Each Windows 10 SKU will reportedly have its own update options

Earlier this week, Microsoft revealed there will be seven different SKUs for Windows 10. Now a new report sheds some light on the different update options each SKU will have to receive patches and new features from Microsoft.

The report comes from Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet, who is well connected with her own sources both inside and outside of Microsoft. She states that when Windows 10 launches later in 2015, there will be three different update branches for the SKUs, the Current Branch (CB), the Current Branch for Business (CBB) and the Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB). Windows 10 Home, the variant that will be offered to PC consumers, will only have the Current Branch update option. Foley says:

"That means those users will have to take any new features, fixes and security updates that Microsoft pushes to them via Windows Update. (They will be pushed after Windows Insiders and Microsoft itself tests them.) Windows 10 Home users won't have the option of delaying or deferring anything. And for many consumers, that will be OK, if not welcome.

If you have a PC that has Windows 10 Pro installed, you can also choose the Current Branch update or you can pick the Current Branch for Business option. If that is picked, users can choose to get their OS patches from Windows Update, Windows Update for Business or Windows Server Update Services. That means users can wait to install patches that would be required under the Current Branch option, although Foley adds that, according to her sources, Windows 10 Pro users won't be able to delay those updates indefinitely. Windows 10 Education users will have the same update options as Windows 10 Pro owners.

Windows 10 Enterprise users will have the most options for updating their OS, with the choice of going to the Current Branch or Current Branch for Business, or the third Long Term Servicing Branch. That will allow enterprise users to just get Microsoft's security fixes for Windows 10 without adding any new features. So far there's no info on the update options for users who have Windows 10 Mobile or Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise.

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Foley adds that people who decide to upgrade their Windows 7 or 8.1 PCs to Windows 10 under the "free for the first year" deal will only have the Windows Update branch option.

