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Even Microsoft Surface devices are waiting for the Windows 10 May 2020 Update

Even Microsoft Surface devices are waiting for the Windows 10 May 2020 Update

Some of Microsoft's premium Surface devices can't get the latest Windows 10 May 2020 Update, which was released last week

Credit: Mark Hachman / IDG

If you own one of Microsoft’s Surface devices and you’re wondering why you can’t upgrade it to the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, you’re not alone.

Microsoft has made the update available to some of its devices, but not all, at least where PCWorld’s test devices are concerned. And it’s not always obvious which devices will receive it and which won’t. But even some of Microsoft’s latest, most premium devices aren’t receiving the update, which has been under testing for months.

On our test devices, neither the Surface Book 2 nor our Surface Book 3 test unit was allowed to download the Windows 10 May 2020 Update.

The latter was explicitly blocked, citing an unknown issue in the message that appears at the top of this article. We’ve tried two Surface Pro tablets, however—the Surface Pro 4 and the recent Surface Pro 7, and both have been granted the update.

Question marks remain for the Surface Laptop 3s—both the AMD Ryzen and Intel Core-powered models. That’s because we’ve already upgraded each of them to the May 2020 Update as part of the Windows 10 Insider Program.

Microsoft now makes it difficult to go back to a “stable” build even after resetting the PC. We can report, though, that we haven’t seen any bugs that seem tied to the hardware—the experience has been a fairly smooth one.

We were able to use the Windows 10 Media Creation tool to upgrade the Surface Laptop 3 with AMD’s Ryzen 7 inside, though the tool only allowed us the option of erasing everything from the machine: all personal files, settings and apps.

A message warned us that option might have been available because we were replacing the OS with an older version of Windows. That might be technically true, considering the Insider version on that machine was technically “ahead” of the stable release. Still, it’s an option you might want to pass up.

Microsoft’s Surface Pro X wasn’t offered the May 2020 Update, even when we explicitly asked for it using the Windows Update “check for updates” feature. The Surface Go 2 also seems to be cut out of the May 2020 Update loop for now.

Microsoft has said previously that it is proceeding conservatively on its Windows 10 May 2020 upgrade cycle. When Microsoft announced the May 2020 Update’s release, it also published several issues that the company was working to patch. Users would be unable to download the update until those issues were fixed. It’s not clear whether our test devices were affected by this restriction.

“To ensure you continue to have a reliable, productive experience with your Windows 10 devices, we are taking a measured and phased approach to how we offer the May Update, initially limiting availability to those devices running Windows 10, versions 1903 and 1909 who seek the update via Windows Update,” Microsoft said in ablog post on May 29.

We reached out to Microsoft earlier today, and asked them why the Surface devices weren't receiving the update. Microsoft was unable to provide us with a response by press time. All this means is that if you haven’t received the latest May 2020 Update, don’t feel like you’re being left out. 


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