The recent release of Windows 10 has left many IT execs confused over the support options available. While evaluating the various editions of Windows 10 and the possible upgrade options and timeframes, figuring out the enterprise support options isn’t easy.
Support for Microsoft’s Windows as a Service seems to be based primarily around three service branches. PCs running Windows 10 Home will not have a choice: they’ll receive the Current Branch, and Microsoft will automatically push new features, bug fixes, and security updates to them via Windows Update. But corporate PCs will likely be running Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Enterprise, the most expensive edition that’s only available by volume licensing agreements.
If you’re running Windows 10 Pro, you can opt for Current Branch or select Current Branch for Business, which provides more flexibility about when the updates will be applied, although updates cannot be deferred indefinitely. It also allows the enterprise the option of distributing the updates via Windows Update or by using enterprise management tools such as Windows Update for Business or Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).
With Windows 10 Enterprise, IT has maximum flexibility for assigning users to a support option. They can assign PCs to receive their updates via Current Branch or Current Branch for Business, and they can also assign users to receive updates via the Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB).
This option provides flexible options for managing Windows updates. It can be customized to only accept security updates, with additional upgrades deployed centrally via Windows Update for Business or WSUS. LTSB is the only option that will allow the enterprise to selectively decline new features that Microsoft delivers as part of its Windows as a Service strategy.
Windows 10 support options will likely become clearer as more organizations begin deployment. Meanwhile, for additional information – including a simple chart showing the options for each branch and each Windows 10 edition – visit these Windows 10 FAQs by Microsoft VMP Andre Da Costa.
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