Microsoft splits 'quality' updates from Monthly Rollup bundles

April 26, 2017 // 11:04 a.m.

Tags: #creators-update #michael-niehaus #microsoft #monthly-rollup #patch #patch-tuesday #security #update #update-tuesday #windows #windows-10

Microsoft's decision to shift its software updates into monolithic Monthly Rollup cumulative bundles is looking to be on shaky ground as the company announces that it will be splitting non-security updates out from this month forward.

Announced back in August 2016, Microsoft's Monthly Rollup programme represented one of the biggest shake-ups to its update roadmap since the launch of the Patch Tuesday cycle. Rather than the traditional method of breaking down the month's scheduled updates into individual patches, the Monthly Rollup bundles - as the name suggests - offer but a single monolithic update containing every patch currently available for the system, including those released during previous months.

For those doing a fresh install of Windows, the move is undeniably handy: It's far quicker for Windows Update to install and apply a single update containing every patch and change yet released than a whole bunch of individual updates. For corporate users, a group which has proven generally unwilling to upgrade to Windows 10 from previous releases, it represented a loss of control: Rather than being able to approve or deny individual patches to address compatibility issues or undesirable side-effects, users are instead only able to approve or deny the Monthly Rollup as a whole.

At the time, Microsoft admitted selected patch types would be excluded from the bundles: Anything which services a separate software stack or third-party package, such as Adobe Flash Player, would still be offered as a standalone patch. Now, the company is moving still further away from the all-in-one bundle model with the announcement that 'quality' updates are to be separated from 'security' updates from this month forward.

'Based on feedback from customers, we are making some adjustments to the updates that we are releasing for Windows 10, version 1703 (also known as the “Creators Update”). With these changes, we will routinely offer one (or sometimes more than one) additional update each month,' explained Microsoft's Michael Niehaus in a blog post. 'These additional cumulative updates will contain only new non-security updates, so they will be considered “Updates” in WSUS and Configuration Manager. Note that we may occasionally identify non-security fixes that address more critical issues that could be affecting organisations. In those rare cases, a cumulative update would be considered as “Critical Updates” in WSUS and Configuration Manager.'

The move comes as Microsoft admits it has run into compatibility issues with the Creators Update, stating it is actively blocking the update from appearing in the Windows Update system for devices with known issues and warning users not to manually install the update.

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