go got 2004 from Windows Update, no forcing, no ISO, the natural way. I feel so special ;) My Surface Pro 7 has the teaser...it's coming...someday.

  13. robinpersaud

    I have a Surface Go, still was not offered the update. I wonder: Why aren't they telling us what the blockers are? It could be a software issue (anti-virus? VPN client?) that the end-user could fix themselves.

  14. bradavon

    I don't mind my Surface Pro X is blocked as such but it's a nuisance to keep being told Windows Update cannot installed updates as Windows Updates keeps trying to install May 2004 periodically despite not being compatible yet.


    It's been there as an error with a **** Fix button that fixes squat as the SPX is on the block. v2004 has been out 2 months now.

  15. Cdorf

    Im very curious because my SB2 has been on the slow/beta ring since before Ignite.... I havent noticed anything out of the ordinary- and I would have submitted feedback had I.

  16. Scsekaran

    I think it is a good strategy. Rather than getting buggy updates and suffering, I will prefer to wait for solid update. Waiting for 1 or 2 months is not a big deal. I appreciate Microsoft has taken this approach.


    It is also important that Microsoft should not develop Windows updates focussed only on Surface devices but they have to make sure that the updates are compatible other devices by OEMs as well

  17. kevinbouwman

    I just pulled out my Surface Pro 3 after not having used it for several months. It was running 1903 and updated to 1909. No evidence, even as a seeker, of 2004. My Lenovo P71 laptop has been running 2004 since June 21st.

  18. dougkinzinger

    I've got an SP5 (aka that one generation that was just called "SP") and I'll check it tonight and see if it gets offered 2004.

  19. remc86007

    No 2004 on my surface laptop 3 still, but strangely, my Surface Pro 3 I3 got 2004 back in May! It has been flawless, and I'd really like it on my Surface Laptop 3...

  20. christian.hvid

    This is actually a great strategy by Microsoft: let the unwashed masses who run Dell, HP and Lenovo find all the bugs before letting the new version be installed on Surface. That way, Surface will always come off as the more stable devices. :)

  21. Bdsrev

    They need to stop this ridiculous madness and just stick to 1 update a year, just like what Apple and Google do. I hope Panos actually does this. This is chaos and it's unprofessional and unacceptable

  22. JanesJr1

    Honestly, if they're finding a problem on some machines, do you really want them to release the 2004 update? Fantastically complex, huge ecosystem of machine types, promise of backwards compatibility: maybe they did the job right or not, but maybe there will always be surprises. I am glad they're not rushing things, and bellyaching about a delay in a modest upgrade seems whiney...

    • tboggs13

      In reply to JanesJr1:


      I agree, don't release it until it's ready, but it should be ready for ALL Surface devices on day one. There should be no surprises with Surface devices, they know exactly what hardware is in them and have unlimited access for testing internally. Especially since they had a feature lockdown for 6 months before it was released. This is just embarrassing for Microsoft that they can't get the OS to deploy to hardware that they designed with limited hardware variations.

    • nbplopes

      In reply to JanesJr1:


      Your line of questioning is based on sophisms. Asking people if they want to be given shit or else is leading the answer.


      The actual relevance is that given the expensive Surface line is from Microsoft, the OS developer, it’s not unreasonable for Customers to expect to be given better OS service than third party devices in the same price range if not cheaper.


      These are first party machines. Your explanation just shoves this reality under the rug. Hence a sophism.

    • anderb

      In reply to JanesJr1:

      No one is arguing that it should be unleashed on users who will experience problems with it on their machine. No one.

  23. martinusv2

    This is embarrassing for Microsoft. Not being able to have a stable OS for their own hardware at launch is embarrassing.



  24. gardner

    It is almost as if Microsoft hates itself, and is trying to make itself look bad.


    Is there some clearer way for Microsoft to more clearly demonstrate how poor its internal processes are? And its level of disregard for its customers?


    It is difficult to see the a justification for purchasing premium hardware from Microsoft, to see it not only be ignored on updates, but also, to see no apology from Microsoft for breaking the implied promise that Microsoft hardware would be the best place to see Microsoft software run.


    How smart to you have to be to see that : 1) The rest of the industry is right and Microsoft is wrong. Annual updates are the only way to go and 2) If you block hardware, say so, say which hardware is blocked and why. Keeping the reasons for blocking the software secret is arrogant.


    So, Microsoft, here are your to-dos:


    1) Switch to an annual update process and give each release a proper name and number and consistently use it. If you lack creativity maybe go with great locations in the Pacific Northwest? "Windows 2021 : Enchanted Valley", "Windows 2022 : Jade Lake", "Windows 2023 : Bremerton". Ok maybe not those, but choose some scheme, give it numbers for those that need it, and give it names so we can attach ourselves to it.


    2) Publish a list, updated continuously, of which hardware is blocked and why. And how long the delay will be. Most wont care. Some will care a lot. Everyone will be happier.


    3) Apologize to your customers. You are mistreating them and they deserve better.

    • txag

      In reply to gardner:

      I agree that two updates a year is (now obviously) too difficult for Microsoft to accomplish successfully.


      If they are able to take features out of the OS and make them into applications (that can be updated any time) they should do that to the maximum extent possible. Like somebody wrote (maybe here on this site), have a lean fast OS that boots and gets out of the way of running applications.

  25. wiseacre

    I have Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro (5) 2017, and a Surface Pro 7 -- all running the 2004 build without any problems that I have observed. They were all were participants in the Slow Ring of the Insider program.


    Withholding the update is likely a plot to cause edgy journalists to have a stroke or a heart attack.

  26. thagoochiestmane

    Like many have already said, this is really embarrassing for Microsoft, but a part of me thinks it all stems from the employees and the specific machines they use.


    Even if employees have Surface devices, many employees have powerful towers (with common hardware) and that's where most of their work/testing is done. Additionally, they all have other (non-Microsoft) computing devices that they use for personal stuff, so the "real world" testing ends up delaying the actual OS release and/or getting pawned off to Insiders.

  27. bluvg

    I see no reason this would be any different with an annual release schedule (at least absent a return of the internal test group). They'll still need to test cautiously against a huge variety of hardware. A long tail rollout across devices twice a year won't magically change to an immediate rollout to every device once a year.

  28. winner

    Windows As A Service = FAIL

    It's like they're driving to two releases a year, whether ready or not.

    Call it 1909 but release it to most PCs months later.

    Last year was 1903, this year 2004. Which seems to be 13 months, not 12. And most machines, including Microsoft's own, "aren't ready". Last I looked, we're now in July.

    Seems that Windows isn't really ready to be putting out two (or maybe even one) release per year.

    We also won't talk about the record number of security patches in Windows update last month.

  29. anderb

    It's important to note that Microsoft have taken steps to improve the situation. This time next year 21H1 will only be 4 weeks late instead of 3 months late.

  30. euskalzabe

    Surface Laptop 1 owner here, I'm still on 1903. Who knows why.

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