Bandwidth is an interesting commodity around the world.
Some Internet users have unlimited access to the net and data across the globe without any worries and it is also accompanied by very fast download speeds.
In other places, that same bandwidth and speed is still in the range of the access we used to all have with dial up technology.
A big part of Microsoft's support of Windows 10 is the process of Windows as a Service (WaaS). That means there is a monthly flow of updates to keep the system secure and performing well. In addition to those monthly updates, there are also the planned two feature updates per year that deliver new capabilities to the operating system. Add those to being one of the millions of Windows Insiders who are downloading anywhere between 3-5 builds per month - the bandwidth adds up very quickly.
One way Microsoft addressed this was a delivery optimization feature that would grab updates for Windows 10 from PCs on your local network and devices across the Internet.
This feature arrived with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that was released last August but many users seemed leery of getting updates from other users on the Internet despite Microsoft's efforts to explain the process was secure and safe. One shortfall of Delivery Optimization was that it did not change how much bandwidth an end user had to download to get updates.
That is where Microsoft's Unified Update Platform, UUP for short, comes in to save bandwidth by only downloading what needs to be updated on a system instead of the entire build/update.
UUP will use a process called differential downloads beginning with the Creators Update.
According to Microsoft's Bill Karagounis it will save users approximately 35% of the bandwidth that would have been used to download a full feature update.
If for some reason a system needs to download more than just the changed files then a canonical download, meaning the entire update build, will be grabbed but that means a full size download instead of saving bandwidth with a differential download.
Since this is being implemented as a new service for both PC and Mobile devices as part of the upcoming Creators Update, users will not see the full benefit of this update process on those platforms until the next feature update is available. Right now that is sometime in the second half of 2017.
That is when end users like you and me will start to save on bandwidth when updating our Windows 10 devices. This adds up very quickly if you have multiple devices running Windows 10.