Microsoft will pause all optional non-security updates for supported versions of Windows and server products in May 2020.
“We have been evaluating the public health situation, and we understand this is impacting our customers. In response to these challenges we are prioritizing our focus on security updates,” said the Message Center post.
Starting in May 2020, we are pausing all optional non-security releases (C and D updates) for all supported versions of Windows client and server products to prioritize security and keep customers protected and productive. More information here: https://t.co/G5NcWtIiEQ.
— Windows Update (@WindowsUpdate) March 24, 2020
Specifically, this means the Redmond, Washington-based company will suspend ‘C’ and ‘D’ updates typically released during the third and fourth week of each month. C and D updates generally include non-security improvements and fixes. However, since the delay won’t begin until May, it’s possible we could still receive some new non-security optional updates before then.
The move isn’t surprising. Considering the dramatic increase in remote work, both for Windows users and Microsoft employees, the last thing Microsoft wants is to introduce a bug or other flaw to Windows.
Instead, the company will focus on its monthly security updates — ‘B’ updates — that usually arrive on the second Tuesday of each month. Security updates are far more critical, especially considering Microsoft just disclosed two zero-day vulnerabilities hackers are already actively exploiting.
Engadget also notes that Microsoft will delay the scheduled end of service date for older versions of Windows 10 Enterprise, Education and IoT Enterprise editions. Microsoft only offers service for Windows 10 feature updates for 18 to 30 months, depending on the edition and when the update was released. As such, service for the above Windows 10 updates set to end April 14th, 2020 will instead end on October 13th, 2020. Devices running newer versions of Windows 10 don’t have to worry about end of service changes. You can learn more about Microsoft’s service timelines here.
Windows isn’t the only software seeing delays. Microsoft delayed upcoming updates to its Chromium-based Edge browser as well, in part because Google delayed upcoming Chrome and Chrome OS updates. The search giant has since cancelled the Chrome 82 update and will focus on Chrome 83 instead.