Source: ZDNet

  • Now all they need is a "bypass carriers" branch.
  • Lol
  • The correct term is actually "Fuck the Carrier"-branch.
  • They have this. It's called Preview for Developers.
  • PfD was for WP8.1. The Insider Program is for W10. - but...yeah, it will continue after RTM is released
  • OS updates yes, firmware updates NO. You still need carrier approval for firmware. 
  • Unless you bought a SIM free version.
  • exactly, like a normal person with a functioning brain would do
  • Nice. A lot of sim free versions compromise on features...lack of LTE, no internet sharing etc. Besides, aren't there still a few sim-free phones that haven't received updates yet? I'm not talking about the Insider program either. Speaking as a "normal person with a functioning brain" I think carriers should be like ISPs. They should be the transport vehicle or dumb pipe and nothing else.  I wish MS would let Insiders update firmware as well.
  • Outside the US, carriers are just that
  • Yes that's how it should be, I strongly agree with that, but sadly non functioning brains fall for the scam that a 200$ now+whatever sum they add per month is cheaper than full price + truly owning the product, unless Microsoft apple and Samsung start selling directly with the same contracts, this will not change
  • Less fragmentation at least.
  • Not allowing education customers on the long-term servicing path is a big mistake. Many educational institutions are basically enterprises and I'm sure their admins would like that added control.
  • Education will be able to "hold" updates for sometime time like Pro, for an unknown time yet, I can't see a reason to hold an update infinitely for schools.
  • A school can buy enterprise.
  • Those kind of large environments can run their own Windows Update servers and push things out on their own schedule.
  • Yes they do, however most are poorly managed. I've seen countless laptops given to students via schools not even be set up properly let alone with a fresh clean image.
  • I really like those update branches. It'll surely help for the three use cases (home, business and enterprise) to plan/get the updates they need/want.
  • Good idea for home users. Working in IT it frustrates me the amount of Windows users who have 200 updates to install.
  • IDK if i understand any of this... :D
  • I get a funny feeling they are gonna mess this up bad.
  • Ugh. I was running the TP on my old laptop, but I gave up because Windows Update kept installing broken drivers for my graphics card. Broken to the point where many pieces of software would immediately freeze on opening. In the end the only "solution" I could find was completely disabling the Update Service in services.msc. I think we're going to see a lot more of these problems going forward... :(
  • You could simply hide that particular problematic driver update...
  • Except during preview you can't hide nor decline any updates.
  • Give the quote in the article another read. ;)
  • A huge problem. As we all know, only a fool would allow Windows to update a driver. It ALWAYS makes a mess of it. There is absolutely no chance of me installing an OS that forces updates on me. What if it decides to download a massive patch over my 3G? What if it decides to download executable code over my works network? I'd be fired! No way. Of course, at home I can just block access to the MS update server address at the router and control it that way but it's such a faf. Much easier with Win8. Win8 FTW.
  • Not often, but it does make a hash of it. I'm sure it wouldn't download a huge file over a mobile connection as on the phone it requires that you be on Wi Fi to download the update. In regards to downloading over your work network, you could make your work user on your device into a standard user. As i doubt MS will force install updates on a standard user account - as that would land them into hot water.
  • You misunderstand. So I use my own PC over the works WiFi, how do I control my PC as I am expected to be able to do? Also, when tethered to my phone, the phone does nothing to force the PC to download updates only over WiFi and there's no mention anywhere I've seen of a W10 phone being able to block a tethered PC from updating. And what about when I use my 3G usb stick? How will that be able to stop MS from stealing control illicitly? Also, downloading a driver from MS is about as sensible as doing an in-place upgrade to the next version of Windows. You may as well just let a 5 year old loose on your PC unsupervised. The resulting mess may involve more crumbs and jam, but the PC ends up just as useful.
  • Thats easy just block the server addy for wu in firewall
  • I like the Rum'o'meter. :)
  • Especially on a Friday!
  • Any word on how it will work for people who keep using insider previews? Will it require pro or something, or still be able to be installed separately?
  • The Insider Preview will add another 2 branches: Slow and Fast, just like we have today. Through it's also being said that there might be a 3rd Insider branch coming after RTM where builds are made available that qualify to get released in the wild but are just in the final stages of testing (similar to the old Windows Phone Preview for Developers program).
  • Small mistake in the last sentence, I guess it should read: "will only have the Current Branch option."
  • Windows needs a real package manager if they are going to object users to updates. Can be a PITA when users need to power down... Anyone who has ever procrastinated agree xD
  • Powering down maybe once a month is a PITA? Never thought it was an issue since it my computer now powers up in about 10 seconds. I do procrastinate, but I don't hold it against Microsoft when it finally tells me it will restart in 5 minutes. That was my own doing. THey gave me plenty of warning prior to the restart.
  • Is this going to provide updates without need to restart?
  • Good question.  It would be much easier to take if we didn't have to reboot just to update the web browser like it is now.
  • The web browser is now a seperate app and many of the services are apps now. So, I bet many things won't require a restart.
  • It will most likely remain the same. Some updates don't require updates and others will. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Guess you meant, "some updates don't require a reboot and others will" :P. When you said "some updates don't require updates and others will".
  • Still happens much less than it used to... Now Windows is a lot more modular so they do install many updates (includng many system files) without a reboot required. Hoping it keeps getting better though.  
  • What is it about restarting the PC that people seem to be so distasteful of?
