During the announcement about Windows 10, Microsoft revealed that free upgrade for Windows 10 will be made available to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices who upgrade in the first year after launch. While consumers would like to have the latest and the greatest, enterprise customers would like to have a controlled set of updates which would not disrupt their environment and workflow. Microsoft is introducing new methods for servicing enterprise with Windows 10.
- To support Windows 10 devices in these mission critical customer environments we will provide Long Term Servicing branches at the appropriate time intervals. On these branches, customer devices will receive the level of enterprise support expected for the mission critical systems, keeping systems more secure with the latest security and critical updates, while minimizing change by not delivering new features for the duration of mainstream (five years) and extended support (five years). On Long Term Servicing branches, customers will have the flexibility to deliver security updates and fixes via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) which allows full control over the internal distribution of updates using existing management solutions such as System Center Configuration Manager or to receive these updates automatically via Windows Update.
- We are introducing a new approach for business customers, which we are referring to as the Current branch for Business. By putting devices on the Current branch for Business, enterprises will be able to receive feature updates after their quality and application compatibility has been assessed in the consumer market, while continuing to receive security updates on a regular basis. This gives IT departments’ time to start validating updates in their environments the day changes are shipped broadly to consumers, or in some cases earlier, if they have users enrolled in the Windows Insider Program. By the time Current branch for Business machines are updated, the changes will have been validated by millions of Insiders, consumers and customers’ internal test processes for several months, allowing updates to be deployed with this increased assurance of validation. Enterprises will be able to decide if they want to receive updates automatically via Windows Update, or via WSUS to have control through management tools over how the updates are distributed in their environments.
As Microsoft introduces new enterprise features over time, they expect to provide new Long Term Servicing Branches at appropriate time intervals, which will incorporate new functionalities. Also, enterprises will be able to update to new branches with ease and skip any if they want.
Read more about it in detail below.