While we Microsoft watchers, partners and customers continue to try to make sense of the multiple new editions of Windows 10 -- and the likely upgrade paths to them -- there's a piece of the puzzle that's more important than the versions themselves.That piece is the Windows as a Service story, anchored by three different "servicing branches." Which versions of Windows 10 include support for servicing branches is going to be a crucial piece of information for business users, especially, when considering the move to Windows 10.
Microsoft officials have gone public with bits of the servicing-branch story over the past several months. But some of the company's reseller partners are seemingly privy to more of the story and are starting to talk, too. Here's what I'm hearing and starting to piece together, at this point.
There are going to be three Windows 10 servicing branches when the product launches: Current Branch (CB), Current Branch for Business (CBB) and Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB). Different versions of Windows 10 will give users access to different servicing branches.
Those running Windows 10 Home will have just one choice -- the Current Branch. That means those users will have to take any new features, fixes and security updates that Microsoft pushes to them via Windows Update. (They will be pushed after Windows Insiders and Microsoft itself tests them.) Windows 10 Home users won't have the option of delaying or deferring anything. And for many consumers, that will be OK, if not welcome.
Those running Windows 10 Pro are going to have two options: Current Branch or Current Branch for Business. The CB means, as with Home, that users will have to take all feature fixes and security updates as they're made available by Microsoft via Windows Update. But the CBB option will give Pro users more flexibility about when they apply the new features, fixes and security updates from Microsoft.