[English]Microsoft has once again announced a change in the update cycle for Windows (10 and 11 as well as Sever). Non-security-relevant preview updates will always be rolled out in the fourth week of a month (D-Week) starting in April 2023. This is according to a Techcommunity article that explains the various updates for Windows.
Until now, Windows users knew that updates were regularly rolled out at different times of the month. On the second Tuesday of the month, it's the security updates' turn. These so-called B-week updates (patchday) will not change in the future.
Then there were the non-security optional preview updates, which were actually released in the third week (C-Week) of a month on the service in question until now. But if the updates weren't ready, the release could also be postponed to a Thursday of C-Week or even to Tuesday by D-Week. And there were even cases where even that wasn't enough and the update appeared at the last minute at the end of the month. You never knew that for sure.
Now Microsoft has cleared up this uncertainty and specified its ideas about update rolloutss in the Techcommunity article Windows monthly updates explained dated March 21, 2023.
- Monthly security updates will continue to be released on the second Tuesday of the month, on the so-called patchday. These updates are cumulative, meaning they include the previous month's security fixes as well as the previous month's non-security preview updates. Monthly security updates are mandatory and are available through Windows Update, Windows Update for Business, Microsoft Intune, Microsoft Configuration Manager, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and the Microsoft Update Catalog.
- Optional non-security-related preview updates are to fix bugs and bring improvements. These updates are generally to be rolled out in the fourth week of a month (D-Week) starting in April 2023. These optional non-security preview updates are also cumulative and will only be offered for the latest supported versions of Windows.
Microsoft's reasoning for this change is that they have determined that the fourth week is the optimal time to release these preview updates. The release period is two weeks after the last monthly security update and about two weeks before these fixes are included in the subsequent mandatory cumulative security update.
These production quality updates (in reality, users who install the updates are being abused as beta testers) can be obtained through Windows Update by users going to the Settings page and selecting Windows Update – Advanced Options – Optional Updates. If an optional update appears in the list of available updates, it can be selected for download and installation via hyperlink.
The Techcommunity article Windows monthly updates explained Microsoft notes that there will continue to be unscheduled (out-of-band) updates rolled out outside of these update cycles as needed to correct serious security flaws or bugs.
Continuous "innovation" in Windows 11
For Windows 11, version 22H2, Microsoft has introduced the principle of "continuous improvements" via (Moments) Updates. New features and improvements are made available there for the current Windows 11 version at shorter intervals with the help of regular updates. This was the case, for example, at the end of February 2028 via the Moments 2 update (see Windows 11 22H2: Moments 2 update KB5022913 brings many innovations). Reliable as Microsoft is, these updates caused some fat problems for users who installed them (see Windows 11 22H2: Moments 2 update KB5022913 causes startup problems with third-party GUI tools).
Updates bereitgestellt. Das ist beispielsweise Ende Februar 2028 per Moments 2-Update (siehe Windows 11 22H2: Moments 2-Update KB5022913 bringt viele Neuerungen) der Fall gewesen. Zuverlässig, wie Microsoft nun mal ist, haben diese Updates bei Nutzern, die diese installiert haben, einige fette Probleme verursacht (siehe Windows 11 22H2: Moments 2-Update KB5022913 macht Startprobleme bei Drittanbieter GUI-Tools).
Administratoren in Unternehmen können aber über Gruppenrichtlinien steuern, ob diese kontinuierlichen Verbesserungen (continuous innovation) auf den Windows 11-Clients installiert werden dürfen. Microsoft hatte dies bereits im Februar 2023 im Techcommunity-Beitrag Commercial control for continuous innovation bekannt gegeben.
Die Kollegen von deskmodder.de berichten in diesem Beitrag, dass in den Canary-Builds der Insider Previews von Windows 11 ebenfalls eine Option gesichtet wurde, über die sich "Feature Updates" für die Installation zu- oder unterdrücken lassen.
Windows 10: Microsoft explains the update cadence
Windows 11 22H2: Moments 2 update KB5022913 brings many new features
Windows 11 22H2: Preview Update KB5022913 (Feb. 28, 2023)
Windows 11 22H2: Moments 2 update KB5022913 causes startup problems with third-party GUI tools
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