Microsoft Planning Unified Update Platform

The major Windows 10 updates include the summer Anniversary Update, and next year’s Creators Update are distributed as important operating system installs. The downloads are around 4GB and installing them performs a complete in-place upgrade to Windows.
 
This will soon change as Microsoft rolls out what it is calling its Unified Update Platform (UUP). The major upgrades will be shipped as differential updates, where only the differences between the recently installed version and the newly installed version need to be downloaded. The company has estimated that this will make major version upgrades around 35% smaller.
 
UUP should also make checking for updates quicker, as several of the computational workload to figure out the patches which might be needed by the system will  be handled in the cloud rather than on the client.
 
In making this particular change, some differences between the Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 PC update process are being eliminated. Recently, the desktop platform can generally upgrade from any patch level to the latest version in just one shot; on mobile, sometimes numerous updates are also required, with just two separate download, install, and reboot processes.
 
End-users on stable builds of Windows will not be seeing this particular change taking effect until after the Creators Update, the client-side infrastructure necessary to support these particular differential updates will be part of that release. Insiders, who regularly perform some major version updates, will start seeing the improvements much sooner. The mobile release will enable UUP updating starting with the current build 14959, with the technology soon coming to PC builds a little later in the year, followed by Windows IoT and Window for HoloLens.
 
The visible end-user impact UUP should be minimal; Windows Update will still look the same and the overall patching as well as updating policy is currently not changing. It will however be faster and it will use less data.