Sunday, 06 August 2017 20:12

Microsoft is Changing the Windows 10 Servicing Model ... Again

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I have an embarrassment of riches regarding what to talk about this week, but instead, and apologies in advance for sounding like a record stuck in a groove, I am going to talk about Windows as a Service.

More specifically, about the changes to the branches. Microsoft is moving Windows 10 to the same servicing as Windows Server which means that they are transitioning from the Current Branch (CB) and Current Branch for Business (CBB) model of Windows releases to a twice-yearly release cadence called the Semi-Annual Channel. The release cadence will align to Windows Server and Office which means you can expect the updates to arrive in in March and in September, each of which with an 18-month servicing timeline. The Creators Update marks the first of the Semi-Annual Channel releases. Additionally, Microsoft is renaming the Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) to the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC).

The reaction on the net has been mixed thus far. Quite a few bloggers were quick to complain that Microsoft has lost it's way and everything was better in the olden days and why can't everything be like it was in 2001 and bla bla bla. I am not going to link articles in question, because those articles and user comments especially are so bizarrely and needlessly contrary they will literally make your brain hurt. I have looked at them, so you don't have to.

Yes, the terminology is changing. However, if you are aligned to the previous update model and are using Windows Update for Business, Windows Server Update Services or some other way to control how feature updates are being delivered to your end users, Windows servicing remains largely the same - as Michael Niehaus outlined here:

  • Previously, new Windows 10 releases were initially considered "Current Branch" releases, to be used for piloting. After a period of about four months, Microsoft did declare the release as a "Current Branch for Business" release, ready for broad deployment.
  • New Windows 10 releases in the Semi-Annual Channel are initially to be used for pilot deployments. After about four months, Microsoft will declare that the release is ready for broad deployment.

The big change here is that under the new model there is no 60-day "grace period", as that is being removed with implementation of this new servicing schedule.

These changes will go into effect right away.

Read 1020 times Last modified on Monday, 07 August 2017 06:22

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