Documentation Updates for Surface and Windows 10 LTSB Compatibility


Back in October of last year, we published an article in the TechNet Library titled Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) and Surface Devices. Based on your feedback, we’ve published a new article with updated information, Surface Device Compatibility with Windows 10 Long-Term Servicing Branch, to provide greater clarity around the limitations of Surface devices running LTSB. Some of the key items covered in this documentation update include:

  • Surface devices provide the best experience when you use the recommended Windows 10 Current Branch (CB) or Current Branch for Business (CBB) servicing options.
  • With LTSB on a Surface device, some of the important features of Windows 10 that are required by Surface features are not available and therefore some functionality is reduced.
  • If you need to leverage newer drivers or firmware to overcome a technical issue, or if you are replacing older devices with newer hardware, you may need to upgrade your environment to a newer version of Windows 10.

If you are running an older build of Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB, such as Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB, you can change from LTSB to CB or CBB by running an upgrade installation, either on a single device, or on many devices either with the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) or System Center Configuration Manager.

If you are currently considering whether Windows 10 LTSB is a fit for your environment, here are some questions that might help your decision-making process:

  • Q: Will the devices have Microsoft Office installed?
    A: It is not recommended to use Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB on devices that run Microsoft Office or other productivity software.
  • Q: Will the devices need to run Windows Store apps?
    A: The Windows Store is not available in Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB, so if you need to run a Windows Store app, you should not use Windows 10 LTSB on that device.
  • Q: Will the devices be used to browse the internet?
    A: Using a device to browse the internet, for example to access social media or to research a subject through a search engine, is a strong indicator that the device is not a good fit for Windows 10 LTSB.
  • Q: Is the device your users’ primary computing device?
    A: The changing demands of your users may conflict with the static nature of Windows 10 LTSB. For example, they may need to install an app or connect to a new device and find that it is unsupported in their current environment.

For more information on the Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB and the servicing options for Windows 10, including details about each of the Windows 10 servicing branches, see the Overview of Windows as a service TechNet Library Article.

Our design philosophy for Surface is to deliver best-in-class experiences for end users that bring to life the latest innovations in Windows and in hardware. However, we recognize that every customer scenario is different, so we hope that our updated document will help our customers make the best decision for their deployments.


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