Microsoft goes very small for Windows 10 1909’s ‘On’ switch
Microsoft has trumpeted the smaller size of Windows 10 1909, the fall feature upgrade that broke the twice-annual mold the company used in 2017 and 2018. But how much smaller is it?
According to members of the Insider team who held an online discussion Thursday, a lot smaller.
The so-called “enablement package,” the download that when installed transforms Windows 10 1903 – the full-featured upgrade released May 21 – into November’s 1909, weighs in at just 180KB, as in kilobytes.
(For context, 180KB is about 0.18MB, or less than 20% of a megabyte. More telling, it’s about 10 times the size of a two-page Microsoft Word document. Downloading a 180KB file would be seemingly instantaneous on all but the slowest broadband connection; a torpid 1Mbps connection, for instance, would download that file in about one second.)
“The 180KB package is just the thing that turns on the light switch,” said one of the team members, who had gathered around a conference table.
As Computerworld has detailed elsewhere, Windows 10 1909 is, unlike previous feature upgrades, nearly feature-free. Instead, it’s a Windows 10 analog to the old-school service packs of the past, catch-up collections of fixes made to a current but aging OS from the time it debuted (or was issued an earlier service pack).
In 1909’s case, it was months’, not years’ worth, of fixes, because Microsoft took May’s 1903, collected everything that changed from that point on, then added a handful of new features. Voilà…Windows 10 1909.
The two – 1903 and its rehash successor 1909 – are, Microsoft said, identical with the exception of those few new features baked into the latter. “Windows 10, versions 1903 and 1909 share a common core operating system and an identical set of system files,” is how Microsoft put it. The cumulative update for 1903 released Nov. 12, in fact, was identical to the delivered-same-day Windows 10 1909.