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Microsoft to end decades-old pick-a-patch practice in Windows 7

Gregg Keizer | Aug. 17, 2016
As of October, Microsoft's switching older editions to the update model pioneered by Windows 10, and slammed by some customers

Not everyone has been happy with Windows 10's update scheme. For more than a year, some, including IT administrators, have criticized the cumulative approach as inflexible. "We need the ability to delay or hide damaging updates that impact the computing experience, have undesirable side effects such as blue screens of death, or reduce the functionality to attached devices," stated a public plea to Microsoft published last year on Change.org that asked the company to change its practices.

Microsoft also implied that starting in October it will document Windows 7 and 8.1 updates in the same cryptic fashion it now reserves for Windows 10. "To bring consistency to the release notes model introduced with Windows 10, we will also be updating our down-level documentation to provide consolidated release notes with the rollups for all supported versions of Windows," Mercer said.

The Redmond, Wash. company has pushed customers to adopt Windows 10, and the changes to the maintenance model of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, particularly the former, which is the standard in the enterprise, could be viewed as another step in the upgrade campaign. By eliminating the more flexible -- but admittedly fragmented -- pick-a-patch practice of Windows 7, Microsoft removes a reason for sticking with the older OS until it's nearer retirement.

Windows 7's and 8.1's first cumulative updates should appear Oct. 11, that month's Patch Tuesday.

 

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