One of the biggest changes you are likely already seeing with Windows 10 is something we call the Windows distribution rings. These are the good kinds of rings (e.g. onion, Saturn, wedding), not the kind forged in the bowels of some evil mountain. I'm talking about the Windows Servicing Options.
Looking ahead, at any given time there are going to be multiple branches of the Windows code in the market, and you'll even have multiple branches deployed within your organization. This will become normal (and not at all as complex as it may at first sound), but understanding what each branch does is very important. The authoritative source for definitions and details of the various Windows 10 servicing options can be found here. I recommend that you become super familiar with this blog and refer to it as you make decisions on which Windows branch to use in each scenario within your organization.
In our mobile-first, cloud-first world, Information Workers expect (and, you could argue, insist) on having new value and new capabilities constantly flowing to them. Most of these workers have smart phones and regularly accept the updates to their apps from the various app stores. The iOS and Android ecosystems also release updates to the OS on a regular cadence.
With this in mind, making updates isn't abnormal, and we are committed to continuously rolling out new capabilities to users around the globe – but we also understand that there are use cases where this simply doesn't make sense. Windows is unique in that it is used in an incredibly broad set of scenarios – from a simple phone to some of the most complex and mission critical use scenarios in factories and hospitals. One size (and one servicing model) does not fit all of these scenarios.
To strike a balance between the needed updates for such a wide range of device types, there are four servicing options you will want to deeply understand.
- Windows Insider Program
- Current Branch (CB)
- Current Branch for Business (CBB)
- Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB)