Windows 7, 8.1 move to Windows 10 update model

Updates will now come as a single rollup instead of individual fixes. Security-only update also planned.

Windows 7, 8.1 move to Windows 10 update model
Credit: Microsoft

If you are a holdout who did not make the move to Windows 10, you're going to see its influence on your legacy operating system anyway. Microsoft is changing the way it delivers updates to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, mirroring the delivery model of Windows 10.

Normally a Windows update for 7 or 8.1 would mean a number of individual updates. Every Patch Tuesday you got 6, 10, 15 or whatever number of individual updates, each with their own number. However, starting in October, Microsoft will release all Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 updates using a "Monthly Rollup" method similar to the cumulative rollup of all fixes in one lump sum.

The update process will also be added to Windows Server 2008 and Server 2012. 

According to Nathan Mercer in the Windows Blog, Microsoft said that while the past approach allowed customers to be selective with the updates they deployed, it also led to fragmentation among PCs as customers clicked off only certain updates. This led to numerous problems, especially for enterprise customers.

Mercer wrote: 

The new rollup model gives you fewer updates to manage, greater predictability and higher quality updates. The outcome increases Windows operating system reliability by eliminating update fragmentation and providing more proactive patches for known issues. Getting and staying current will also be easier with only one rollup update required. Rollups enable you to bring your systems up to date with fewer updates and will minimize administrative overhead to install a large number of updates.

In addition to the monthly rollup, Microsoft will issue a monthly “security-only” update that exclusively focuses on security issues addressed for that particular month. That's different from the Monthly Rollup, which is cumulative. So, the December Monthly Rollup will have everything released in November, October, etc., while the security-only update will be for each specific month.

The security-only update will allow enterprises to download as small of an update as possible while still maintaining more secure devices, Microsoft said.

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