What Has Changed in Windows Update for Business
In today’s Ask the Admin, I will explain the changes Microsoft has made to Windows Update for Business (WUfB) in Windows 10 Anniversary Update 1607, which also applies to Creators Update.
Say Goodbye to Traditional PC Lifecycle Management
Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.
WUfB is new in Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise, and Education SKUs. It provides organizations with control over how quality and feature updates are applied. You do not have to install a local infrastructure component. That is not the case with Windows Server Update Server (WSUS). You also do not have to install a client on each device, which is needed to manage Windows 7 using Microsoft Intune.
For more detailed information on WUfB, see Understanding Windows Update for Business on the Petri IT Knowledgebase.
Deferrals and Pausing Updates
Windows as a Service requires that most users install updates on a regular basis. Even large organizations that are licensing Windows 10 Enterprises need to do this. Addressing customer concerns, Microsoft changed the options for deferring and pausing quality and feature updates in Windows 10 Anniversary Update 1607. Starting in version 1607, feature updates can be deferred for up to 180 days in daily increments. Previously, updates could be deferred for up to 8 months in monthly increments. Quality updates in version 1607 can be deferred for a maximum of 30 days in daily increments. The previous setting had a maximum of 4 weeks in weekly increments. As you can see, these changes are relatively minor.
In Windows 10 version 1511, feature and quality updates could be paused together for up to 35 days. In the Anniversary Update, feature and quality updates can be paused separately. Feature updates can be paused for up to 60 days and quality updates can be paused for a maximum of 35 days. In the Windows 10 Anniversary Update 1607, you have the ability to exclude drivers delivered via WUfB.
Windows 10 Creators Update Non-Security Updates
Although not strictly related to WUfB, Microsoft has recently announced that in addition to the Monthly Cumulative Update for Windows 10, one or more updates may be released every month to fix non-security issues. WUfB will treat these new updates as quality updates. They will be deferred if WUfB is configured to defer quality updates. The new non-security updates will be released two weeks before Patch Tuesday. Organizations that choose not to deploy them will receive them in the next monthly cumulative update.