Windows updates are traditionally delivered automatically through Windows Update. That being said, some users opt to install security updates manually from the Microsoft Download Center, in an effort to keep unexpected side-effects down to a minimum and not install any unnecessary features on their systems. But this option may no longer be available starting May 10th.
Up until now security updates were published both on the Microsoft Download Center and the Microsoft Update Catalog, with direct links to the update packages. Those interested could download and install each package individually and keep their machines as lean and secure as they thought fit. This was also a good way to stay up to date and secure, but skip on Microsoft’s continuous efforts to install Windows 10 on older devices.
But the company announced recently, that changes will be implemented to this system and only some updates will be featuring the direct download link, while others will be only available through the Microsoft Update Catalog.
The change will likely limit users’ ability to control what security updates get installed, especially if they're using third party alternatives to keep their systems up to date. The links that those third party apps use will now likely be broken. The Microsoft Update Catalog is a much more cumbersome tool, which only works with Internet Explorer. All in all Microsoft is making it just a bit harder for users to ignore the standard Windows Update features.
The company didn’t explain why it’s implementing these changes, but we can speculate that it’s trying to keep the Microsoft Update Catalog for business and enterprise users, with regular Windows customers relying on Windows Update, as things were designed to be from the start.
Editor's Note: This article was updated to reflect that the updates and patches mentioned would continue to be available through the Microsoft Update Catalog and not be exclusive to Windows Update.