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What just happened? We've already seen coronavirus disruption affect software releases, and now another company is changing its plans as a result of the outbreak. Microsoft has announced it will be pausing optional Windows 10 updates from May 2020 as it prioritizes security updates during the pandemic.
The Redmond firm tweeted that it will be suspending all optional non-security releases (C and D updates) for all supported versions of its operating system, from Windows 10 right down to Windows Server 2008.
Starting in May 2020, we are pausing all optional non-security releases (C and D updates) for all supported versions of Windows client and server products to prioritize security and keep customers protected and productive. More information here: https://t.co/G5NcWtIiEQ.--- Windows Update (@WindowsUpdate) March 24, 2020
Microsoft says the decision is a result of the coronavirus and the impact it is having on customers, as it aims to ensure Windows 10 devices remain secure by focusing solely on security updates. That means its monthly Patch Tuesday security updates will continue as normal.
"There is no change to the monthly security updates (B release - Update Tuesday); these will continue as planned to ensure business continuity and to keep our customers protected and productive," Microsoft explained, in a support document.
While the optional updates are being halted temporarily, Microsoft didn't indicate when they might return. In all likelihood, we won't see them again until the coronavirus outbreak is under control and life returns to relative normality, which could be a while.
These updates are optional, of course, so most people probably won't miss them. It also means that Microsoft will have fewer opportunities to destroy your PC with its notoriously bad updates. One of its more recent attempts to improve Windows 10 managed to cause performance slowdown, boot failures, and a host of other problems for some users.
The coronavirus disruption has also caused Chrome to skip version 82 of the browser, and Microsoft to pause Edge releases.