Microsoft is introducing a new concept for supporting the various versions of Windows 10.
The concept is support by Service Branch or Servicing Branch.
A Service Branch is simply a category of service that you will be eligible for depending on the version of Windows you are paying for.
Apparently, there will be four different service branches:
This is the branch that is reserved for Windows Insiders. You see the Windows Insider program will continue even after Windows 10 is RTM’ed.
Not Applicable for this
This is the least flexible branch of the three. It requires Windows users to take any new features, fixes and security updates that Microsoft pushes to them via Windows Update. No choice, complaining or flexibility.
This is a more flexible branch than the Current Branch when it comes to choosing and scheduling updates.
Users who are running Windows on the CBB will have a choice of how they get these updates – whether via Windows Update for Business or Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).
Windows Update for Business is being rolled out with Windows 10 to allow businesses some flexibility with how they roll out updates.
Rumor is, Microsoft will put mechanisms in place to make sure that while CB users can delay some patches, fixes and enhancements for a while, they will not be able to do so indefinitely.
The Long Term Servicing Branch has the most flexibility of all. This group of users can refuse everything but security updates.
This group of customers can also move some or all of their users between branches. Simply put, if you are business on the LTSB, you can have some of your users getting updates via CB, some via CBB and some via LTSB.
This is by far the most flexible branch of all and it’s appropriately reserved for the most expensive version of Windows – Enterprise.
Once again, this branch allows users to take only security fixes and defer taking any new features and to handle them via Windows Update for Business and/or WSUS.
There’s no information out about them right now but it’s not unreasonable to assume that Windows 10 Mobile would be in the Current Branch or CBB because it’s consumer facing.
It’s also not unreasonable to assume that Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise will be in the Long Term Servicing Branch because it’s an enterprise release.
Microsoft has put together a very comprehensive strategy around supporting the various versions of Windows when they go live and it actually makes logical sense.
Enterprise customers have the most flexibility and home users have the least – BUT everyone gets security updates.