So August 2 has come and gone and you still haven’t seen that so-called “Anniversary Update” Microsoft and the press have huffed and puffed about for months and months. It’s supposed to be huge, adding cool features like browser extensions in Microsoft Edge, an improved Cortana, and so much more. But now we’re almost halfway into September and there’s still no sign of this so-called mega update, so it must be vaporware backed by a lot of PR fluff, right? Wrong.
Anniversary Update for Windows 10 is indeed available, but Microsoft officials have already warned that it wouldn’t be immediately available to all consumers simultaneously at launch, rolling out in waves instead. Officials never indicated how long this rollout would take, but a recent email blast from Microsoft reveals that the process could take up to three months to reach every customer, meaning many users might not see Anniversary Update until early November.
“The Anniversary Update will download and install via Windows Update,” Microsoft states in a footnote. “The download is automatically available to you. It will begin rolling out on 2 August 2016 and may take up to 3 months to reach all users. Internet access fees may apply.”
Although Anniversary Update went through the scrutiny of Microsoft’s Windows Insider program, that doesn’t mean the update will be entirely bug-free. Microsoft even employs “thousands” of individuals testing Windows while corporations perform their own testing of Windows internally. Microsoft’s hardware and software partners test updates as well, and all this data is presumably fed back to Microsoft before the rollout of an update takes place.
But given that each device is unique in its hardware and software configuration, Microsoft is understandably throttling Anniversary Update’s rollout to watch how it integrates into systems across the globe. This has allowed Microsoft to deal with compatibility issues Anniversary Update has caused thus far regarding webcams, McAfee software, and so on.
“The vast majority of our customers have a high-quality, positive experience with our updates and our goal is an issue-free experience for everyone,” a Microsoft representative told ZDNet. “For those who don’t, we want to hear from them so we can fix any issues as quickly as possible. We encourage our customers to contact Customer Support.”
Anniversary Update will automatically arrive through Windows Update whenever the device receives the new Version 1607 bits. However, impatient Windows 10 customers can manually initiate the update by heading to the Windows 10 download page and clicking on the big blue “Update now” button. This will launch the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant that will download the files in the background and allow the user to pick a time for the upgrade process.
For customers with a device sporting low storage, they can go to the Windows 10 download page and use the Media Creation Tool to put the Anniversary Update installation files on a USB flash drive or optical disc.