As Windows 10 availability approached, there was a little commotion around what LANDESK should say about Windows 10 support. That’s when one of our product managers, Rex McMillan, piped up and said, “Don’t you remember what I said on stage in the keynote at Interchange?” I looked at him with a quizzical look. He laughed and continued, “I said we don’t have to worry about Day 1 support for Windows 10, we have it now.” That was 71 days before Windows 10 launched.
As a commitment to support the latest releases, we tested, fixed, and validated with the Windows 10 technical previews. Don’t worry that Microsoft has said Windows 10 is on a continual release cycle, we will continually test, validate and enable you to manage your devices.
We support Windows 10, but is that good enough? Microsoft has created a new paradigm for updating Windows. Instead of deploying a major OS once every few years and patching it weekly or monthly, now you’ll roll out a major OS and get ongoing updates on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Wait a minute! Maybe it’s not that different! In fact, Microsoft came out within three days of releasing Windows 10 with a required patch that was a GIG in size! This huge patch can easily be delivered using LANDESK without adversely impacting your network. Content is already available to patch and manage Windows 10. Windows updates can be configured to allow you to continue to manage the patching and rebooting cycles, the content to set this configuration is available with our patch content.
I said earlier, “Maybe it’s not that different!” partly in jest. What has changed is that Microsoft will leverage what’s been naturally occurring in their product lifecycle (see graphics below). Early adopters in their Insider Program want quicker updates and will see new features every month while also discovering the majority of bugs and defects. These Windows 10 updates and fixes will be rolled up into a current-branch release every four months that is initially targeted at consumers. These new features will be delayed by one release for the current branch for business, so the dust can settle even more and allow Microsoft to tweak a few things before releasing both consumer and business features to business customers. Later, these business rollups are grouped into larger releases that you’ll need to stay current on sometime within the following eight-month (two updates) period, or else you may not be able to apply ongoing security updates. Finally, everything rolls up into “Long-Term Servicing Updates” that come out every few years, which will be essential for Windows 10 use cases where the OS is embedded in devices requiring long-term stability, such as healthcare or manufacturing-related devices.
If you’re scratching your head about what all these updates mean, we can make it easier by telling you that it’s simply business as usual. You install, discover, patch, update and push or publish software to Windows 10. However, we’d recommend you follow the guidelines from such analysts as Gartner and get to know Windows 10 during the rest of 2015, where many of the business features won’t be introduced until later in the year. Start testing Windows 10 in 2016 using some of the hardware that will be introduced early in 2016 that leverages the advanced features like biometric security. Then start to roll out Windows 10 in the latter part of 2016 and through 2017 and beyond. Windows 10 should be easier to test and update, so hopefully you won’t be caught in a testing cycle that lasts more than a year like many large scaled migrations from XP to Windows 7.
LANDESK will continue to ease the pain of transitioning customers to new OS’s and give IT organizations all the tools needed to automate the way organizations update their systems. Since we’ve been doing this for many years and with a number of versions of Windows, this is simply a reminder not to worry. We’ve got your back.