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November 3, 2016

Introducing Unified Update Platform (UUP)

We’ve updated over 400 million devices running Windows 10 to date and release new builds to Windows Insiders nearly every week. That is pretty incredible if you think about where we were just 2 years ago. But we know we can do even better! Our customers have told us they would like updates to be more seamless, that they’d like more control over the timing of when updates are installed, that they’d like updating to require less local processing and thus improve battery life, and that they’d like download sizes to be reduced. We’re working on all of the above. In the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, we added active hours and improved the control capabilities for our customers. In the next Windows 10 update, we’ll be improving that and more. Today, we are ready to roll out to our Windows Insiders an improvement that works across PC, tablet, phone, IoT, and HoloLens. We are announcing the next generation of our delivery technologies incorporated into our latest Insider builds called the Unified Update Platform (UUP).

One of the biggest community and customer benefits of UUP is the reduction you’ll see in download size on PCs.  We have converged technologies in our build and publishing systems to enable differential downloads for all devices built on the Mobile and PC OS. A differential download package contains only the changes that have been made since the last time you updated your device, rather than a full build. As we rollout UUP, this will eventually be impactful for PCs where users can expect their download size to decrease by approximately 35% when going from one major update of Windows to another. We’re working on this now with the goal of supporting this for feature updates after the Windows 10 Creators Update; Insiders will see this sooner.

We have also revamped how devices check for updates, making them more efficient. As we move to UUP, we are reducing the update data sent to client devices as well as the amount of processing we are doing on devices, this especially important for devices built on the Mobile OS. Using UUP, when your device checks for updates, the Windows Update service will evaluate which updates are needed by a given device. The Windows Update service then returns these updates to the device for download and install. Because more processing is being done by the service, this will lead to faster checks for update operations. It’s important to note that with UUP, nothing will look or behave differently on the surface, UUP is all underlying platform and service optimization that happens behind the scenes.

We’ve also taken concepts that existed in the PC world and have extended them to Mobile. As you may have noticed in the past, PC flights update to the latest build in one operation, regardless of what base build you are currently running, yet that’s not how it worked for the Mobile OS. On your phone, we would sometimes require you to install in two-hops (updates) to get current. With UUP, we now have logic in the client that can automatically fallback to what we call a “canonical” build, allowing you to update your phone in one-hop, just like the PC.

We’re excited to start using UUP to release new builds to Windows Insiders. We plan to roll-out UUP in stages – starting today for Mobile devices. We expect to start using UUP for PC Insider builds later this year and then IoT and HoloLens shortly after. Our team is excited to begin publishing Mobile builds using UUP and seeing the results of a lot of hard work in unifying our update publishing platform for Windows.