Explained: Why some PCs will get Windows 10 earlier than others

Kip Kniskern

Windows 10: Why some machines will get upgraded earlier than others, explainedWhile we’re just getting started with Microsoft’s ambitious upgrade process and a goal of getting a billion users running Windows 10, some users are already wondering why some of their machines are upgrading, or appear ready to upgrade, and others aren’t showing the Windows 10 upgrade icon.

Microsoft has said that the upgrade process will be rolling out over the next “days and weeks”, but hasn’t really said why or how. 

On yesterday’s episode of Windows Weekly with Leo LaPorte, Paul Thurrott, and Mary Jo Foley, however, Paul offered an explanation for both how the system works and why some machines are upgrading earlier than others.  At about 19:30 into the episode, Thurrott explains:

I spoke with Microsoft… and one of the things they told me was that the way that they’re slipstreaming non-Insider systems into the update process… is they have this matrix of configurations, pc configurations: at one end they have the ones they know are going to work great because it’s just a collection of devices for which they have all proper drivers and everything’s going to go great, and then down at the other end is the black hole where there’s lots of problems, and what they want to do is get as many people who have all the good stuff updated as quickly as possible.

So it’s kind of random… to the user, in the sense that I’ve heard from many people that “I have this one PC, this brand new one, and I’m not getting the icon, but I have this other one that’s a couple of years old, and I did get the icon, you’d think it would be the other way around.

But it doesn’t have to do with the age of the system or what OS it’s running, it has to do with the components and the drivers that are available and so on.

And so the ones that will go first are the ones that happen to be in the known good part of the matrix, and that will improve over time.

Thurrott suggests that the best thing do to may be to wait, and we agree: updating systems without proper driver support may cause you more headaches than it’s worth. Still, if you insist, there are a couple of ways to get your systems to update.  You can manually force the update by following the steps in our How To, or you can download and install the ISO. In either case, especially if you don’t show the “Get Windows 10” icon, you may be in for problems with drivers or configurations, don’t say we didn’t warn you.