At Microsoft's Ignite IT pro conference, it officially announced Windows Update for Business. It will be a free service offered to Windows Pro and Windows Enterprise devices that will give IT employees more control over how they offer updates to Windows 10 used in the business sector.
Microsoft already offers Windows Update as a free service for the consumer versions of the OS, which allows the company to quickly sent out security patches and bug fixes to 850 million Windows devices. Microsoft also offers update solutions for Windows business users, but the options allows businesses to select which updates they want to install to their devices. Microsoft says this is not the best solution. It says:
"People at work expect the same Windows innovations which are being delivered to their Windows consumer devices, but selective updating introduces delays in roll outs. Selective updating at scale also creates customer-unique quality issues, since we rigorously test the platform as an integrated whole. Selective updating creates platform fragmentation for developers, which impedes innovation and creates quality problems with apps. And last but not least, selective updating is an expensive, thankless task for IT professionals. With Windows 10, we need a new approach for end-user devices at work."
The new Windows Update for Business service will allow enterprise users to offer the most up-to-date versions of Windows 10 on their devices, while still giving IT pros control over which updates can be installed. The features include:
- Distribution rings, where the IT Pro can specify which devices go first in an update wave, and which ones will come later (to ensure any quality kinks are worked out). Maintenance windows, where the IT Pro can specify the critical timeframes when updates should and should not occur. Peer to peer delivery, which IT can enable to make delivery of updates to branch offices and remote sites with limited bandwidth very efficient. Integration with your existing tools like System Center and the Enterprise Mobility Suite – so that these tools can continue to be that 'single pane of glass' for all of your systems management.
Microsoft says this approach should help businesses cut costs in the management of their devices, while still giving them the latest Windows 10 updates. They added, "It's part of our intelligent cloud – we will update and maintain Windows devices for you, while still giving you control."