The nights are drawing in. Pour a cup of cocoa and join us for Windows 10 Autumnwatch

Fireworks night has been and gone. Microsoft stayed home

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The leaves on the trees are turning golden, a chill is in the air, and while the Windows 10 October 2018 Update remains locked in the fireworks tin, there seems to be movement for its sibling, Windows Server 2019.

Windows 10 is late. After a brief appearance at the beginning of October, replete with confident tweets that the Insider team probably regret, the buggy build was hastily pulled and shoved back into the cupboard while Microsoft figured out what had happened.

Alas, there were showstopping bugs in Windows 10, including one that deleted user data. And, of course, it wasn't just Windows 10 that was affected. Commonalities in the code meant that Windows Server 2019 and even Windows 10 IoT got pulled as well.

Over a month on, and Autumnwatch has begun in earnest. Insiders on the Slow and Release Preview Rings have received updates to the original Swiss-cheese codebase to fix the file deletion, deal with broken drivers and restore lost overwrite prompts for zip file extraction.

The last cumulative update appeared a week ago, on 30 October, in the form of build 17763.107. And since then, nothing. As October vanished over the horizon, one wag posted a spoof PowerShell console purporting to show the missing 1809 now called "Windows 10 November 2018 Update".

Naming aside, support for the build is also starting to become an issue. As a "September" feature update, the October 2018 Update would see 30 months of support from release (for Enterprise and Education customers), and Microsoft still lists the date of availability as 2 October. It is now November, and that support clock is ticking.

It is all a bit of a mess.

However, while Microsoft has remained resolutely silent on when the October/November Update will be re-released, there has been movement around Windows Server 2019 with an update to the release notes issued yesterday. The latest version warns that Language Packs and Features on Demand are not currently available on Windows Update and instead directs users to the ISO image.

While the update may be aimed at users who managed to obtain the Server OS before it got officially pulled (hence nothing in Windows Update), keen Windows Autumnwatchers have taken it as a sign that maybe, just maybe, Microsoft is getting ready to light the blue touchpaper and set the OS roaring into the winter skies. Or, perhaps, set it to topple over with a disappointing "phut".

We have, of course, contacted Microsoft to check when our Autumnwatch might come to an end. At least we have a good year or so before the naming of Windows Server 2019 is hopelessly out of date. ®


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