Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Update servicing moving to Rollup model

In August this year, Windows announced some changes for servicing models for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Due to the new Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 servicing changes, users now will have to download fewer updates. This has also made Windows OS more reliable. This new model eliminates update fragmentation and provides more proactive patches for the servicing model for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

Users will be happy to know that from October 11, 2016 onwards, these servicing changes have taken place. Under these changes, Microsoft is moving to the rollup model for Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2 updates.

Windows 7 & Windows 8.1 Update servicing changes

Due to the new Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 servicing change, all supported versions of Windows will now follow a similar update servicing model, bringing a more consistent and simplified servicing experience.

Here’s a list of what Microsoft is going to release under the Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 servicing changes.

  • Security-only quality update (Referred to as a “B week” update): The Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 servicing changes will now see security-only quality updates. Basically, it will be a single update containing all new security fixes for that month. This will be published to WSUS using the “Security Updates” classification. This update (like all updates) will have a unique KB number.
  • Security monthly quality rollup (Referred to as a “B week” update): This is the single update containing all new security fixes for that month (the same ones included in the security-only update released at the same time), as well as fixes from all previous monthly rollups. This can also be called the “monthly rollup.” This monthly rollup will contain the same new security fixes as the security-only update; it will have the same severity as the security-only update for that month. This update too will have a unique KB number.
  • Preview of the monthly quality rollup (Referred to as a “C week” update): The Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 servicing changes will also have a preview of new non-security fixes from the previous month and the next month. This “preview rollup will start in early 2017 and continue for several months. Again, like the other updates, the preview updates too will have unique KB number.

A typical schedule of these updates will look as follows:

Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 servicing changes

So basically, you now have some choices for updating Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs.  These choices closely correspond to the way you update Windows today.

If you are using WSUS, then you need to follow certain steps; while if you are using ConfigMgr, there are slightly different steps.

Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 servicing changes

What if you want to install security-only updates and no other fixes?

Under the new Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 servicing changes, Microsoft has segregated the updates into two categories; namely ‘security-only’ and ‘non-security’ (or others). Hence, it will be easier for you to install security-only updates just as a single update.

Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 servicing changes

The security-only update and the monthly rollup both are published using the “Security Updates” classification. Hence, existing automatic approval rules in WSUS in ConfigMgr would approve both the security-only and the monthly rollup each month. Whether you use WSUS or Configuration Manager, you can apply the same automatic deployment rules.

If during the installation, monthly rollup fixes get installed first, then the security-only updates will no longer be applicable. This is because; all the security-only updates will be included in the monthly rollup. However, if the security-only updates get installed first, monthly rollup fixes will still be applicable. That’s because the monthly rollup fixes consist of some non-security patches as well.

Precautions to take while installing the updates

For a single user, if an issue arises after the installation of the updates; it can be quickly rolled. However, for an organization, this is not always possible. Hence, Microsoft suggests organizations to first ‘ring’ the update deployment to few pilot groups and see if it’s working fine.

To know more about these new Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 servicing changes, read about it on Microsoft Technet.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.