Windows Servicing Model change FAQ

What is this?

Microsoft is changing how they manage and provide Windows updates. They are moving to a cumulative update model, and have reduced internal testing of patches.

Does this affect me?

If you use Windows, then yes you are affected.

What is the expected impact?

With less testing, more patches have bugs that cause unintended changes. Many recent patches have had problems affecting management, printing, and other parts of Windows. Previously we could hold back individual patches that broke things and install only the patches needed for security. Starting in October, we won't be able to hold back individual buggy patches. Microsoft is removing the feature that let us skip the broken ones. We will be forced to install ALL all of the patches, not just the security patches needed to be compliant with Cornell Policy 5.10. In addition, patch releases will be more frequent, with updates usually containing fewer than four patches, unlike the previous monthly releases which often included dozens.

So what if Microsoft breaks something after October?

You have to live with it until Microsoft patches the patch that was broken. This can be several months with whatever was broken not working.

What about Windows 10?

With Windows 10, i.e. the future of the Windows platform, things are actually worse. Not only do you have the patch issues described above for Windows 7, but you also tend to have less control about when a patch gets applied. Microsoft can and will cause your computer to reboot without warning if they feel your PC needs a patch. We also will have less ability to enforce a schedule for major updates. Several times a year Microsoft will be releasing major updates which are more like an upgrade and re-install. The recent "Windows 10 Anniversary Update" is an example. These updates can and do re-set your settings and might uninstall some of your programs and device drivers. CLASSE IT has plans to minimize the impact of this process, but, again, we do not feel we can make guarantees about uptime in the future, given Microsoft's new Windows servicing model.

What if I don't like the above situation?

Please open a service request or talk with CLASSE IT about the options you have. We will update our Wiki and newsletter as we find out more.

Some more information

-- JamesPulver - 09 Sep 2016
Topic revision: r3 - 20 Oct 2016, WernerSun
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