There's been much discussion over the last few weeks over which updating branch that companies will choose to keep Windows 10 up-to-date. The discussion, which started as a way to prove value between the different branches (CB, CBB, LTSB) and then sell the idea to management, has taken a different turn in the last two weeks due to Microsoft releasing three Cumulative Updates (CUs) for Windows 10 in a very short timeframe.
Not yet up to speed on the various updating methods available for business? Read these first:
- Understanding the Long Term Servicing Branch and Current Branch in Windows 10
- Keeping Windows 10 Up-to-Date for Enterprises, CBB Will Have 8 Months to Update
- Update Servicing Branches Available for Each Windows 10 Edition
The discussion started as a feature comparison that culminated into the following:
LTSB = No Store; No Edge; Some native apps missing; Security updates delivered in real time; No feature updates; Updates can come from WU, WSUS, or WSUS/SCCM.
CBB = Full set of apps with Windows Store and Edge browser; Security updates delivered in real time; Feature updates delivered after they have been tested by consumers/insiders; Updates can come from WU, WSUS, or WSUS/SCCM.
CB = Full set of apps with Windows Store and Edge browser; Security and feature updates delivered in real time.
But, because of the quick-cadence release of three separate Cumulative Updates in the last two weeks, the discussion is now less about selling management on features and more about IT's ability to keep up and Microsoft's ability to make things work.
Windows 10 released publicly on July 29th as a sort of framework OS. Microsoft's intent was to deliver something stable and then continue to work on it for the next 10 years – fixing things and adding features. So, it should come as no surprise that bugs exist. Those running Windows 10 now have experienced quirkiness with the OS and apps. Many experienced outages last week for the Mail app and the Windows Store. Microsoft subsequently fixed those issues, but the outages were long enough for many to start second-guessing using the new OS.
For businesses, the conversation around selling features and updating patterns has now taken a turn I don't believe Microsoft ever wanted to see. The software company's desire was that the majority of businesses use the CBB method of updating. This gives businesses the ability to stay secure but also keep the feature list up-to-date in a timelier manner.
But, with the frantic pace of CU releases over the past two weeks, more companies are considering LTSB. LTSB is considered as an updating method for those devices that are critical to keep running 24x7, like manufacturing PCs or ATMS. It was never intended as an option for businesses with normal operations. LTSB would require that devices be scheduled to be offline for a period of time while a brand new, more current Windows 10 image is applied – essentially installing a brand new OS. Because, by the time these critical devices could be scheduled to go offline, Windows 10 would be like a brand new OS. But, some businesses are now seriously considering this as an option.
Additionally, Microsoft has yet to deliver Windows 10 updates in the promised "branches." The CUs that have been released have been delivered to each type of customer without regard to servicing needs or decisions.
We're curious here at WindowsITPro. Has the quick release of three CUs in two weeks affected your decision of which Windows 10 servicing method to use? Let us know which method you'll choose in the following poll.
Feel free to leave comments below to let us know if your decision has been altered in any way.