Microsoft Updates Shipping Version of Windows 10 Again

Posted on March 21, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 19 Comments

The new Windows 10 Insider Preview build that Microsoft delivered last night was accompanied by a new cumulative update for the shipping version of Windows 10. This is perhaps not coincidental.

As you may know, Microsoft ships monthly cumulative updates for Windows 10 on Patch Tuesday. But this month’s release already happened last week, right on schedule. So what’s up with this second cumulative update?

Actually, these kinds of releases aren’t all that uncommon. As I noted recently in Updating in Windows 10 Version 1703? You Win Some, You Lose Some, the entire point of Windows as a Service (WaaS) is that Microsoft can update your PC anytime it wants.

Cumulative updates like the one we’re seeing this week (and last week’s Patch Tuesday release) are part of a broader series of “other” updates that fix bugs and/or security issues but do not add new features. (Microsoft ships more disruptive feature updates, like the Creators Update, once or twice a year. I feel that feature updates should be renamed to upgrades, but whatever.)

So this could be nothing. Or, as I’m now wondering, it could in fact be related to an interesting little note in Microsoft’s announcement about Windows 10 Insider Preview build 15063, which, as Brad noted, looks to be pretty damned close to RTM.

“The upgrade path from the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Build 14393) to this Windows 10 Creators Update build is not yet live,” Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar wrote last night. “[It] will be live tomorrow morning.”

Obviously, the “upgrade path” could simply be an online lever that Microsoft can (virtually) pull. More likely, however, is that the currently shipped version of Windows 10—e.g., Windows 10 version 1607, or what Ms. Sarkar is calling build 14393—needs to be updated to allow for the upgrade to the Creators Update.

Whatever the reason, the cumulative update you’re seeing today—KB4015438—isn’t all that major compared to the normal monthly updates. And it appears to address two fairly unimportant issues. Curious that.


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Comments (19)

19 responses to “Microsoft Updates Shipping Version of Windows 10 Again”

  1. Tony Barrett

    So it sounds like you need to update the update that everyone updated to in order to receive the new update that may or may not be the Creator's update. WaaS - priceless.

  2. scotttech1

    One thing I am having trouble locating online is a comprehensive list of all the new features in the creators update, most of the articles I can find online seem months old, referring to things like the now delayed people bar.

    I think as a premium article you could get a lot of hits, and your readers could benefit greatly from an up to date list. if you're interested.

  3. robincapper

    I know Microsoft don't like RTM (manufacturing) so why not just update it to "Release To Mainstream" or "Market"?

  4. Siv

    As usual the new release has broken the ability to attach my Android phone or my Windows phone for that matter - keeps saying that the "Driver is unavailable" Sheesh!

  5. dfeifer

    hmm.. 15063, "Requires a restart to finish installing" and no option to restart to install. Guess I just have to hope that my computer does it by itself tonight.

  6. johnbaxter

    In addition to this update (KB4015438, that is), my 1607 machine (Vista-era Dell tower) also received an update on Friday March 17: Update for Windows 10 Version 1607 for X64-based Systems (KB3150513). That was after getting the Patch Tuesday update cluster on Tuesday.

    Aside: do various groups at MS have assigned KB number prefixes? How else would the numbering seem so scattershot?

    • scotttech1

      In reply to johnbaxter:

      Aside: do various groups at MS have assigned KB number prefixes? How else would the numbering seem so scattershot?

      That's an interesting question, now I'm curious!

    • Oasis

      Go here to find out what that is: It is a compatability update.

  7. rameshthanikodi

    So basically they're taking the game developer's approach to fixing things for the OS? lol. These are what we call day-one patches.

    • Narg

      In reply to rameshthanikodi:

      Game developer?  Ha!  Developers of so many types do exactly this.  You just can't even begin to see the vast possibility of errors until the software has been released to the wild.  100% impossible in the complexity of computing systems these days.

      • skane2600

        In reply to Narg:

        It's a question of degree of pre-production testing. And I'm not certain the average program is more complex than 10 or 20 years ago. Of course these days a higher percentage of code is written by devs that aren't directly involved with the delivered product, so that might be an issue.

  8. kherm

    I'm pretty sure that those 2 unimportant issues are related to fixing Media Player, Media Center, and DVD player. That's huge for me... and about 12 other people.

      • skst

        Ah. The problem is that if you edit your post, the discussion system deletes your post and you can no longer edit it. Note to self: Get it right the first time on :-)

        I think this is why:

        "On 3/14/2017 Microsoft started pushing KB4013429 via Windows Update. This update includes a bug which causes applications that use accelerated MPEG2 video decode to crash when attempting to play video."

        • fuzzsdad

          In reply to skst: On my computer, that update last week also stopped my phone and a separate mp3 player to stop connecting. It messed up the Microsoft driver that connects mobile devices to USB. It replaced the working driver with one that did not work. I simply went to device manager with the device connected and looked for the yellow exclamation point and the installed the second driver listed when searching the computer itself for the correct driver. Not an internet search. Everything connected correctly after that.