Microsoft on Wednesday began reversing actions it took earlier this year as the coronavirus pandemic spread and announced it would resume Windows 10 non-security updates.
Those updates, which Microsoft designated as Windows’ C and D updates in a nod to their third- and fourth-week release each month, were halted during May. “We have been evaluating the public health situation, and we understand this is impacting our customers,” Microsoft said in a March 24 message.
Microsoft will resume distribution of these non-security updates next month, the company said, but only to Windows 10 1809 and later, and to Windows Server. The Redmond, Wash. developer cited customer feedback and “the ongoing stabilization of business continuity” as the reasons for the restart.
“We will resume optional releases in July of 2020 … to once again provide you with the ability to test planned non-security fixes targeted for the next month’s Update Tuesday (or ‘B’) release,” wrote Chris Morrissey, part of the servicing and delivery team for Windows, in a June 17 post to a company blog.
Prior to the stoppage, the C and D updates were used to test non-security fixes that were to be officially released the following month as part of the all-encompassing Patch Tuesday. (That second-Tuesday of the month, dubbed “Update Tuesday” by Microsoft, has long been the day when the firm issues security fixes for product vulnerabilities.) Essentially previews, the C and D updates had always been optional, and were, more than anything else, part of Microsoft’s efforts to shift as much testing as possible onto users’ shoulders.
Name change? Of course
Considering how much Microsoft has rearranged the furniture in the past month, it’s not surprising that Morrissey also ticked off changes to the updates that will go into effect next month when they return.
Rather than letter the updates, Microsoft will acknowledge what they are by switching to “Preview” as a nameplate, as in Cumulative Update Preview when listed in Windows Update.
Such updates will be delivered just once a month, on the third Tuesday (so on the schedule of former “C” updates). That will be different than before: Microsoft rarely filled the C-week slot, instead focusing on the week following for the optional updates.
And the Previews won’t be shown to administrators who rely on WSUS (Windows Server Update Services); the implication is that the beta updates will be offered only to those using Windows Update or its spinoff, Windows Update for Business (WUfB). “This ensures a consistent update management experience across all supported versions of Windows in your environment,” Morrissey said.
Admins who use WSUS can import these previews from the Microsoft Update Catalog if they want to test upcoming non-security fixes.
The changes to the non-security updates distribution and naming are in concert with broad revisions of Office 365 and Windows 10’s servicing over the past several weeks. In April, the company swept out Office 365 and dropped in Microsoft 365 as the brand for numerous subscription plans. And earlier this week, Microsoft revamped the nomenclature for the Windows 10 previews shared with Insider participants.
Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.