Windows 10: Microsoft Releases Enterprise Details - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Software // Operating Systems
12:15 PM
Connect Directly

Windows 10: Microsoft Releases Enterprise Details

Microsoft shares information on how enterprise users will access Windows 10 feature and security updates.

Windows 10: 7 Pressing Questions For Microsoft
Windows 10: 7 Pressing Questions For Microsoft
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Microsoft has kept its consumers well informed on what they can expect to see in Windows 10, which is predicted to launch in full later this fall. Now, it's beginning to shed some light on how the new OS will affect enterprise users.

The tech giant made clear that customers running Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 will have access to a free Windows 10 upgrade for one year after it hits the market. They will also receive feature upgrades and security fixes for their devices' supported lifetimes.

In a Jan. 30 blog post, Microsoft confirmed that users running Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8 Enterprise, and Windows 8.1 enterprise will not be eligible to download Windows 10 for free during its first year of availability. Those with paid Windows Software Assurance (SA) contracts can access the upgrade in accordance with their contract terms.

(Image Source: Microsoft)
(Image Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft's recent blog post turned its focus to upgrades with details on "Long Term Servicing branches," which will be introduced to provide businesses with more control over how they receive new feature updates on Windows 10. The company's plan is to provide enterprise users with greater security and the flexibility they need to adopt innovation at a pace that best suits them.

These branches will provide new critical and security updates to Windows 10 users, but will not deliver new features throughout periods of mainstream and extended support, each of which lasts five years. Through Long Term Servicing users can download security fixes through Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), which grants them control over how security upgrades are distributed automatically via Windows Update or through management solutions such as System Center Configuration Manager.

Microsoft is also releasing a "Current branch for Business" to accommodate Windows 10 enterprise users with end-user devices that are not necessarily mission-critical. In addition to regular security updates, participants will receive feature upgrades "after their quality and application compatibility has been assessed in the consumer market." IT departments will have time to verify these updates before employees download them.

[Office for Android, Outlook upgrade, and more in Microsoft news.]

Businesses can choose to download Current branch for Business updates through WSUS or automatically via Windows Update. In its blog, Microsoft recommends automatic Windows Update fixes for enterprise users with non-mission-critical devices. It notes that this program is designed to reduce management costs while providing quicker access to security updates and critical fixes.

Microsoft also notes that IT professionals can switch user devices from a Long Term Servicing branch to a Current branch for Business, and vice versa. It plans to deliver the first Long Term Servicing branch "in the same time frame as Windows 10 market availability."

Attend Interop Las Vegas, the leading independent technology conference and expo series designed to inspire, inform, and connect the world's IT community. In 2015, look for all new programs, networking opportunities, and classes that will help you set your organization’s IT action plan. It happens April 27 to May 1. Register with Discount Code MPOIWK for $200 off Total Access & Conference Passes.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Strategist
2/3/2015 | 9:22:20 AM
Re: Looking forward to see new Windows
Also looking forward to seeing the final product. Microsoft stated that the first mobile preview would be available in February, so not much longer until we get a first look at that.
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

How SolarWinds Changed Cybersecurity Leadership's Priorities
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/26/2021
How CIOs Can Advance Company Sustainability Goals
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  5/26/2021
IT Skills: Top 10 Programming Languages for 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  5/21/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Flash Poll