Non-security patches for Windows 7 and 8.1 to be released in monthly updates

Microsoft has announced that from now on, non-security patches for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will be released in one rollup update that will be issued monthly.

Microsoft said this will also apply for updates to Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2:

Each month, we will release a single update containing all of the non-security fixes for that month. We are making this change – shifting to rollup updates, to improve the reliability and quality of our updates. These fixes will be available through Windows Update, WSUS, and SCCM as well as the Microsoft Update catalog. We hope this monthly rollup update simplifies your process of keeping Windows 7, and 8.1 up-to-date.

Windows 7 SP1 users can now also download a new convenience rollup update that contains all of the security and non-security patches released since the release of the service pack until April 2016:

This convenience update is completely optional; it doesn't have to be installed and won't even be offered via Windows Update – you can choose whether or not you want to use it. We hope that you find this convenience rollup package useful.

Finally, Microsoft has announced that in the next few months, updates for all versions of Windows will no longer be available in the Microsoft Download Center:

Security bulletins will continue to link directly to the updates, but will point to the packages on the Microsoft Update Catalog instead of the Microsoft Download Center. Customers that use tools linking to the Microsoft Download Center should follow the links provided in the Security Bulletins or search directly on the Microsoft Update Catalog.

John Callaham