Windows 10 Enterprise Users Must Pay Microsoft To Not Get Updates

Individual users who download Microsoft's latest operating system -- Windows 10, being released starting Wednesday -- will have to agree to automatic, ongoing and "without any additional notice" future software updates. But enterprise users will retain more control over when and how their systems are updated -- for a price.

The new OS upgrade will be free to consumers and small-business users as part of the Windows shift to an as-a-service delivery, but the update is being handled differently for enterprise customers, who will begin seeing Windows 10 on August 1.

The transition to Windows-as-a-service means home and small-business users will no longer have the option of updating when they want by buying individual licenses to a new version of the software. That's why Microsoft has described Windows 10 as the "last" version of its OS. Enterprise users who make the move to Windows 10 will have different options for managing updates, however.

"[T]he general update story doesn't change for the enterprise, except for a few new options like Windows Update for Business, and the Long Time Servicing Branch being available," said Johan Arwidmark, a Microsoft MVP in system center cloud and data center management. "I'm happy with the options for updates that are available for the enterprise."

However, one leading Windows expert noted that the new software rollout will also affect how enterprises have traditionally paid for accessing and managing Windows updates.

Paying Not To Get Updates

"Most enterprise users will get updates automatically, just like consumers, but unlike consumers many enterprises are very fussy about updates," Paul DeGroot, a Microsoft licensing expert and principle consultant at Pica Communications, told us.

Those more finicky enterprise users, typically turn off automatic updates for all PCs in their organizations, DeGroot said. Instead, as updates roll out, they are collected by a Windows Server Update...

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