Microsoft Windows 10 supportability statement

Microsoft Windows 10 introduced Windows as a service to simplify the lives of IT pros and maintain a consistent Windows 10 experience for its customers. With Windows 10, there are new considerations for managing your Windows updates. For more information, see the Microsoft articles on Deployment Rings and Servicing Channels.

Windows as a Service patching concepts

In October 2016, Microsoft began releasing cumulative updates. A cumulative update deploys a single update that includes all updates that were previously delivered as separate KBs. This ensures more consistent patch delivery and system security, as well as feature parity within the Windows 10 environments worldwide.

The following patch types are released monthly:

  • Security-Only updates, a single patch that includes all security patches for this month. These patches are released via WSUS and the SCCM. They are not available via Windows Update. They provide value to enterprises that require security, but do not wish to adopt new features. These are non-cumulative updates. When leveraging Security-only updates rather than Monthly Rollups, each month’s update must be installed to remain fully patched and secure. These patches are released under the Security classification.
  • Monthly Quality Rollup updates, a cumulative monthly patch released to WSUS, SCCMand Windows Update. If a patch is missed, installing the next month’s patch will bring the system fully up to date of all Security and Feature Updates. When installing the Monthly Quality Rollups, Security-Only updates are no longer necessary. We have seen these patches released under Critical, Security or Updates classification.
  • Preview Monthly Quality Rollup updates, a cumulative monthly patch released to WSUS, SCCMand Windows Update. This patch includes new non-security fixes and features for the upcoming month’s Monthly Quality Rollup update. These updates are released under the Updates classification.
  • Windows Feature upgrades, released twice per year, provide OS upgrades and new features. Unlike previous models of releasing Service Packs, or completely new Operating Systems, Microsoft is now releasing Upgrades directly via WSUS, SCCM and Windows Update. Although these updates are large, this has the benefit of simplifying seamless delivery of new features to devices. These updates are released under the Upgrades classification.

Technology

The Patch Management N-able Engine leverages Windows Update’s APIs and Windows Update Agent to retrieve lists of necessary Microsoft patches for devices, as well as installation/removal purposes. Relying on these components ensures product stability and robustness by leveraging Microsoft certified applications to complete patch delivery and security. This also ensures compatibility with future OS updates and third party components.

Support

The Patch Management N-able Engine fully supports the approval and scheduled installation of Security-Only, Monthly Quality Rollups, Monthly Preview Rollups and Windows Feature Upgrades.

When Patch Management N-able Engine is enabled it sets Windows Update in administration mode and gives you complete control of patches available for your current Windows 10 version during its lifecycle.

Security-Only updates

Microsoft has not released Security-Only updates via Windows Update, yet the Patch Management N-able Engine is committed to offer the most compelling N-sight RMM technology available. The Patch Management N-able Engine has been updated to pull Security-Only information directly from the Microsoft Catalog, to allow our partners full flexibility in their patch and security delivery.

Superseded patches

The Patch Management N-able Engine supports patch supersedence. In addition, Microsoft has omitted patch supersedence data from Security-Only updates and Monthly Preview Rollups. The Patch Management N-able Engine creates appropriate relationships between these patches to ensure simplified and accurate reporting to your customers.

The Microsoft support website does not include superseded patches. However, when you view a patch/update in the Microsoft Catalog, its Package Details includes a list of newer updates that replaced it, and a list of the previous updates it is replacing.

For example, if you search for a new KB update that has superseded a previous KB update, the superseded KB update is listed in the new KB Package Details.

The Patch Management N-able Engine supports the deployment and installation of Windows Feature Updates that are released twice per year. The Patch Management N-able Engine enables you to easily control deployment of the latest Windows Feature Update available to your current operating system. We recommend you apply Windows Feature Updates before the end of their lifecycle. Otherwise, Microsoft may install updates depending on the servicing channel and patch deferment options in place.

The ability to defer updates is restricted to Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Business devices only. Windows 10 Home users receive updates as they become available via Windows Update and are not supported by the N-able Engine Patch Manager.

Mission

The Patch Management N-able Engine strives to remain at the forefront of N-sight RMM patch management technology, embracing new concepts, delivering functional and efficient patch automation while adopting and adapting to new trends as quickly as possible.

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