About two months ago rumors came up that updates could become mandatory for machines running editions of Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system.
Details were scarce at the time but it was clear that Microsoft intended to use different update channels based on Windows 10 editions.
It appears that forced updates have been confirmed now through two different sources. If you have installed the RTM build of Windows 10 10240 you have accepted the EULA displayed to you on first start of the system.
If you took the time to read through it you may have stumbled upon a passage detailing system updates.
The Software periodically checks for system and app updates, and downloads and installs them for you.
You may obtain updates only from Microsoft or authorized sources, and Microsoft may need to update your system to provide you with those updates.
By accepting this agreement, you agree to receive these types of automatic updates without any additional notice.
This seems to confirm Microsoft's intention to deploy updates on user systems automatically and without further notification.
On previous versions of Windows, users had options to block updates from being deployed automatically, for instance to run tests before deploying them or waiting a certain time period to make sure updates would not break anything.
In addition to that, Helen Harmetz, Microsoft Senior Product Marketing Manager, confirmed recently that Windows 10 Pro users would not be able to delay updates indefinitely without serious consequences either.
Customers who are embracing Current Branch for Business do need to consume that feature update within the allotted time period of approximately eight months or they will not be able to see and consume the next security update.
If Pro users don't install certain updates within eight months of release, they won't be able to install security updates anymore after that time period.
It remains to be seen how this works out in practice though. It was previously possible to download and install updates from other sources, for instance directly by using Microsoft's Download Center or the monthly security ISO that the company releases.
It is unknown if users may remove updates from the operating system and how those removed updates are handled in this regard.
While it may make sense from a company perspective to deploy updates automatically on user machines, it is problematic for a number of reasons.
First, updates may break things as the past has shown over and over again. While Microsoft gets more data about updates thanks to its Windows Insider program, there is still a chance that issues slip by that break the operating system.
Second, forced updates remove control from users. Most computer systems running previous iterations of Windows may be configured to download and install updates automatically, which is not different from what Microsoft has in mind now, but for those users who block this, it may be a deal breaker.
Side Note: You may disable Windows Update in Services in Windows 10 Build 10240 currently. It remains to be seen if it is possible to block Windows Updates from being deployed directly and forcefully this way. Note that doing so will break other functionality such as the Windows Store.
Now You: Forced Updates, good or bad? (via The Register)
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