AdDuplex Tells Interesting 1809 Story

The March 2019 AdDuplex Report is out, and it tells and interesting and possibly depressing story about Windows 10 1809. The 1809 rollout has been bumpy, to say the least. As 1903 looms ahead, only 26.4% of PCs under the AdDuplex purview are running 1809. Compare this to 1803, which runs on 66.3% of that population. This leads AdDuplex to assert that “Microsoft seems to be giving up on [1809] … in favor of upgrading users straight to the next version.” I agree. It’s also why I say that AdDuplex tells interesting 1809 story.

Note that 1803 still outweighs 1809 by a 2.5:1 ratio, almost six months after its initial release and subsequent withdrawal.
[Source: AdDuplex. Click image for full-sized view.]

The Data that Drives AdDuplex Tells Interesting 1809 Story

Lots of people, including Paul Thurrott, have raised issues with AdDuplex’s numbers. They rightly observe that those numbers don’t really represent the complete population of Windows users. As AdDuplex itself states “This report is based on data collected from around 5,000 Windows Store apps running AdDuplex SDK v.2 (and higher). The raw data analyzed was collected over the day of March 26th, 2019 (UTC time) unless otherwise stated.” They also note the total PCs involved in this sample is “more than 100,000.”  That’s only a tiny fraction of the 800 M copies of Windows 10 in active use right now (0.0125 %).

Normally, I’d quibble with AdDuplex numbers for those selfsame reasons. But this time, I think they may be onto something valid. That’s because it’s the proportions that matter most, not the absolute numbers. If a majority of Windows 10 users is running 1803, with just over a quarter of them on 1809, this is interesting. It also follows logically that MS would try to upgrade those users to 1903. This lets them skip the apparently still problematic 1809 release along the way.

I’ve been following Windows professionally since 3.11 was released in 1992. Over the past 26 years, I can’t remember too many other Windows releases with a similar slow and unwanted uptake profile. Only Windows ME, Vista, and the original Windows 8.0 release are in this hunt. In my opinion, only Windows ME has had more bad press and more bad cess. This shows an unexpected benefit of the twice-yearly feature upgrade cycle, I guess. That is, no matter how bad or problem-ridden a feature upgrade may be, we don’t have to live with it longer than six months unless we choose to do so.

[Here’s a shout-out to Shawn Brink at TenForums, whose post “AdDuplex Windows 10 Report for March 2019 now available” brought this to my attention. Thanks, guy!]


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