Windows 10 1909: 7 oddities, quirks and inconsistencies

It's a "feature upgrade" without many new features, shares release documentation with its predecessor, and was ready to go a month before it actually arrived. Yes, Windows 10 1909 is a rare bird indeed.

Microsoft last week released Windows 10 version 1909, the strangest feature upgrade yet for the four-year-old operating system.

For a feature upgrade — one of two issued annually — Windows 10 1909 has few new features. And it doesn't upgrade much of anything. Rather, it's Windows 10 1903 — the May release — warmed over. There's so little separating 1903 and its putative successor, 1909, that the latter was identical to the November cumulative update offered to the former on Nov. 12, this month's Patch Tuesday.

So what's the deal?

On one hand, Windows 10 1909 can be seen as Microsoft's solution to the debacle of last year's 1809, an upgrade that, once released, was almost immediately yanked for erasing customer data. That led to months-long delays getting 1809 to users. To get back on its April/October schedule, Microsoft essentially skipped an upgrade by building an un-upgrade.

Another center of speculation contended Microsoft was debuting a new servicing model for Windows 10, one that would generate a feature-rich, and thus major, upgrade in the spring, and a feature-less, service pack-like, and thus minor, update in the fall. Microsoft's most important customers — enterprises and other large organizations — have called on the company to slow its development pace. This would be Microsoft's answer, even though it has declined to say so publicly.

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