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Windows as a Service explained – How Microsoft will deliver Windows updates

Windows as a Service explained – How Microsoft will deliver Windows updates

by AshwinMay 15, 2015

Microsoft recently confirmed that Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows.

However it isn’t stopping the development of the OS.

The Redmond Company will continue to provide updates regularly. Microsoft calls it “Windows as a Service”.
A couple of days ago, Microsoft announced 7 editions of Windows 10.

  1. Windows 10 Home
  2. Windows 10 Mobile
  3. Windows 10 Pro
  4. Windows 10 Enterprise
  5. Windows 10 Education
  6. Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise
  7. Windows 10 IoT Core

Apparently, Microsoft will be servicing some of these editions in special ways.

Windows as a Service explained:

ZDNet reports that its sources reveals that Windows will have three different servicing branches.

Microsoft will continue to provide preview builds for members of the Windows Insider Program even after the launch of Windows 10.

  • Current Branch (CB)
  • Current Branch for Business (CBB)
  • Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB)

Windows 10 Home users will be supported by the Current Branch, and any new features, patches and updates will be delivered through Windows Update. Windows Insiders will get the updates before they are rolled out to the general public. While that is acceptable, users will however not be able to postpone or delay updates. Security wise, this could be a boon, but it could be a bane, when it comes to buggy updates or even feature killing updates.

Windows 10 Pro users will be serviced by two branches: Current Branch or Current Branch for Business. Pro users will have all features supported by the Current Branch, i,e the Home Users, and will also have the added advantage of CBB. This will allow Pro users to choose when they wish to install Windows updates.

CBB will also allow users to get updates from two channels: Windows Update for Business or Windows Server Update Services. The former is a free servicing plan, which will allow admins to choose how updates are delivered to users.

However, even CBB will not allow users to postpone Windows 10 updates indefinitely. Users can only defer one update at a time, and will need to install the delayed update to continue receiving further updates. In other words, users will need to install updates in a Chronological order. The Redmond company is doing this to ensure that the branches are up-to-date and secure.

Only Windows 10 Enterprise, which is reportedly the most expensive version of the OS, will have more choices about the delivery of updates. So they can choose any of the three branches, with CB guaranteeing immediate updates,or use CBB with its two update channels and the option to delay updates for a limited time. But its biggest advantage, is that Enterprise version users will have access to the Long Term Servicing Branch which allows them to get only security updates, and defer new features. That makes it the only Edition which will allow user to deny new feature updates.

Windows 10 Education for students and teachers will have the same features of Enterprise. Other users of the version will be able to get updates like Windows 10 Pro, and will also be able to defer updates for a limited time, and also get new features through Windows Update.

Windows 10 RTM will be released in late July. Microsoft will offer Windows 10 as a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8.1 users. The first major update for Windows 10, codenamed Windows Redstone is scheduled to be released in July 2016.