By yanking the November upgrade, Microsoft has limited how users -- whether those running Windows 10, or the earlier Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 editions eligible for a free upgrade -- obtain the latest version of Windows 10.
Those upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 must now go through two upgrades: First to July 29's build 10240, and then again to 1511, or build 10586. Each is at least a 3GB download.
Customers already running Windows 10's build 10240 must hang tight and wait for Microsoft to offer the November upgrade in Windows Update, then download that for each device. That means Windows 10 users will no longer be able to create bootable, installable media -- typically a USB thumb drive, but alternately a DVD disc -- to upgrade multiple machines to 1511 without having to download the massive file to each system, consuming bandwidth and taking time.
Previously, Microsoft had been clear that it would use Windows Update to refresh Windows 10 with the two-to-three-times-a-year upgrades, as well as the monthly security updates. But it had also pledged that it would offer disk images in .iso file format for each upgrade to give advanced users another way to keep their devices up to date.
The Windows 10 Media Creation Tool now downloads the July 29 version -- identified here as build 10240 -- rather than the newer November upgrade because Microsoft has stopped users from upgrading via a disk image in .iso file format.
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