Microsoft has added another cumulative update option for IT professionals to consider when deploying monthly updates. Announced on the TechNet blog for IT pros (via ZDNet), Microsoft will start providing one or more additional non-security updates each month, starting with the Creators Update.

Microsoft adds another cumulative update option to the mix for IT pros

Because they will only contain non-security updates, Microsoft notes that they will simply be listed as "Updates" in WSUS and Configuration Manager. That said, the post warns that occasional non-security fixes that address more critical issues may be deployed as part of these extra updates. Those will be labeled as "Critical Updates."

As for what to do with the additional updates, Microsoft notes that IT managers will have plenty of flexibility with the following options:

  • Deploy each of them just like the updates on "Update Tuesday." This enables the organization's PCs to get the latest fixes more quickly.
  • Deploy each of them to a subset of devices. This enables the organization to ensure that these new non-security fixes work well, prior to those same fixes being included in the next "Update Tuesday" cumulative update which will be deployed throughout the organization.
  • Selectively deploy them, based on whether they address specific issues affecting the organization, ahead of the next "Update Tuesday" cumulative update.
  • Don't deploy them at all. There is no harm in doing this since the same fixes will be included in the "Update Tuesday" cumulative update (along with all the new security fixes).

The ultimate goal, it seems, is to give IT managers a little bit more control over new non-security changes each month. Given that the fixes in these additional updates will subsequently be included in the following month's Patch Tuesday update, choosing whether to deploy them separately ahead of time on a select group of PCs would allow them to be tested ahead of a wider release.