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The complete idiot’s guide to Windows as a Service

May 06 2017

For what feels like the tenth time, Microsoft is changing their terminology/strategy around Windows 10 updates. Below is a recent thread covering the topic (thanks to Ami Casto (@AdaptivaAmi) and SystemCenterDudes (@scdudes) for making me aware of the changes):

Confused about Semi-Annual Channel (Pilot) and Semi-Annual Channel (Broad) Timing


It’s called work for a reason (yes, this is the guide)

Instead of trying to explain how the latest reincarnation of Windows as a service works, below you find some real world guidance you can follow. These steps does involve some work from you part, but that’s typically why you got hired in the first place. So don’t argue, just get on with it :)


  1. Stay away from LTSB versions of Windows 10.
  2. Stay away from OEM versions of Windows 10.
  3. Deploy Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education editions only.
  4. When a new Windows 10 version is released, find a few victims in your organization (including you), and then upgrade these machines to the new version using a task sequence.
  5. Start testing the new Windows 10 version as soon as possible on these machines, and make sure to complete it within 4 – 5 months. That includes report any bugs found to Microsoft etc.. Then, after tests are completed, but not sooner than four months after initial release, upgrade the remaining machines in your environment.
  6. Watch TV-series for a month, I can recommend Vikings, Sense8, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, or Sons of Anarchy to name a few.
    Update: Ami Casto (@AdaptivaAmi) says The Mindy Project should be added to the list of TV series, and Zeng Yinghua (Sandy) (@sandy_tsang) recommends Prison Break and Shield. All very valid comments :)
  7. Repeat the preceding steps for the rest of your IT career.


Note: If you are using ConfigMgr to manage Windows 10, then upgrade to the latest version every time there is a new version available.

Written by Johan Arwidmark

Happy deployment, and thanks for reading!

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