When you think of product names like Windows Home and Windows Pro, you think of… well… products. This has changed in Windows 10. There are different editions of Windows 10, like Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, and Windows 10 Enterprise but there are ALSO streams of those editions. The main stream is called Current Branch or CB for short, that receives all upgrades (new versions) and updates (patches) from Microsoft within a few days of their release. CB is what all home users get and what most small business corporate Pro users will get.
There are however, two other streams or branches. The one most often discussed is LTSB or Long Term Servicing Branch. LTSB is slightly stripped down version of Windows 10 that Microsoft guarantees will be available for 10 years and will not require upgrades. This is a separate download and acts much more like a full product than a branch. LTSB is only available to Open License and Enterprise Agreement corporate customers.
The other stream or branch, is called Current Branch For Business or CBB for short, and that is a mystery to most people. Unlike LTSB, CBB can be used by anyone. CBB allows you to delay upgrades (new versions) and updates (patches) where as CB does not. Current Branch For Business is NOT and edition or version of Windows 10, instead it is a SETTING in Windows 10. The way to ‘source’ Current Branch for Business is to enabling DEFER UPGRADES in your Windows Update settings.
Simply clicking the DEFER UPDATES checkbox will delay new versions of Windows 10 by four months.
Manually setting DEFER UPDATES is too time consuming for most companies so you can easily set it via Group Policy. If you don’t already have the ADMX templates for Windows 10 TH2 (November 2015) or newer, you can get them directly from Microsoft HERE. Once you have them in your Active Directory, you can expand:
- COMPUTER CONFIGURATION > POLICIES > WINDOWS COMPONENTS > WINDOWS UPDATE
Then you can find DEFER UPGRADES AND UPDATES. In that GPO you can set the how many MONTHS you want to delay upgrades and how many WEEKS you want to delay updates. The thing to remember is that simply clicking ENABLE on this policy changes your Windows 10 to Current Branch for Business which does nothing other than delay your updates 4 months. Let me say that another way, if you click ENABLE and leave the numbers at zero, your UPGRADES will be delayed by 4 months. So if you set a number in DELAY UPGRADES to say 4 (like in the screen shot to the right), you will actually be delaying your updates 8 months (4 + 4).
Another CRITICAL POINT for this is that CBB only works with Windows Update For Business (WUfB) and does not work with Windows Server Update Server (WSUS). If you are using WSUS you already control the updates so this setting is ignored.
WUfB is still not released as of December 2015 but it is a WEB based WSUS replacement that allows you to create your own upgrade ‘rings’ but does NOT allow you to block specific updates. Microsoft has seen too many problems with IT staff no selecting critical updates to allow this pick and choose world to continue. In the future the only option will be to DELAY updates and upgrades.
If you are still confused you might find these two posts helpful: