Microsoft will let some users take a time out on Windows 10 updates

A new beta build allows delays of up to 35 days and more

Microsoft is giving users some more control over Windows 10 updates, with a new beta build of its operating system released Monday.

The build allows folks with the Windows 10 Professional, Education, and Enterprise versions to defer new updates for up to 35 days. In addition, the company will allow those users to decide whether or not they want to include driver updates when they want to update Windows.

It’s a move that helps respond to one of the key criticisms of Windows 10: that Microsoft’s regime of forced, cumulative updates has caused problems for users with some configurations. This way, users can steer clear of updates they don’t want to install yet and dodge problematic driver updates.

Enterprise administrators have already been able to put Windows 10 devices that they manage on the Current Branch for Business, which allows longer update deferrals and doesn’t push updates to those users until well after they’ve been released to consumers.

The newly-minted update changes are just one part of the improvements added to Windows 10 with the build released Monday. Microsoft is also working on making the initial Windows 10 setup more accessible using Cortana. The company’s virtual assistant can ask users questions at setup -- when they speak languages that it can understand -- and use those answers to configure devices.

A small number of beta users will also begin to see a battery life experiment pop up on their devices. Windows will choose to throttle certain apps, though it's not clear what that means. Users who are a part of the experiments will see "Throttled" next to the status of certain apps in the Task Manager. Microsoft didn’t say much about the experiments — or even what the throttled status means.

Microsoft is also giving users an easier way to connect to a virtual private network. Once Windows 10 has a user's VPN settings loaded, it's possible to activate the connection with the tap of a button without opening up VPN settings.

This build packs in a ton of other updates, including front-facing changes like support for putting tiles in folders on the Start menu. Right now, all of these updates are only available for people who are beta testing Windows 10 as part of the Windows Insider Program's Fast ring, but the changes will likely be available to consumers in some form or another as part of a larger update to Windows that Microsoft is slated to release later this year.

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Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
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