Win 10 LTSB; the answer for Win 7 fans ready to move on?

11

Call me late to the party, but I just discovered MSFT offers a 90-day trial of Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB. (with two re-arms) As someone who keeps trying to cut ties with my beloved Win 7 and move on—only to get disappointed every time Win 10 comes close but no cigar—I figured this might be the answer. LTSB intrigued me but I did not think I could get it as a home user….but now I am running it, I plan to stay till the trial expires.

Great stuff. None of the “nonsense” Paul complains about, but all of the Win 10 under-the-hood goodness, plus the greater admin control in Enterprise. (I set telemetry to Security level, for starters.) I installed Classic Shell, but even without it, this is as close to Win 7 as you can get while running Win 10, and also benefit from the last decade of security and other improvements. (like handling SSDs)

Clearly this is not for those who live on the cutting edge, or use the apps built-in to all other version of Win 10, including Edge. (All that stuff, including the Store, is cut out of LTSB) I fired up News or Weather now and then in other Win 10 installs, but can easily do without them.

Win 7 was a great desktop OS for its time—it still “feels right” more than any other Windows version, to me—but I did not want to be the next generation-equivalent of XP holdouts.

Early days, but I might have stumbled across the solution. Anyone else running LTSB?

Comments (12)

12 responses to “Win 10 LTSB; the answer for Win 7 fans ready to move on?”

  1. wright_is

    LTSB is business only - you need a corporate account and buy it with SA - you also need a valid Windows license on the device you are putting it on! Which means you have to buy a PC with a Windows license and then you can pay extra to put Enterprise on it.

    With Pro, you can defer the feature updates, but not forever and I wouldn't use the "Home" version on any machne, I always upgrade to Pro.

    To be honest, I find Windows 10 a big improvement over Windows 7. Setting up new machines is also a lot easier (assuming you aren't working with a corporate image), as there are only a few patches and a roll-up to install - if you have to support Windows 7, WSUS-Offline is a great tool.

    We have Windows 10 at work and I use it at home and I'd hate to have to go back. And no, I've never used any shell replacement tool.

    • paull90

      In reply to wright_is: This is almost correct.

      Yes you do need a valid Pro licence on the PC as LTSB/LTSC is only available as a volume licence upgrade however this version doesn't need SA.

      Active SA would give the rights to the full Windows 10 Enterprise E3 version, If the SA is allowed to lapse then the rights move back to LTSC or Pro.


  2. Tony Barrett

    LTSB is the version many Enterprises are looking at - whether MS like it or not. It strips out the app store, Edge, Cortana and a host of other unwanted rubbish. Yes, it's as near as you're going to get. I'm still using Win7 as my main machine too - it's just rock solid and does everything I need. People who say Win10 is 'better' rarely have actual reasons - it's just newer, and 'better' is subjective anyway. Most of what MS throw into Win10 is bloated garbage anyway, and (yes, subjectively) I despise all these smart tiles, ads, telemetry collection, stupid app store, phone integration, voice control and 'MS knows best' mentaility... it's a long list. As far as I'm concerned, an OS should be discreet, not get in the way, update quickly, and just allow me to run the apps I want.

  3. wunderbar

    To get enterprise you have to have a business agreement with Microsoft and purchase a volume license Windows 10 Enterprise license with SA.


    So no, LTSC (channel, not branch, that name changed several months ago), is not a viable option for home users.

