Microsoft Ends Patch Tuesday with Windows 10
Microsoft recently detailed new security mechanisms in Windows 10 that should please both regular users and IT professionals. Historically, Microsoft has released security updates for Windows on a monthly schedule, typically the second Tuesday of each month. This patch deployment schedule is often referred to as “Patch Tuesday” or “Update Tuesday.” Microsoft developed this policy to reduce the costs associated with deploying patches across large networks of computers. Unfortunately, Patch Tuesday also means that users can be left vulnerable to new security threats for weeks until the next batch of patches is available. However, with Windows 10, security updates will now be pushed out to devices as soon as they are ready.
Goodbye, Patch Tuesday
New security threats are constantly being developed, so a proactive update strategy only makes sense, says Microsoft. At this year’s Ignite conference, Microsoft’s annual show for IT professionals, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Operating Systems Terry Myerson hoped to shame Google with Windows’ new update policy.
“Google takes no responsibility to update customer devices, and refuses to take responsibility to update their devices, leaving end users and businesses increasingly exposed every day they use an Android device.”
With Windows 10, security updates as well as other “software innovations” will be available as soon as possible to the range of computers, tablets, and phones running the new OS.
More Control for IT Pros
However, this policy only applies to home users. IT Pros will still have control over how and when updates are deployed on business machines. Microsoft is known for pushing buggy updates from time to time, so the company wants to give businesses the opportunity to test out updates before deploying them on all machines. With Windows 10, there will be different “branches” of updates. Most home users will be on the Current Branch, where new security updates and features will be delivered for free for the lifetime of the users’ devices (Microsoft hasn’t offered exact details about the “lifetime”). Users won’t have the option to individually select updates, and instead, will receive all bug fixes and new features. However, businesses can choose to be on the Long Term Servicing Branch, where enterprise machines will only receive security updates and no new features. IT professionals will then be able to choose when new updates are installed. Microsoft is also planning a Windows Update for Business service, where business users can choose to receive new updates and security features, but at a more measured pace (similar to Patch Tuesday).
All in all, Microsoft hopes Windows 10’s new, flexible update policies will help win over both regular consumers and enterprise customers. At this year’s Build developer conference, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would be installed on 1 billion devices by 2018.
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