Microsoft changed how they push OS upgrades since the introduction of Windows 10. They’re no longer creating what they used to call Service Packs. They’re now upgrading Windows 10 with build numbers. Updates are applied via the normal patching processes and are usually installed daily on workstations as soon as they are release and approved.

Upgrades Are Different

Upgrades are OS features released every six months and can be deployed outside of the normal patching processes. The way upgrades are now deployed is causing some frustrating issues. Instead of giving the user control, they’re installed in the background and pushed out randomly by Microsoft over time once released. Some of you may have seen this upgrade popup on your system and are forced to reboot in the middle of the day.

Better Upgrade Process

We are working on ways to control this upgrade process better to make it more convenient for you.

The upgrades are released to workstations based on Channels. The default is Semi Annual Channel (Targeted) which gets release around March and September. The remainder are placed in the Semi Annual Channel and get released 3-4 months later. There is also a Delay configuration that can increase the default delay up to 365 days from the release date.

Through our monitoring system, we can now identify which build your system is on as well as the Upgrade Channel and any delay that is configured. We have also developed a process that will set the Channel to the later release and set the delay to 365 days all in the background. This should prevent systems from getting the upgrade for a while and allow us to have a more controlled release of the upgrades.

Controlling when upgrades are applied also gives your business time to see what features and complications may exist with new upgrades. You’re able to prepare employees of upcoming changes and choose when the upgrade is most convenient for everyone.

When your company is ready for the next build, we’ll then adjust the delay and make the upgrade available to the desired systems using the patching windows to push the upgrade in a more controlled way.

For further information about this process and other monitoring and proactive processes, reach out to your TSM or our ZAG helpdesk today.