Microsoft paused the release of so-called "C" and "D" updates for Windows 10 and Windows Server in March 2020 because of the global pandemic caused by the Coronovirus. The company plans to resume the delivery of these optional updates for the company's operating systems in July 2020.
Microsoft releases several updates on schedule per month. The most important updates come on the second Tuesday of each month and bring security and non-security updates for all supported versions of Windows and Windows Server. The update is also referred to as "B" updates and Patch Tuesday.
Optional updates, refereed to as "C" and "D" updates, are preview updates that administrators may install on Windows systems; the updates are optional and will be included in the next month when Microsoft releases updates on Patch Tuesday. B,C and D refers to the week in which the updates are released.
Microsoft announced yesterday that it will start to push out the optional updates again from July 2020 onward, but only to devices running Windows 10 version 1809 or later, and only in the third week of a month. The release in the third week should "simplify update management for IT" according to Microsoft.
It seems that Microsoft won't release these optional updates for earlier versions of Windows including Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 anymore.
The updates are marked as preview when they are resumed to better indicate the nature of the update. The release title is adjusted accordingly to indicate the preview nature of the release.
Administrators who manage updates using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) won't see preview releases anymore for Windows 10 or Windows Server in the WSUS channel. Microsoft's reason for the change is that it "ensures a consistent update management experience across all supported versions of Windows".
Here is a quick overview of all the announced changes:
Organizations may use the optional updates for testing purposes and some home administrators may also use these for testing purposes. Most home users of Windows on the other hand are better off without these updates as they should be considered beta when they are released initially.
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