Windows 10 Version 1903 is Available on MSDN

Posted on April 19, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Windows 10 with 4 Comments

That’s earlier than usual, but the release is tied to a call for developers to start targeting this new version. Which is itself tied, I believe, to Microsoft’s desire to put the Windows 10 version 1809 debacle behind it.

I learned about Windows 10 version 1903 on MSDN via Twitter, where multiple users mentioned the unexpected and early release there. Typically, Microsoft releases a new Windows 10 version to MSDN only after it is generally available to customers. And in this case, that means late May, since Microsoft infamously has held up the general availability of version 1903 in the Release Preview ring to avoid any 1809-like mistakes.

Indeed, Microsoft’s Michael Niehus essentially confirmed this when he responded to a question on Twitter by Mary Jo Foley.

The “call to action” blog post that Niehus mentioned is something I actually started writing up yesterday and then decided to skip for reasons that I’ll make obvious below. Basically, Microsoft announced that the Windows 10 SDK for the May 2019 Update—which is really called the Windows 10 SDK version 1903—is now available with a go-live license. In other words, developers can submit apps that take advantage of the latest Windows 10 SDK to the app store and begin offering them publicly to customers.

Even though the Windows 10 version they target is not shipping publicly until next month.

I must be honest here. While I have no issue with MSDN getting the new Windows 10 version early—the program is aimed at developers, after all—I have a huge problem with Microsoft offering a go-live license to developers for this version over a month before the product is “fully available,” to use Microsoft’s terminology. If you read over that blog post, you’ll see all kinds of weird qualifications, issues, and requirements that, to me, suggest that waiting for the final release is prudent. Indeed, given the problems with Windows 10 1809 and 1803, it’s unclear why any developer would trust this version before it’s even released.

So, I didn’t write about it yesterday. But the MSDN release sort of forced my hand.

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