Windows Update Changes: The good, the bad, and how it affects you

Chris Bennett of Bennett Office Technologies
Chris Bennett- CFO, explains windows update changes and how it affects you

An announcement from Microsoft in May was released with little fanfare.  “Simplifying updates for Windows 7 and 8.1” introduced us to the idea that Windows Updates would be simplified using monthly roll up updates, much like Windows 10. Most believed Microsoft would cave in similar fashion to what they did with the release of 8.1 and the Start button.  However, Microsoft is pushing ahead with the simplified model despite all of the critical feedback it has received.

The Good

In the long run we should have a higher quality product from Microsoft.  Fragmentation means Microsoft has to spend considerable resources troubleshooting non-standardized systems.  Software vendors will be forced to repair security issues quickly, or risk causing customers large security holes.

The Bad

You are either up to date or you’re not.  If a problem arises with a security update, you will be forced to wait until the correction is made.  In the past, you could exclude the problem updates and move forward without interrupting the update process as a whole.  If you are running Windows 8.1 or older you have been benefiting from this.

What do you need to know?

Microsoft has been releasing a lot of patches in preparation for this process to make sure the first monthly roll up is a success.  If you are using Automatic Updates as your patching process, you will be at the onset of Microsoft’s quality assurance process.  Updates will still be available the second Tuesday of the month and will typically require a reboot.  While we do not know exactly what Microsoft’s process will be for distribution, Windows 10 updates have been disbursed over time in recent months.  So this means that even if the updates are available Tuesday, they might not be applied to you for several days.  If you have Automatic Update’s on, you might want to watch your devices closely during the second week of October.

Is there a better way?

Bennett Office Technologies has a patch management process that can take the worry out of Windows Updates.  We have weekly maintenance windows in which patches of various software vendors can be processed.  This customizable process can be tailored to fit your business needs and minimize operational impact.  While we no longer can exclude individual patches from applying, we can still delay immediate deployment to your network, to test, and approve all patches first.  Microsoft’s simplified model should actually speed up our process, as problem releases will be found and corrected faster.  If you would like to know more please contact us today!

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