One presentation I immensely enjoy delivering across North America is the Windows 10: Ask Us Anything live presentation. Reason being, it allows us at CANITPRO.NET to listen to the IT professional audience in attendance speak their minds about Windows 10 deployment, management, security and end user enablement. Many attendees have gone as far as watching the video series below in preparation for the Ask Us Anything session.
One question that has been asked consistently in every city is as follows:
“Can I defer or delay Windows 10 updates now that Windows is a service?”
To answer this question, lets explore Microsoft Windows Update for Business offering introduced in Windows 10.
Windows Update for Business provides IT Administrators additional control surrounding the updating process. Microsoft’s Windows-as-a-Service model entails more frequent and quicker updates and so IT professionals required a solution to manage the updates on behalf of the organizations they support.
To enable this, Microsoft has created 4 update branches that, depending on the version of Windows 10 you are currently operating, can empower an IT administrator to test said update prior to deploying it in a business environment.
NOTE: Windows Update for Business will not replace Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or System Center Configuration Manager as your operating system updating solution. In fact Windows Update for Business can directly integrate with tools like System Center to better optimize update delivery.
Multiple Windows 10 Update Branches can be deployed amidst one’s organization. The four update branches offered in Windows 10 include:
- Windows Insider Preview Branch – is up to date with preview features as they are released and enable IT administrators to preview upcoming features and influence product development (Windows 10 Pro)
NOTE: Windows Insider Preview Branch is not recommended for Business use as builds are frequently updated and can sometimes be unstable
- Current Branch - up to date with features as they are released after broad preview validation (Insider Preview). Ability to test features and updates in your organization over 4 month period. (Windows 10 Home)
- Current Branch for Business – similar to Current Branch enabling Business customers to test feature updates over 4 months testing, and validating in their environment before broad deployment (Windows 10 Pro / Enterprise)
- Long Term Servicing Branch – provides the ability to control security and critical fixes over ten year increments. Enables IT professionals to move from one Long Term Servicing Branch to the next one via in-place upgrade and can skip one Long Term Servicing Branch as well (Windows 10 Enterprise / Education)
NOTE: New Windows features will not be downloaded or installed when deferring upgrades. Deferring upgrades will not affect security updates.