Microsoft Resumes Optional Monthly Windows Updates

Windows Patch

One of the many ways the ongoing global coronavirus health crisis has changed the world of Windows is in how Microsoft rolled out the optional monthly updates for the OS.

The software titan was forced to pause the rollout of these cumulative updates for Windows 10 devices in March. But now that things are slowly come back to normal, the company is ready to resume the program next month.

These are, of course, known as the C and D line of updates.

Alongside that, the company has also announced a series of changes for these releases aimed at streamlining the testing of these optional updates, without interfering with the regular Patch Tuesday cycle of releases.

First up, these updates are no longer now called optional, but instead come with the preview tag. For example, this is how such an update will now show up in Windows Update:

2020-07 Cumulative Update Preview for Windows 10 version 2004 for x86-based systems (KB1234567)

Secondly, Microsoft will no longer release these in the WSU or Windows Server in the WSUS channel, in order to ensure a consistent update management experience across all supported versions of Windows in a company environment.

And finally, while these optional updates previously landed in the C and D weeks, they will now go live in week C exclusively. This is done in order to provide everyone with more time for testing until next month’s Patch Tuesday.

This is how things stack up now:

  • B week = second week of each month (Patch Tuesday)
  • C week = third week of each month
  • D week = fourth week of each month

So, beginning July 2020, the preview updates would only land in the third week of each month.

No change for the Patch Tuesday schedule, which is of course, how most of the user base gets their versions of Windows serviced.

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