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Windows 10 Servicing Branch Concept Print
September 2016
This KB article provides information about the servicing options available in Windows 10. When planning for Windows 10 Update options there are 3 branches of interest:
  • Current Branch (CB): Receive feature upgrades immediately after Microsoft makes them available publicly.
  • Current Branch for Business (CBB): Defer receiving feature upgrades for a period of approximately four months after Microsoft makes them available publicly, to provide IT administrators with time to perform pre-deployment testing.
  • Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB): Receive only servicing updates for the duration of their Windows 10 deployment in order to reduce the number of non-essential changes made to the device. LTSB is only available to Windows 10 Enterprise customers.

As of July 2017, Microsoft applied the following Windows 10 naming changes as part of their alignment with their Office 365 ProPlus offering:

  • Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) = Current Branch (CB)
  • Semi-Annual Channel = Current Branch for Business (CBB)
  • Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) = Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB)

 

From Current Branch to Current Branch for Business

When the development of a new Windows 10 feature upgrade is complete, it is initially offered to Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) computers; those computers configured for Semi-Annual Channel will receive the feature upgrade (with additional fixes) at a later date, generally at least four months later.

The process to configure a PC for Semi-Annual Channel is simple. The Defer upgrades setting needs to be configured, either manually (through the Settings app), by using Group Policy, or by using mobile device management (MDM).

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As of Windows 10 version 1709, the Windows Update -> Advanced settings page has changed to the following.

From Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) to Semi-Annual Channel

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Service Option Comparison:


Windows 10 servicing options
Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)Semi-Annual Channel
Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC)
Availability of new feature upgrades for installation Immediate Deferred by ~4 months Not applicable
Supported editions Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Education, Windows 10 Enterprise,
IoT Core, IoT Core Pro
Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Education, Windows 10 Enterprise,
IoT Core Pro
Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB
Minimum length of servicing lifetime Approximately 4 Months Approximately 8 months 10 years
Ongoing installation of new feature upgrades required to receive servicing updates Yes Yes No
Supports Windows Update for release deployment Yes Yes Yes
Supports Windows Server Update Services for release deployment Yes (excludes Home) Yes Yes
Supports Configuration Manager/configuration management systems for release deployment Yes (excludes Home) Yes Yes
First party browsers included Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11 Microsoft Edge, IE11 IE11
Notable Windows system apps removed None None Microsoft Edge, Windows Store Client, Cortana (limited search available)
Notable Windows universal apps removed None None Outlook Mail/Calendar, OneNote, Weather, News, Sports, Money, Photos, Camera, Music, Clock

Source: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/itpro/windows/manage/introduction-to-windows-10-servicing