Michael Niehaus at Microsoft announced this morning that Win10 version 1607 is now a Current Branch for Business release. Specifically, the update released on Nov. 8 — Build 14393.447 — now takes its place on the list of builds that are stable enough for general deployment in enterprises.
Oddly, it hasn’t yet been added to the official list of branches and builds, but it will likely appear soon.
As I explained last month:
It took months for Windows 10 Fall Update to stabilize; it’s taken three months for Win10 Anniversary Update to stabilize. Your perception of “stabilize” might vary from mine by a few weeks, but there’s still a significant lag between the initial release of a new official update and the point at which it has acceptably few bugs. During those intervening two or three months, Microsoft is using the public to beta test its product.
The announcement today makes it official: The Anniversary Update is ready for prime time, almost four months after its Aug. 2 release and three weeks after the 14393.447 build appeared.
For most of you, this official anointment doesn’t mean much: If you’re running Win10, you aren’t controlled by a corporate update server, and you followed my advice last month to let loose the 1607 upgrade, you’re already running the CBB build. If you checked the box in Win10 Pro version 1511 that says “Defer feature updates” (Start > Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Advanced Options) you’ll likely receive the upgrade to 1607 in the next few days.
It isn’t clear to me what the Group Policy setting for deferring updates in version 1511 will do, but I suspect it’ll work like the “Defer feature updates” box in the Settings app. (In Win10 Pro version 1511, type gpedit, hit Enter, navigate to Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update and Enable Defer Update.) In version 1607, the Group Policy has changed completely.
For admins, the crowning of 14393.447 as a CBB build is largely ceremonial. It tells you that Microsoft now gives version 1607 a corporate-worthy clean bill of health. The upgrade mechanism hasn’t changed, although Microsoft will be rolling out the ISOs through the normal distribution routes in January. Per Niehaus:
We do expect to publish updated media to the Volume Licensing Service Center and to Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) in January for those customers that need it, but this is primarily just for convenience.
The shift is very much in keeping with Microsoft’s original rollout plans: new versions of Win10 twice a year or so, with each update given a chance stew for a few months before it’s anointed as CBB ready.
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