After evaluating the public health situation and its impacts on customers, Microsoft has decided to pause all optional non-security releases (C and D updates) for Windows. This means OSes like Windows 10 version 1909 through Windows Server 2008 SP2 will only be receiving security updates (B updates). Microsoft will begin with this new policy in May, which indicates that it already has some other updates, perhaps feature updates for Windows already queued up or nearly complete for release in the meantime.
The above referenced C and D updates, which will be suspended, are usually delivered in the third and fourth week of each month, respectively. The next B update is expected on Patch Tuesday, which will be 14th April. If you remember the Windows story from earlier this week – we know Microsoft is currently preparing a patch for the 0-day remote code execution (RCE) flaw which is delivered by specially crafted Adobe Type 1 PostScript format fonts in documents.
Closing down work on things other than security flaws will help prevent those common of garden missteps where the Windows OS is updated and something gets spectacularly broken in the process – a bug or three are often missed despite Microsoft’s hoard of Insider testers.
Engadget reports that Google is following a similar approach to Microsoft. Last week the Mountain View company announced that it had decided to pause Chrome updates while its remote working teams prioritise security fixes.
Back to Microsoft’s business, and another change inspired by Covid-19 appears to be the decision to push back the end of service date (originally 14th April) for the Enterprise, Education and IoT Enterprise editions of Windows 10. Devices packing this OS will continue to receive security updates for an additional six months – until 13th October 2020.