Understanding Windows 10's Unified Update Platform

Since UUP was introduced in December, it's gotten faster, more robust and much more stable. By the time the Windows 10 Creators Update comes around, it should indeed be ready for prime time.

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The Unified Update Platform (UUP) was introduced to the Windows 10 Insider Preview with Build 14986 on December 11, 2016. It changes how Windows Update works in a profound and interesting way. This is explained in some detail in a Windows Insider blog post entitled "Introducing Unified Update Platform (UUP)" that posted on November 3, 2016, so I'll just hit some high points here. The original post is well worth a read, if you're into the nitty-gritty details.

What is UUP, and why is Microsoft using it for updates?

In the name for this new update, ‘Unified’ refers to the ability to service all potential Windows devices — PCs, tablets, smartphones, IoT devices and Hololens — from a single update platform. The impetus for this came from user feedback about how Windows Update would benefit from reducing consumption of local processing resources to improve battery life, and for download sizes to be smaller to complete more quickly and consume less bandwidth.

Thus, UUP is best understood as a technique designed to limit download size, since smaller downloads match those user desiderata quite nicely. The afore-linked blog post describes the files that get transferred via UUP as "a differential download package" instead of a "full build."

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