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Microsoft takes back control of Windows 7 and 8.1 updates

In May, Microsoft introduced a Convenience Rollup for Windows 7 SP1 that brought the operating system fully up to date.

The company also announced that it would be issuing monthly update rollups for Windows 7 and 8.1, as well as Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Those rollups only contained non-security updates, so you could still choose which security patches to apply, which to avoid, and when to apply them. Not anymore.

Based on user feedback - Microsoft claims - from October onwards, the software giant will be releasing a single Monthly Rollup that contains both security and reliability fixes in a single update.

Microsoft explains the change, saying:

"By moving to a rollup model, we bring a more consistent and simplified servicing experience to Windows 7 SP1 and 8.1, so that all supported versions of Windows follow a similar update servicing model. The new rollup model gives you fewer updates to manage, greater predictability, and higher quality updates. The outcome increases Windows operating system reliability, by eliminating update fragmentation and providing more proactive patches for known issues.

The rollup will be cumulative, so if you skip or miss the October rollup, the November one that replaces it will have all the October updates, as well as the latest ones.

If you don’t want to install that rollup, there will be another option as Microsoft is planning to release a single monthly security-only update. This will contain all of the security patches for that particular month (none from previous months). Unlike the Monthly Rollup, this won’t be available through Windows Update - you’ll need to get it from WSUS, SCCM, or the Microsoft Update Catalog.

There will also be a .NET Framework Monthly Rollup.

As to the reason for this latest change, it’s simple really. Microsoft says:

"Historically, we have released individual patches for these platforms, which allowed you to be selective with the updates you deployed. This resulted in fragmentation where different PCs could have a different set of updates installed leading to multiple potential problems:

What's your take on this latest change: a good move, or another example of Microsoft wrestling back control from its users? Leave your comments below.

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