If you've spent years mastering the ins and outs of Windows Update, prepare to do some unlearning. Windows 10, with its emphasis on "Windows as a service," rewrites almost all the rules of updates and upgrades. Here's what you need to know.
From Ed Bott's FAQ:
With Windows 10, Microsoft has completely rewritten the Windows Update rulebook. For expert users and IT pros accustomed to having fine-grained control over the update process, these changes might seem wrenching and even draconian.
You can't pick and choose which updates to install? There's no option to delay updates on PCs running Windows 10 Home? Welcome to Windows as a service.
The new update rules are designed to solve some nagging problems in the PC ecosystem. For example, if every user can choose some updates and reject others, the number of potential configurations approaches infinity; Microsoft argues that all those untested variations make effective quality assurance much more difficult.
Likewise, Microsoft's generous 10-year support lifecycle has enabled fragmentation in the installed base: Over the past decade, Microsoft's engineering staff might be supporting as many as five major versions at the same time. In a world where security challenges arrive at breakneck speed, that stretches support resources to the breaking point.
And thus a new approach to Windows Update, whose goals are to have the majority of Windows users fully patched at all times, with only a few versions to support and an installed base that is mostly running one of the two most recent versions.
This FAQ covers the details you need to know.
Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications.