New Servicing models for Windows 7 and 8.1


Windows has such a large user base that it hard to make changes to the Servicing model, but this was long overdue. Windows always released point fixes for customers so that they could pick and choose what updates they wanted. While this allowed users a lot of flexibility and probably made sense 5 years ago, I think that today it just adds to the complexity that users dont have the time or inclination to manage. It also meant that most customers would first run into a known issue, and then install a fix to resolve it. This is an unnecessary inconvenience IMHO.

Whats happening?

The new Servicing model now releases monthly rollups for all non-Security related fixes. The rollups will be cumulative in nature as well. What does this mean to you? Instead of having to find, review and install different just install the latest rollup, and you are ready to go!

Having such a simple model makes it much simpler for users and enterprises to consume and keep their machines to update. It reduces fragmentation(different machines having different fixes) thereby making it much simpler to test before deployment. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the simpler we make the update process, the more people can take advantage and be up-to date.

But what about regressions? Does this mean that I now will get fixes that I dont really need? Microsoft already does an incredible amount of testing to make sure that any fixes that go out the door do not cause new problems. With this new change, there is additional pressure to make sure we get it right and dont affect customers adversely. The reduced fragmentation not only helps customers reduce test complexity, but it also helps us improve our test quality by have a defined set of configuration\combinations to target.

With this coming change users and enterprises can expect the following benefits

  • Reduced Scan times and effort for compliance\reporting
  • Smaller number of downloads and packages to deploy over internal network
  • Reduced test complexity and configurations
  • Customers not running into known issues thereby reducing overall support costs and efforts


What happens to Security Updates

Security updates are going to be rolled into a single monthly update as well. This will not be a cumulative update to give enterprises the option of being able to deploy the smallest possible update while still maintaining secure devices.


What happens to Windows 10

Much has been covered and written about the Windows 10 servicing model, so I wont cover that here. It pretty much lines with the above already. (OK, so it does a few things more like Windows as a Service, CBB, LTSB, etc. ... so not exactly the same)

For more information take a look at this article.