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Goodbye Patch Tuesday: Windows 7, 8.1 Patches Go Monthly

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Patch Tuesday is soon to be a thing of the past. Beginning in October, Microsoft will deploy fixes for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012 with a single cumulative monthly patch. The move is designed help reduce fragmentation across your company’s PCs. The new system is right in the line with how updates are currently deployed for Windows 10.

It’s a big departure from the current system, under which Microsoft sporadically releases individual patches for the older platforms. That has some advantages, allowing IT administrators to selectively deploy updates as needed, but it also comes with some serious drawbacks. Under the current system, individual PCs frequently wind up with different updates installed, which causes syncing problems, boosts scan times, and ups testing complexity. Even just pinpointing the right patches before applying them can be a pain.

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Here’s how the new system will work. In October, up-to-date PCs running the older platforms will receive just a single package of security and stability fixes from Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), System Center Configurations Manager (SCCM) and the Microsoft Update Catalog. If you delay the update in October, you’ll be prompted to install it again in November, along with another single set of patches for that month, and so on. Each month’s update will include patches for all previously-uninstalled months, from October onwards.

Eventually, older updates will begin to be included in the monthly patch rollouts, dating all the way back to Service Pack 1 for Windows 7. That means that — at some point — you’ll be able to get fully up to date with just a single installation, no matter the current state of your PC.

Microsoft is allowing one exception for its new all-in-one update system, affording the ability to download and deploy security patches separately from stability fixes. That will reduce the size of the initial update needed to secure your company’s PCs as quickly as possible. Those updates will be available from WSUS, SCCM and the Microsoft Update Catalog, not Windows Update.

Servicing Stack and Adobe Flash updates won’t be included in the rollups. Microsoft will move to the same monthly rollup model for the .NET Framework in October too.

If you like to micromanage your systems, this might not sound like good news. In fact, we don’t actually know just yet is whether or not it will be possible to pick and choose specific updates for your systems. But since Windows 10 does not offer that kind of precision, our best guess is that Windows 7 and 8.1 users will find themselves in the same boat.