Data confirms: Given control, users opt for just one Windows 10 upgrade per year

After Microsoft gave all customers control over when they upgrade Windows 10, the majority of users decided they didn’t need a twice-annual refresh, data shows.

According to metrics vendor AdDuplex, once Microsoft let users of Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro determine the cadence of OS upgrades, each upgrade’s increase siphoned more users from the version of 12 months before than it did from the upgrade’s immediate predecessor.

For example, Windows 10 version 1903 climbed from 11.4% of all versions in July 2019 to 33% in August. Of the 21.6-percentage point increase, 20.6 points — representing 95% of the total — came at the expense of Windows 10 1803, the feature upgrade issued a year earlier. Just 1 percentage point, or about 5%, of the declines that fueled the increase of Windows 10 1903 originated with Windows 10 1809.

The implication: Left to their own devices, users left Windows 10 alone for a year, the maximum time Microsoft allowed them to run any individual Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro version.

Given a choice, Windows 10 users rejected Microsoft’s longtime contention that operating systems should be updated on an aggressive tempo — necessary, the Redmond, Wash. firm said, to keep up with constant technology change.

First, a brief recap of what Microsoft did last year

AdDuplex’s numbers were no surprise. Computerworld — and many other media outlets, as well as analysts and pundits — had predicted that Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro users would, given the chance, reject the twice-annual upgrade cadence Microsoft had established.

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