Windows 10 – Cause for Confusion

As of August 1, ComputerWorld reported Windows 10 global usage had climbed to 2.5%. Not too shabby for the OS that was launched just three days earlier on July 29. Those numbers easily beat early adoption rates for Windows 8.1 but, I wonder how those users are faring? A quick read of headlines shows a lot ofheadaches ranging from overall privacy concerns to unwanted update files being delivered to networked machines still running Windows 7 or 8.1. And speaking of updates, we’ve seen a lot of those too. Already. This week, Microsoft pushed (and re-pushed) all kinds of updates, both security and non. Much to the ire of sys admins everywhere. The last week is best understood by first outlining the 5 new (English) OS editions which are: Windows 10 Home; Professional; Education; Enterprise andEnterprise Long Term Service Branch or LTSB. As John Savill explains in this WindowsITPro article: The LTSB is similar to how versions are delivered today with a new one delivered every couple of years and in between each new version Microsoft will provide security updates, bug fixes and so on. Alternatively, customers can choose to use the [Current Branch] CB method which provides security updates, bug fixes, and new features every few months. Since the July 29 launch day, Microsoft has pushed out 2 cumulative updates. The first came on July 29 and was a ‘cumulative security update’ ( KB3074683) that was actually released, for some reason, only to Windows Update (targeting Home, Professional and Education editions). Those machines managed with WSUS (such as Enterprise and LTSB versions) didn’t receive the update until August 4 – leaving those enterprise managed machines vulnerable 5 extra days. On August 5, Microsoft released a cumulative update (KB3081424). This monster update was flagged for Enterprise and LTSB, superseding the previous one and including all the security updates it had plus all the non-security updates as well. Microsoft previously said LTSB would only receive security updates when in fact, this week anyway, it has received all of them, like it or not. And I’ve read several not-like-it reports. Despite headlines to the contrary yesterday and today, there is no official documentation from Microsoft calling anything a ‘service release.’ Instead, they talk about Windows-as-a-service. In reality, what has happened this week is they bundled patches originally released to some editions, combined them with other updates and rolled out a cumulative update to all editions, regardless of what IT was expecting from the content. My guess is Microsoft has yet to work out the kinks in their new system. Not only can’t they articulate it for us, they aren’t sure who gets what, when. The confusion is frustrating for sure. As all good sys admins realize, next Tuesday (08/11) is August Patch Tuesday. We assume Microsoft will push out security updates for users of Windows 7 and 8.1 but at this point, who really knows? There has been so much confusion created out of Redmond lately, we’ll just have to wait and see. And then hope they don’t change their minds. Watch for another post and as always, recommendations for how to proceed, next week.
Posted in Unified Endpoint ManagementTagged , ,