Windows Update for Business allows IT professionals to utilize the cloud-based Windows Update service to deploy and manage Windows updates. You can use Group Policy or MDM solutions such as Microsoft Intune to configure the Windows Update for Business settings that control how and when Windows 10 devices are updated.
Windows Update for Business has been available since Windows 10, version 1511 and has been enhanced in Windows 10, version 1703 (also referred to as the Creators Update) to provide IT pros with greater control, while offering an improved experience for the end user.
Who should use Windows Update for Business?
Windows Update for Business is intended for machines running Windows 10 or later, and Windows 10 Education, Professional, or Enterprise editions managed in organizations. It is not intended for consumer use, though enthusiasts can certainly benefit from it.
- Large organizations can leverage it to be more efficient in servicing their internet connected devices
- Small and medium businesses gain flexibility while continuing use Windows Update, with more control than previously provided without using System Center Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), or third-party solutions.
Why do I want Windows Update for Business?
Windows Update for Business can help you lower the cost of servicing Windows, while giving you much of the flexibility and control available from more complicated and time-consuming solutions. With Windows Update for Business, and Windows as a service in general, you also get to leverage functionality that Microsoft has traditionally leveraged internally to optimize servicing processes.
How do I get Windows Update for Business?
It is part of Windows 10, build 1511 or later, on the supported client editions. It is not necessary to download and install any additional software. No additional software needs to be installed to leverage the functionality, though, from experience, newer editions of Windows 10 will continue to enable new features.
If you're looking to kick the Windows Update for Business tires, you can do so today:
- If you are an administrator on your machine.
- If it does not violate your company's policies.
- You do not need to be on a domain (so you can play with it at home).
What does Windows Update for Business allow me to configure?
Once you set any Windows Update for Business configuration setting, Windows Update for Business will be enabled. If you traditionally have utilized WSUS for servicing, your clients will connect to both Windows Update in the cloud as well as your WSUS server once you set Windows Update for Business settings.
Through the Windows Update Client settings (through Group Policy, MDM, or the UX), Windows Update for Business provides the ability to defer feature updates using the Current Branch for Business mechanism, as well as a deferral period (in days), allowing you to delay the application of updates. Quality Updates and Feature Updates are treated separately to give you added flexibility.
In addition, you may leverage the "Pause" functionality if you a have need time to implement remediation to updates after testing them in earlier rings.
|Setting||Quality Updates||Feature Updates|
|Deferral branch||Does not apply||CB or CBB|
|Deferral (in days) after an update has been released.||Separate settings apply to both Quality and Feature Updates.||See Quality Updates|
|Pause||Separate settings apply to both Quality and Feature Updates.||See Quality Updates|
In addition, you can use settings available under both MDM and Group Policy to manage the Windows Update for Business experience. For more detailed information, see Configure Windows Update for Business.
What does Windows Update for Business replace?
While Windows Update for Business can replace WSUS for many scenarios, most large organizations are going to continue to leverage WSUS for some devices. In addition, using standard Windows Update client configuration settings, you can utilize WSUS for driver servicing, and Windows Update for Business for Windows OS servicing.
You may also need to continue to use other management tools like Configuration Manager and Intune to support machine configuration, raw deployment, app servicing (especially third party), and other functionality.
You're probably wondering "Why Windows Update for Business?" My next post will go into some depth about the questions that customers have around servicing, how we are addressing those needs, and our journey not only to where we are today, but forward as well.
In follow-up blog posts, I will also spend some time on related technologies, sometimes inviting experts within and outside of Microsoft to contribute their ideas and opinions.
Continue the conversation. Find best practices. Visit the Windows 10 Tech Community.
Looking for support? Visit the Windows 10 IT pro forums.