  • If that's the case, then an update is simply not going to work for me, at all.  Windows Update often pushes Graphics Drivers that break graphics on Laptops, which only seem to work properly with OEM graphics adapters.  This is especially true for AMD Systems.  Every AMD machine that I've had (or desktop with a discrete ATI/AMD Card) I've had to hide all of the graphics adapter updates from Windows Update.  Last Time I updated the graphics adapter on my Notebook via Windows Update, the graphics driver they gave me was completely incompatible with my card and I ended uphaving to remove it and do a full uninstall and reinstall of Catalyst Suite.  It was HORRIBLE, and it's a consistent issue with Windows Update and Drivers.  The only drivers I trust it with are the built-in Windows Drivers.  Everything else you have to get from the OEM or Component manufacturer (AMD, NVidia, Razer, whatever). Also, since I have upgraded to an Intel SSD, everytime I connect my Microsoft BT Mouse to my laptop Windows Installs the Mouse and Keyboard Center and it causes freezing and Blue Screening on my PC (which works fine without them). Without the ability to permanently hide/disable certain updates, this is simply not going to work even on a consumer system.  Windows Update has a way of turning a working maching into something borderline unusable or a Blue Screen Generator.
  • exactly, I can tolerate it on my test laptop cause im running a beta OS that's ok, but when it arrives on my desk pc I will definitely stop it from happening, I noticed windows defender will keep turning itself on after a while if you turn it off, that's just wtf, I don't want that shit, I wont tolerate them wasting my laptops battery and my desk's performance, are they insane or going full apple? wtf, and I can relate with your story, I have a hp AMD APU and it just cant be worse, everytime they push a defender update(which I don't want-need) it updates my graphics too, in the middle of my work my screen starts blinking and then they update my touchpad, which is useless with that winupdate driver and even stops responding until I reset, jeez, if they do that with the final version then sadly I will have to fix it forcefully, which will become a larger problem when there's an update related to that that actually improves something I need
  • I love just about everything about 10. But I'm not sure all this SKU fragmentation is such a good idea. Especially in light of the push for "one windows". Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • This isn't fragmentation. Each sku can run exactly the same programs. The differences has to do with certain services and management option. Getting updates later might create some fragmentation, but that would be with enterprise customers who only worry about their software and don't care if window store apps don't work on their network. Consumers are targeted by developers and they won't be fragmented since they will get updates automatically.
  • Of course it is fragmentation. One Windows has just become seven. This is the bad old days again. What bits will be missing between my home and work machines? Sniping tool anyone?
  • Lol then get the Pro version? PAY UP. These are SKUs people get over it, its been like this for years. Its the same damn Windows but customers pay for w.e EXTRA features they NEED. Nobody wants a 20GB install of Pro SKU when they dont need it and the Home SKU is just 13GB in size for example.
  • Okay I can see where they are coming from, however I've been burned before with dodgy patches - locking up my brightness to 100%, disabling wake-on-lan, causing the fan to run constantly at max rpm etc etc. As I have windows 7 pro, I will get pro - no doubt about. Still need clarification if we can do a clean install or not. I don't want a Windows.old folder taking up space...along with other redundant files. Also Installing Windows 10 pro on all machines at home may prove to be costly, as it depends what the price will be for retail disks at launch.
  • I'm hoping the update process is better than 8.1 which at times is hit and miss.
  • huh? are they keep it that way into the final version? I mean are they insane? my testing laptop is a freaking nightmare I have to uninstall and reinstall the drivers each time they release a windows defender update, because they include drivers in it and there's no way to stop it, they just mess up your pc with bad drivers you don't want, jeez, and now I see windows defender will turn on again after a while if you turn it off, wtf is going on at Microsoft? is steve job's ghost making decisions now?
  • Stupidly complicated. Apple has, wait for it.......... One.
  • is it going to be possible to update right from the insider preview ?
  • Great, as long as you can still disable auto reboot when a user is logged in via Group policy I'll be happy. Nothing worse than when you leave you computer for the night with stuff open (let it sleep) come back the next morning to find everything on your computer that you was working is closed and not saved. I also want to be able to disable some updates, patches sometimes cause problems, and If one has a known problem, I DONT want it to be installed even if it comes down with Windows updates.
  • ANother one, I have Windows 7 Ultimate , is there a version that will replace that ? Or will I get stuck with Home and not have domain access (something I use at home)....
  • Anytime upgrade(w8 get more features) those have been the options. Sure it will cost just as much as opk windows(which only comes usually with one ach. Disc) but thats what they've done in past
  • Wonder if they'll offer anytime upgrade for those users who want pro(at a better discount)
  • A valuable lesson I learned from windows 8 is to choose the freedom to make your update choices..i was shortly disappointed to see the rich universal s search and in app search of windows 8.0 be replaced by an awful less rich search of windows 8.1 and higher. Unforgettable. So not all system updates are good or worth updating. Ultimately users have to pay a relatively high price for not updating windows 8 because features and security updates are passage deals. In essence users are sources to accept new features in windows 8. I hope Microsoft does not do this again. It was one of the biggest tragedies I experienced item a windows 8 update. ​
  • the last sentence from the article may not be good news for some. what if someone with 8.1 PRO gets 10 PRO under "free for a year"? they wont have the option to update through WU for Business so they are stuck to get whatever MS is sending them, exactly when they are sending. as oposed to ppl who actually buy a 10 PRO copy, and can choose(at least for some time) either they procceed to update or not.
  • Just realized the rumor'o meter is still the old one with "Windows Phone Central" branding. :)