In recognition of “the public health” situation, MS will pause publishing its optional non-security releases starting in May. This is discussed in an item dated March 24, entitled “Timing for upcoming optional C and D releases” at the Windows Message Center (MS DOCs). The optional C and D releases represent classifications for updates that fix bugs, improve stability, change the WU environment itself, or add capability to the targeted Windows release.
Forgoing such releases means that admins can concentrate exclusively on security updates and other aspects of their jobs, as the pandemic grinds its way forward. The Patch Tuesday release, aka “monthly security updates” or “B release” will continue unabated. And if MS finds a compelling need to issue an out-of-band security update outside this schedule, I’m sure they’ll do that too. Here’s the skinny straight from the afore-linked DOCs page:
Full announcement text from the Windows Message Center.
[Click image for full-sized view.]
What Security Updates Only for WU Might Portend
Inquiring minds — including mine — no doubt want to know what this all means. I’m guessing here, but I think it may mean that the 2004 Feature Update expected for April release may not materialize until later this year. Think about it. MS has extended the “end of service date” for 1709 until October 13, 2020 to permit companies to focus on coronavirus issues. (1709 was originally scheduled to retire on April 13, 2020.)
To me, this strongly suggests that MS may hold off on 2004 to avoid potential distractions, and the usually flurry of activity (issues, fixes, and updates) that generally follows a feature update release. I’m inclined to believe that MS will keep things deliberately quiet for some time, to let people — including IT professionals — concentrate on more important matters during the health crisis. How surprisingly humble of them, and welcome for its kind consideration.
Author: Ed Tittel
Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.