Windows 10 enterprise updating explained – branches, rings, and the OS as a service

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Are you an admin or power user who feels slightly confused by the detail underpinning Microsoft’s Windows 10 updating and patching plans? If so, that’s not surprising. Microsoft has at times been less than clear about the ins and outs of the new Windows 10 updating branches and ‘rings’ which is some respects are similar to the regime pre-dating Windows 10 but dressed up in a new and confusing terminology.

Here we try to piece together what’s what with updating and Windows 10. There are certainly some things to watch out for. What is clear is that this new world is more complex, necessarily so. Today, Windows 10 is still an operating system but at some point it will resemble more of a service. This is the fate for all ‘big’ operating systems.

The mental map to understanding what’s going in are the different updating ‘branches’ and, within each of those, the deployment ‘rings’. A second important issue is to understand the difference between ‘updates’ (additional feature and services) and patches/fixes (security updates). The first of these is described in detail below while the second will happen as and when they deigned necessary by Microsoft.

For a specific primer on Windows 10’s main Security features see Windows 10 – the top 7 enterprise security features

Windows 10 updating: Current Branch (CB) – Windows 10 Home

This is plainly just the old Windows Update (WU) that home users have grown used to since its appearance in 2003 with Patch Tuesday but there are some important subtleties. Instead of the current monthly patching cycle, some updates will be applied on an ongoing basis, including Defender updates and what would once have been called ‘out of band’ security patches. Bigger updates covering new features will happen every four months, nudging Windows evolution along more rapidly than in the past.

In short, security fixes might coincide with CB updates but are, at a deeper level, independent of them and can happen on any timescale Microsoft chooses.

[Source:- Techworld]

Windows 10 build 14393.576 rolling out on PC and Mobile for Release Preview and Production rings

A new cumulative update for Windows 10 on PC and Mobile is rolling out this Patch Tuesday, featuring a number of new bug fixes and under the hood improvements. Today’s update is rolling out for both Release Preview and Production Rings, meaning the public is getting this update too.

The update brings the Windows 10 build number to 14393.576 (KB3206632), up from the build released last week which was 14393.479. Here’s a changelog:

  • Improved reliability of Security Support Provider Interface.
  • Addressed a service crash in CDPSVC that in some situations could lead to the machine not being able to acquire an IP address.
  • Addressed issue where a Catalog-signed module installation does not work on Nano Server.
  • Addressed issue with Devices left with Hello on for an excessive amount of time will not go into power savings mode.
  • Addressed issue with gl_pointSize to not work properly when used with drawElements method in Internet Explorer 11.
  • Addressed issue where Azure Active Directory-joined machines after upgrading to Windows 10 Version 1607 cannot sync with Exchange.
  • Addressed additional issues with app compatibility, updated time zone information, Internet Explorer.
  • Security updates to Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Uniscribe, Common Log File System Driver.

Update has just started rolling out now, so if you can’t see it just yet, don’t worry, the update is still propagating throughout Windows Update and may take a few minutes to show.

 

 

[Source:- windowscentral]

Advanced Phone System Rings Up Savings, Efficiency

Phone System

What holds many firms back from migrating to a unified communications system is hesitation over leaving their familiar phone system … but that didn’t stop ELSA.

Sometimes circumstances give a business the push it needs to take that leap to a new technology. That was the case with ELSA, an Elwood, Ind., automotive component manufacturer that specializes in fuel tanks, exhaust systems, and structural components for original equipment manufacturers.

As Bob Bakehorn, ELSA Information System Group leader, explained, his business was compelled to look into a new phone system after 17 years. Their provider warned them that their voicemail would stop working on the setup they had. However, the options offered by that provider were designed for larger corporations than their 430 employee outfit.

At that point ELSA was compelled to shop for a new provider with no frame of reference for expectations and current costs. As ELSA was not in the habit of switching providers every few years, Bakehorn said that they wanted to be sure their selection would be one they could live with for a decade or more.

In the course of shopping for the system—which took close to a year and involved researching many reviews of services, licenses and bids—Bakehorn found that many phone vendors offered very low upfront costs, but that didn’t make them a sound value. For example, one offered a deal of no upfront costs at all, rolling everything into a monthly fee.

While that can appear attractive to a business that doesn’t have a lot of capital to invest, a closer investigation showed that it would be false economy. Assessing what the cost would be over time for such a system reveals that the costs escalate, particularly in a package that requires additional licenses for each phone feature—such as one license for voicemail over the phone and another for access to voicemail over the computer.

Though other companies offered cheaper packages, ELSA’S management concluded that Digium’s business phone system best met their needs—and did so at the best price. It offered “the best deal for everything we needed,” Bakehorn recalled. He said that the reliability of the system and the simplicity of the licensing were particularly appealing.

The company transitioned to Digium over the course of a couple of months. It had the system run in parallel with its existing phone system from April to June 2015 and then completed the switchover in July.

Phone System Provides More Efficient Communications

As a result of the migration, ELSA now has more efficient communications. The identifying information on a call in the new system lets the recipient know which call is important and/or urgent, and it  provides direct access to new messages, Bakehorn explains.

In contrast, the old system didn’t sort and prioritize the voicemails in the same way, forcing people to listen through all the old voicemails to get to the latest message. The improvement is important in a business in which employees and managers have to keep in touch and learn about a problem with a part right away.

Digium’s system also costs less than the old system—even after factoring in the cost of network installation and fiber—because it eliminates the need for costly labor maintenance and repairs.

For the setup, ELSA opted for fiber to cover long distances, as they have 500- and 700-foot runs between cabinet locations. The fiber is protected and armored, which is reassuring in the automotive supply environment that has welding equipment, lift trucks and other potential hazards to delicate wires.

Overall, Bakehorn is very pleased with the performance of the new UC system. He’s also satisfied with the outlook for the system, which meets their needs now and can grow with the company in the future.
[Source:- Internetnews]