What is Windows as a Service
When Microsoft first announced it’s Windows as a Service back in 2015, there was a lot of rumor going on about what that actually means. Some people expected they’ll have to pay a monthly fee to use the new operating system.
In fact, Windows as a Service is just a term Microsoft used to describe their new Windows update philosophy.
How that new way of updates work, what that means to us, the users, and if this is great or sucks big time, we’ll talk about in this article.
There will be no Windows 11
In case you wonder: There will be no Windows 11 in the future!
From Windows 1 to Windows 10 we had a lot of versions on our way. But no more. Windows 10 is the last number we see behind the Windows brand (at least for the next years). Instead of Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 – there will only be Windows.
For Windows users this might be confusing at a first look but Apples OS X is working the exact same way. (That X is roman ten, by the way)
Of course there will still be major updates that probably will change the look and feel of Windows 10 completely but they roll out on the base of the Windows 10 we use today.
Future Windows upgrades will be implemented through the integrated Windows Update function automatically but let’s talk about that in a second.
Is Windows as a Service running in the cloud
When we hear the term “as a Service” we think about apps or programs that we can use from different devices and that are not physically on our local machine but running online in the cloud.
That’s not what Microsoft is talking about when they use their version of “as a Service”.
You will still install the further Windows versions to your local devices as you did before.
How you get the new Windows 10 Updates
Windows 10 really want to keep you updated. We think this is pretty safe to say. In previous releases it was almost impossible to deactivate the automatic system updates but in the latest versions they listend to the users and offered that heavily requested option. (Which is, by the way, a great example of how fast new functions can get implemented now)
At least for some users. As a Windows 10 Home user you still can’t block or deactivate them without using a little trick.
That’s great and bad at the same time. Obviously, through the automatic update process you stay up-2-date and always get the latest security patches and fixes, on the other hand you’ll loose any control about how and when you update.
Different kinds of Windows as a Service updates
There are different kind of Windows 10 updates that are served by Windows as a Service.
- Feature updates like the Windows 10 Anniversary Update or the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update will be released two to three times per year, which is a big improvement compared to the old upgrade releases every 3-5 years.
- Quality updates are similar to the updates on older Windows versions. They are released monthly and delivering both security and non-security fixes.
- Insider Preview builds are equal to developer versions and show upcoming features that will be shipped in the next “major” feature update.
- Servicing branches allow organizations to choose when to deploy new features. Current Branch (CB) deploys the fastest, soon after a feature update is released. Current Branch for Business (CBB) defers the installation of the same feature update by about four months, until that feature update is considered ready for broad deployment.
- Deployment rings are groups of devices used to initially pilot, and then to broadly deploy, each feature update in an organization.
Microsoft published this detailed WaaS Overview to dig deeper into the new update system.
Windows as a Service is great
We really mean it!
Prior to Windows 10, Microsoft released new versions of Windows every 3-5 years. This deployment schedule is nothing but outdated.
We life in fast times and when there is a new technology or a new feature, we want to get it as fast as possible straight on our devices. With the new way of updating, Microsoft made that possible. No more waiting till a new operating system is build from scratch.
Windows as a service will deliver smaller feature updates two to three times per year to help get us the best possible and up-2-date Windows at every time and not only all 3 years.
What you think? Tell us your opinion in the comment section.