Microsoft shaking up how Windows feature updates are rolled out—again
Friday February 15, 2019. 06:10 PM , from Ars Technica
Enlarge (credit: Microsoft)
Customers using Windows Update for Business will lose some ability to delay the deployment of each new Windows feature release once version 1903 goes live.
When Microsoft first started delivering Windows 10 'as a Service' with a regular flow of feature updates, the company planned to have two release tracks: a 'Current Branch' (CB) that was consumer-oriented and 'Current Branch for Business' (CBB) aimed at enterprises. The CBB track would trail the CB one by a few months, with consumers acting as guinea pigs to iron out bugs before the quality of each release was deemed good enough for corporate customers.
That naming, though not the underlying concept, was changed in 2017 when Microsoft formalized the Windows 10 release schedule and settled on two feature updates per year, one in April and the other in October. The CB track became the 'Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)' (SAC-T), and when this was proven in the real world, it would be pushed to the 'Semi-Annual Channel' (SAC), the replacement for CBB. Pro and Enterprise versions of Windows could be set to follow one track or the other, depending on how aggressively an organization wanted to adopt the feature updates. Machines that were set to SAC would automatically wait a few months after each SAC-T release, waiting for the SAC-T version to be blessed as SAC. Typically the gap has been about three months, even for the troubled version 1809 release.
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