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Dec 5, 2017

Summary of Microsoft’s New Update Model

Since Microsoft transitioned to offering its operating system as a service rather than a boxed package, much has changed with the OS. While the added features and interface changes since Windows 7 launched are beyond counting, Microsoft continues to modify one of its most controversial policies…updates. This is a summary of the most recent changes Microsoft has made to how often your computer will restart to install updates.

Since Microsoft began using the subscription model for its operating system, updates have become more frequent from Windows 7 onwards. While this has made the system more secure, the frequency of the updates has been difficult for some users, particularly businesses. This is because administrators must prepare to update all computers on "update Tuesday" a monthly update occurring on the second Tuesday of each month. If an update is not made the Windows operating system is known for automatically applying an update in the middle of the workday. By now system managers have likely adapted to this practice.

Microsoft made an announcement late April of a change in its update schedule.   

"Based on feedback from customers….we will routinely offer one (or sometimes more than one) additional updates each month."

Microsoft made clear that these are "non-security updates" do not have to be applied immediately. Applying these patches can wait until the next "update Tuesday." However, the company also mentioned "critical updates" that may occur. These would have to be applied immediately.

This can prove to be problematic for administrators, as additional critical updates may disrupt business workflow. It is also possible that computers will notify users of a non-critical update and cause a user to accidentally activate it. Many have already reported losing work progress due to sudden unintended updates.

Thankfully there has been some relief. After a recent update in April, Microsoft introduced the "snooze" feature. When an update is available the user will receive three options….to update now, later, or to "snooze" for up to 35 days. It remains to see how Microsoft will continue to tinker with its update policies in the future.

Stay tuned to our news for more information about changes to the Microsoft operating system and contact us for more technology offerings and expertise.