Windows Updates servicing changes – updates and their official titles

introducing Windows Updates servicing changes

Historically, Microsoft has released individual patches for these platforms, which allowed you to be selective with the updates you deployed. This resulted in fragmentation where different PCs could have a different set of updates installed leading to multiple potential problems:

  • Various combinations caused sync and dependency errors and lower update quality
  • Testing complexity increased for enterprises
  • Scan times increased
  • Finding and applying the right patches became challenging
  • Customers encountered issues where a patch was already released, but because it was in limited distribution it was hard to find and apply proactively

By moving to a rollup model, Microsoft bring a more consistent and simplified servicing experience to Windows 7 SP1 and 8.1, so that all supported versions of Windows follow a similar update servicing model. The new rollup model gives you fewer updates to manage, greater predictability, and higher quality updates. The outcome increases Windows operating system reliability, by eliminating update fragmentation and providing more proactive patches for known issues. Getting and staying current will also be easier with only one rollup update required. Rollups enable you to bring your systems up to date with fewer updates, and will minimize administrative overhead to install a large number of updates. (Note: Several update types aren’t included in a rollup, such as those for Servicing Stack and Adobe Flash.)

Listed below are the three updates and their official titles:

A security only quality update

  • A single update containing all new security fixes for that month
  • This will be published only to Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), where it can be consumed by other tools like ConfigMgr, and the Windows Update Catalog, where it can be downloaded for use with other tools or processes. You won’t see this package offered to PCs that are directly connected to Windows Update.
  • This will be published to WSUS using the “Security Updates” classification, with the severity set to the highest level of any of the security fixes included in the update.
  • This (like all updates) will have a unique KB number.
  • This security only update will be released on Update Tuesday (commonly referred to as “Patch Tuesday”), the second Tuesday of the month.  (This is also referred to as a “B week” update.)

A security monthly quality rollup

  • A single update containing all new security fixes for that month (the same ones included in the security only update released at the same time), as well as fixes from all previous monthly rollups.  This can also be called the “monthly rollup.”
  • This will be published to Windows Update (where all consumer PCs will install it), WSUS, and the Windows Update Catalog.  The initial monthly rollup released in October will only have new security updates from October, as well as the non-security updates from September.
  • This will be published to WSUS using the “Security Updates” classification.  Since this monthly rollup will contain the same new security fixes as the security only update, it will have the same severity as the security only update for that month.
  • With WSUS, you can enable support for “express installation files” to ensure that client PCs only download the pieces of a particular monthly rollup that they haven’t already installed, to minimize the network impact.
  • This (like all updates) will have a unique KB number.
  • This monthly rollup will be released on Update Tuesday (also known as “Patch Tuesday), the second Tuesday of the month.  (This is also referred to as a “B week” update.)

A preview of the monthly quality rollup

  • An additional monthly rollup containing a preview of new non-security fixes that will be included in the next monthly rollup, as well as fixes from all previous monthly rollup.  This can also be called the “preview rollup.”
  • This preview rollup will be released on the third Tuesday of the month (also referred to as the “C week”).
  • This will be published to WSUS using the “Updates” classification as an optional update.  It will also be available via Windows Update (where all consumer PCs will install it) and on the Windows Update Catalog.
  • With WSUS, you can enable support for “express installation files” to ensure that client PCs only download the pieces of a particular monthly rollup that they haven’t already installed, to minimize the network impact.
  • Starting later in 2017 and continuing for several months, older fixes will also be added to the preview rollup, so it will eventually become fully cumulative; installing the latest monthly rollup will then get your PC completely up to date.
  • This (like all updates) will have a unique KB number.

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