Windows 10 Patch Strategy: IT Dream Or Nightmare? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software
News
5/17/2015
12:06 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Windows 10 Patch Strategy: IT Dream Or Nightmare?

Here's what systems administrators and others in IT will love (and hate) about Microsoft's Windows 10 patch and upgrade strategy.
Previous
1 of 9
Next

(Image: Microsoft)

(Image: Microsoft)

"Windows 10 isn't for all of us, but for each of us."

That's the tagline Microsoft is using to convey that Windows 10 won't cater to one particular group of users. Instead, it will be able to conform to how we individually use the system to fit our unique needs.

For decades, Microsoft and its Windows OS have been criticized for accommodating the needs of business users, while letting consumer needs take a back seat. The new security patch and update strategy in store for Windows 10 is a clear sign that the company has received the message loud and clear.

For the first time, Microsoft has said that "individual security updates would be released as soon as they were available, instead of in a big collection once a month." Additionally, a Microsoft evangelist explained that Windows 10 would be "the last version of Windows." In other words, new features and updates to Windows will simply be released and available for install when ready as opposed to grouping together a collection of new features and releasing them as a major OS update, as has been done in the past with Microsoft's infamous "patch Tuesdays."

While these are steps in the right direction from a consumer point of view, it's far from ideal when you are the one supporting hundreds or thousands of desktops and enterprise applications. Administrators must maintain control and perform rigorous testing before rolling out patches and updates onto company devices. If not done properly, the potential for money-sucking downtime can be huge. That's why most if not all -- administrators will turn off the automatic update capability for patches/updates and opt to maintain control of their installation.

Fortunately, Microsoft has created a chokepoint for enterprises that wish to oversee the release of OS updates. In fact, the new patch control tools are far more robust than what is offered today. In that sense, Microsoft will keep the same patching rollout schedule it has been using in the past. However, administrators will likely feel increased pressure to release patches and new feature updates far more quickly than has been done in the past. Consumer users will likely set the OS on their personal devices to auto-update, so the trend in the enterprise world will be to stay as close to the most recent patch or update version as possible. In some ways, this is a good thing. In other ways, it could be catastrophic.

Here, we look at the pros and cons of the Windows 10 patch and upgrade strategy from a systems administrator point of view. Once you've reviewed these, please share your opinion on the topic in the comments section below.

Andrew has well over a decade of enterprise networking under his belt through his consulting practice, which specializes in enterprise network architectures and datacenter build-outs and prior experience at organizations such as State Farm Insurance, United Airlines and the ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Previous
1 of 9
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
SaneIT
50%
50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
5/20/2015 | 8:16:08 AM
The good and bad
The fact that patches will come out more quickly really is a two edged sword.  On one hand it means that zero day exploits could become less common but on the other hand as was noted, the patch testing may become so rough that it breaks more than it fixes.  Anyone who has been around Windows long enough knows the old technique of waiting until Service Pack 1 is released to avoid becoming a corporate guinea pig.  I like that they are giving us some better tools for patch management but I wonder how long we'll have to drag our feet now to avoid being part of a tech article about a patch gone bad.
Slideshows
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Commentary
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
Commentary
If DevOps Is So Awesome, Why Is Your Initiative Failing?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  12/2/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Video
Current Issue
Getting Started With Emerging Technologies
Looking to help your enterprise IT team ease the stress of putting new/emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT to work for their organizations? There are a few ways to get off on the right foot. In this report we share some expert advice on how to approach some of these seemingly daunting tech challenges.
Slideshows
Flash Poll