Since the original release in July of 2015 there have been six versions of Windows 10 released in total:
- Version 1507 (Codenamed Threshold 1)
- Version 1511 (Codenamed Threshold 2 aka the November Update)
- Version 1607 (Codenamed Redstone aka the Anniversary Update)
- Version 1703 (Codenamed Redstone 2 aka the Creators Update)
- Version 1709 (Codenamed Redstone 3 aka the Fall Creators Update)
- Version 1803 (Codenamed Redstone 4 aka the Spring Creators Update)
Microsoft’s near term roadmap is to release two more feature updates every year. Version 1809 (Codenamed Redstone 5) is due later this year.
The number and frequency of releases coupled with new servicing models has led to a lot of confusion in the industry around managing servicing branches, quality updates vs. feature updates and the cadence of the release cycle of Windows as a Service (WaaS). In this post I’d like to focus on two simple things you can do to simplify your windows 10 updates if you are using System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).
- Automatic Deployment Rules (ADRs)
ADRs let you automate how, when and what software updates are applied to your systems using repeatable, template, scheduled business rules. There are many good posts on ADRs and some very good videos by Jason Sandys (A fellow MVP) so I’m going to focus on Filters.
If you are using SCCM to update your Windows 10 systems you will notice that in the Software Updates there are a lot of Windows 10 updates. That is because as we know there are many different Windows 10 versions. Most organization will not be running all versions and do not need to be bothered with many of the available updates. For instance, if you search for all Windows 10 updates, you will see more than 150 updates. If you are only running Windows 10 1703 the majority of those updates will not apply to you. If you use a filter, you can reduce the number of irrelevant updates significantly. Consider this ADR filter:
It returns at all updates for Windows 10 limited in the following ways:
- The 64 bit Windows 10 1703
- Updates that haven’t been superseded
- Updates that are classified as either Critical, Security, Update Rollups or Updates
This filter reduces the number of updates in the update group from over 150 to just 4 items. A little bit more manageable.
You may also notice that I have added the keyword “Malicious” to include the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) as I find it useful to include in my ADRs.
You can use the search criteria in a similar way if you are creating software update groups manually.
I use filters regularly to help organize my software update groups and create some order from the chaos that is Windows 10 updating.