This week, Microsoft is holding its Ignite conference in Chicago and Satya Nadella took the stage this morning to announce Windows Update for Business. As the name suggests, this is a new service for Windows 10 targeted for businesses to help them take more control of the update process since Windows 10 introduces a new update model.
In Windows 10, Microsoft is using the platform as a service which means they can add new features on the fly and also patch as well with a higher frequency than we have seen in the past. For consumers, this is not an issue but for the enterprise, having complete control over the update process is imperative for compatibility with critical applications.
Windows Update for Business, introduced today, is a new management option for Windows 10 to always keep devices up to date with the latest security updates and Windows features. The new solution will help reduce management costs, provide control over update deployment, offer faster access to security updates and critical fixes, and deliver the latest innovation from Microsoft on an ongoing basis. The Windows Store for Business offers additional manageability, enabling company decision-makers to acquire trusted software or content for entire teams and companies.
Windows Update for Business will provide:
- Distribution rings, where the IT Pro can specify which devices go first in an update wave, and which ones will come later (to ensure any quality kinks are worked out).
- Maintenance windows, where the IT Pro can specify the critical timeframes when updates should and should not occur.
- Peer to peer delivery, which IT can enable to make delivery of updates to branch offices and remote sites with limited bandwidth very efficient.
- Integration with your existing tools like System Center and the Enterprise Mobility Suite – so that these tools can continue to be that ‘single pane of glass’ for all of your systems management.
The reason this is a critical announcement for Microsoft is that this feature will hopefully give IT shops inside the enterprise confidence in exploring Windows 10 for their organization. While Windows 7 has proven to be a competent platform for corporations, this feature begins the pitch to the enterprise about why they should upgrade.
With tighter control over the update experience for IT admins, this feature will be welcomed by many but the toughest challenge ahead is still moving from Windows 7 to 10; Windows Update for Business is one small bonus after they cross this hurdle.