    • scoop

      In reply to wunderbar:
      With a 90-day trial version that can be rearmed twice, a moderately savvy home user willing to devote a few hours maybe twice per year can effectively run this version forever. Granted it's a niche market---of which I am well aware, since I am part of it. Folks who use non-touch desktop or laptop for most of their cyber-life, who love Win 7 but are ready to move on, who have tried Win 10, appreciated some of its virtues but in the end get tired of the nonsense features and the lingering sense that it just does not feel as cohesive and 'together' as does Win 7....and who have the interest and the (minimal) skill needed to blow away an OS, install a new one, rinse and repeat, etc.
      For those who use touch-screens or tablets, or who like the newfangled apps and their infrastructure, or need or want the latest features that seem superfluous to others, Win 10 Pro is the way to go. I use it every day at work, perforce, without problems---but also without much enthusiasm.
      Granted it takes a weird kind of "enthusiast" to buddy up to LTSB/LTSC. Someone who loves to play with computers and tweak operating systems and figure out how they tick----but who does not use a touchscreen apart from a smartphone, who feels most at home using a mouse/keyboard/trackpad, who tries the apps built in to Win 10 and just can't get excited about them, etc.
      Lots of those folks will stick with Win 7 till their computer dies, then get grumpy when their new PC runs Win 10, with all its seeming nonsense. I am among a minority, I think, who truly want to move on and who do not want to hold back progress, but who have struggled for years to feel as at home with 10 as with 7.











  4. Tourniquet

    To be honest I don't see a reason for people to use LTSB at home.


    If you don't want to use the store and the new Apps you can even deinstall them via Powershell.


    Ever since Windows 10 Creators Update 1703, you can choose CBB (Current Branch for Business) and you can delay the Feature Update to 365 days if you use the Pro version.


    This is the best possible solution for Windows 7 users. You don't run the newest version, but a version of Windows that has been serviced / bugfixed for a long time. So you have a stable version.


    If you take a look at the April Update this year you can see a lot of problems and a lot of complaining. In a year all those problems should be fixed and you're ready to go.


    Also Feature Updates often include security improvements that won't be backported to LTSB / LTSC.

    • scoop

      In reply to Tourniquet:

      This is a reasonable point, but I like the fact that with LTSB I did not have to tweak or mess with anything to rid the system of feature-cruft. (The only tweak I made was to install Classic Shell, and that's just personal preference. The Win 10 start menu is usable.)


      That is sort of the point. Win 7 was the first Windows version that did not require tweaking for security or to provide a smooth user experience. I tweak a few things anyway when I install Win 7---and I expect most folks who flock to forums like this do, too---but that's just because we are weird. For most users, you can buy a Win 7 PC, turn it on, install your favorite programs and use it. Smoothly, without issues.


      That's not true for Win 10 Home or Pro, at least in my experience. (And even less true for Win 8 or 8.1.) With all the focus on new features and trying to merge the touch and mouse-and-keyboard experiences, things....blink at times, is the best way I can put it. Every time you think this is the Win 10 install that got all that right, a program will suddenly freeze that never froze in Win 7, or you trigger an edge swipe out of nowhere with your mouse even though you thought you disabled that, (Charms is the worst thing that came out of Win 8), etc.


      But I reckon most folks on this forum have either made an uneasy peace with Win 10 long ago, or else tripled-down on Win 7 till at least end-of-support. Just wanted to mention my experience with LTSB, as someone who understands both POVs.

  5. JustMe

    I made my peace with Windows 8.1. It took quite a while, but I finally came to terms with it. With a few small additions (like Start8) and some tweaking, I have made the OS servicable for my needs. I am happy with what I have and have no desire to swithch windows versions. The problem, however, is that as a Windows gamer, I know I will eventually be required to make (and stay with) the Windows 10 jump - whether that be due to end of service life, or a required low level hardware change (far more likely in my case). I would *love* to have a 'minimal install' version of W10 like LTSB/LTSC. Microsoft simply isnt interested in that for the consumer.

    • scoop

      In reply to JustMe:

      Yep. They don't even want enterprise customers to run LTSB. They pretty much say so. But the iso is there on the MSFT site, waiting to be downloaded and installed for a trial run, by anyone. Will update over the course of the trial.

  6. pderosa

    You could also try Pi-Hole. It has removed all of my annoyances with Windows 10 and it blocks ads.

Leave a Reply