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Microsoft gives businesses some control over automatic updates

Microsoft has given business customers the option of delaying the automatic downloading of Microsoft Windows 10 upgrades and security patches. This is good news, as Microsoft finally seems to have realised that businesses might not want to upgrade or migrate to Windows 10 at its bidding.

The migration from Window’s excellent product of XP has been fraught with problems. Businesses want a stable and ubiquitous operating system that staff are familiar with, which their technical teams can support, based on common applications .

Unfortunately, automatic updates to the operating system, which could be potentially disruptive or even damaging, go against all change control procedures. As part of Micorsoft ‘s version 1511, Microsoft enabled group policy settings that tell Microsoft when to deliver both upgrades and updates to Windows 10 PCs. In Microsoft's lexicon, an upgrade is a collection of feature and functionality improvements; they will appear two to three times each year as Microsoft evolves the operating system. Updates, meanwhile, are much less substantial and far more frequent and include the security vulnerability fixes that appear each month on Patch Tuesday.

The problem with Microsoft's automatic upgrades and security patches has always been that they are usually not requested and just happen. Consequently, most businesses switch auto-updates off as they have robust change control procedures and it is a major failure of process to prevent non-scheduled downtime.

Automatic updates - as well meaning as they are - can cause huge disruption to the business, What's more, most SMEs are still using older versions of Microsoft’s product line, for example XP, which Microsoft no longer supports.

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