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When is the Best Time to Update?

Article By James Mills | | Technology Consulting

Here at Altitude Innovations we pride ourselves on our efforts to keep our own systems and those of the Clients we look after as up to date as possible, and typically recommend others to do the same – even as recently as last month

Unfortunately though, as with any new technology or software, no matter how much testing might happen before its release or implementation, there is always the possibility of undesirable quirks (otherwise known as bugs) making their way in.

This is exactly what happened earlier this month, when the October 2018 Update – Version 1809 for Windows 10 was reportedly causing some users to lose their Documents folder and all of its contents! Definitely an unwanted side-effect we can personally vouch for, as one of our own team members experienced this issue.

Since having this brought to their attention, Microsoft has recalled and postponed the October 2018 Update, and there is no word yet on when it will become available again as no doubt it has gone back to the Quality Control Team for some more thorough testing (and a few stern words I’m sure).

This brings up the interesting question though, how soon is too soon to apply a new update? Obviously there is no hard & fast rule across the board, however you want to be applying security-based updates as soon as practicable after their release to ensure you are protected against vulnerabilities that are now public knowledge, since part of the release notes of most updates include details about what security flaws it actually fixes.

For feature-based updates though, it is always best to wait a few days (or weeks, if it doesn’t contain features you have a specific need for) until some of the more leading edge/experimental users have given it a good going over. And of course, always have reliable backups in case you are one of the unlucky few who experience a problem with a new update that turns out to be catastrophic (which is what saved our team member mentioned above…).

Of course, being able to differentiate between what is an essential Security Update and what is a quality of life Feature Update can be difficult without the proper tools & resources to manage your updates. If you would like to know more about some of the tools available to help you maintain control over what updates get installed when – or to check that your Backup regime will protect you when something goes wrong – feel free to get in touch with the Innovations Team.