Older Windows updates are now expiring to improve performance and user experience.

Why is it important: Not everyone has the benefits of high-speed broadband, and the increasingly remote nature of office work has prompted Microsoft to improve Windows Update by removing old and redundant service packs where possible. This builds on existing work to shrink updates using forward and backward differential compression, which has continued since Windows 10, version 1809.

Windows updates have been a major source of pain for users and IT administrators over the years. Back in 2018 Microsoft disclosed that it will work to reduce the number of quality and security updates for Windows 10 client and server SKUs. Last year, the company began testing small feature updates to Windows 10 to see if it could prevent them from breaking all Windows features and functionality and make life easier. people using their machines with metered connections.

This week, Christine Ahonen, Communications Program Manager, Windows Service and Delivery Group, detailed the next step the company will take to make Windows updates faster and more secure.

To put this in context, Microsoft releases two or three updates for each supported version of Windows each month, which can quickly accumulate in a large number of outstanding updates, increasing the overall size of service packs. And since many of these older updates are included in cumulative updates, the problem gets worse over time.

Microsoft’s solution to this headache is to regularly evaluate old and redundant service packs and mark them as obsolete when they reach a certain size. As a result, you will get better performance in the form of shorter scan times and fewer downloads. At the same time, IT administrators will have a lower risk of deploying older updates that have been superseded by newer, more secure updates. Overdue updates will be clearly marked as such on all release channels.

However, some older service packs may never expire. It is noteworthy that the security-only updates for Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Servers 2008 SP2, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 SP2 do not expire as they only contain fixes for one month, so they do not meet the expiration criteria. However, if a newer update depends on an older package, the latter will not expire until it is replaced by a newer service pack.

In Windows 11, Microsoft is also testing a new way to deliver patches and feature updates using a new technology called Update stack package… The company says this can reduce the size of downloaded files by 40 percent and reduce the likelihood of crashes. In addition, the prevalence of telecommuting and studying makes it difficult to deploy security updates over home Internet connections, all of these steps to ensure that everyone can stay in the loop with minimal hassle.

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