At its Ignite keynote address this morning, Microsoft announced a new offering called Windows Update for Business. Based on the name alone, you may have a rough idea what this is. But how does WUB differ from Windows Server Update Services, and other current Windows Update offerings for businesses?
“The number one thing a business can do to protect their devices is to keep them up-to-date with the latest security updates,” Microsoft’s Terry Myerson explains. ” Here at Microsoft, we take our responsibility to keep Windows secure seriously. We follow up on all reported security issues, continuously probe our software with leading edge techniques, and proactively update supported devices with necessary updates to address issues. And today, we’re announcing this continuous update process applies to all Windows 10 devices, including phones.”
As you know, Windows Update is a cloud-based service for consumers. According to Microsoft, over 850 million computers connect to this service each month to stay up-to-date with security and other updates. With Windows 10, Windows Update is being expanded to deliver regular software updates—”ongoing Windows innovation”—too.
Today, Businesses can update their PCs via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), System Center or other on-premises solutions, or via services like EMS/Intune. All use WU on the backend.
Windows Update for Business is a new offering. It will provide the following features:
Distribution rings. IT Pro can specify which devices go first in an update wave, and which ones will come later (to ensure any quality kinks are worked out), Microsoft says.
Maintenance windows. IT Pro can specify the critical timeframes when updates should and should not occur.
Peer to peer delivery. IT can enable to make delivery of updates to branch offices and remote sites with limited bandwidth very efficient. (This requires Windows 10.)
Integration with your existing tools. If you’re already using System Center or the Enterprise Mobility Suite, you can continue to do so, and they will still work as the ‘single pane of glass’ for all of your systems management.
Free. Windows Update for Business is free, but it requires Windows Pro or Enterprise. Microsoft really wants to keep Windows 10 devices up to date.
“Windows Update for Business will reduce management costs, provide controls over update deployment, offer quicker access to security updates, and provide access to the latest innovation from Microsoft on an ongoing basis,” Myerson says. “Windows Update for Business is part of our intelligent cloud – we will update and maintain Windows devices for you, while still giving you control.”