By using Intune, organizations can manage devices that are not joined to a domain at all or are joined to Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) alongside your on-premises domain-joined machines.
Specifically, Windows Update for Business allows for:
- The creation of deployment rings, where administrators can specify which devices go first in an update wave, and which ones will come later (to ensure any quality bars are met).
- Selectively including or excluding drivers as part of Microsoft-provided updates
- Integration with existing management tools such as Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), System Center Configuration Manager, and Microsoft Intune.
- Peer-to-peer delivery for Microsoft updates, which optimizes bandwidth efficiency and reduces the need for an on-site server caching solution.
Windows Update for Business provides three types of updates to Windows 10 devices:
- Feature Updates: previously referred to as upgrades, Feature Updates contain not only security and quality revisions, but also significant feature additions and changes; they are released semi-annually.
- Quality Updates: these are traditional operating system updates, typically released the second Tuesday of each month (though they can be released at any time). These include security, critical, and driver updates. Windows Update for Business also treats non-Windows updates (such as those for Microsoft Office or Visual Studio) as Quality Updates. These non-Windows Updates are known as Microsoft Updates and devices can be optionally configured to receive such updates along with their Windows Updates.
- Non-defferrable updates: Currently, antimalware and antispyware Definition Updates from Windows Update cannot be deferred.
Update branch naming changes
As part of the alignment with Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus, Microsoft adopted a common naming convention for the Windows servicing channels:
- Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)- formerly known as the Current Branch- feature updates are available as soon as Microsoft releases them.
- Semi-Annual Channel- formerly known as Current Branch for Business- recommended servicing channel for client machines. This channel allows feature updates for up to 365 days after initial release.
- Long-Term Servicing Channel- formerly known as Long-Term Servicing Branch-recommended ONLY for specialized systems—such as PCs that control medical equipment, point-of-sale systems, and ATMs— devices that typlically perform only a single, important task and do not require frequent updates. This servicing channel is only available to Windows 10 Enterprise.
See Prepare servicing strategy for Windows 10 updates to learn more about building a healthy update strategy.