Here we can see, “Now Windows 10 Has C, B, and D Updates. What is Microsoft Smoking?”
According to Microsoft, Windows 10 has “B,” “C,” and “D” updates—but never “A” updates! Furthermore, these updates are released at different times, contain various things, and are offered to different people. Let’s break all this down.
What Is a Cumulative Quality Update?
Microsoft calls these “quality updates,” and everyone is released once per month. This distinguishes them from the large “feature updates” just like the October 2018 Update and 19H1 that are released once every six months, usually within the Spring and Fall.
Quality updates are cumulative, which suggests they contain all the fixes from previous updates. So, once you install the December cumulative update, you get the new security fixes from December as everything within the November and October updates, albeit you haven’t installed those previous updates.
And, if you’re updating a replacement PC, you have one big cumulative update package to put in. So you don’t need to install updates one by one and reboot in between each.
That’s all great, but the way Microsoft handles C and D updates is simply bizarre. First, Microsoft tricks people it calls “seekers” into installing updates before they’re fully tested. But almost none of those people even realize they’re signing up to be “seekers.”
“B” Updates: Patch Tuesday
The big updates most people are conversant in begin on “Patch Tuesday,” the second Tuesday of the month. These are called “B” updates because they’re released within the second week of the month. That explains why there are no “A” updates, as Microsoft doesn’t generally release updates within the first week of the month.
B updates are the foremost important updates, featuring new security fixes. They also contain previously released security fixes from prior B updates and previously released bug fixes from prior C and D updates.
They’re the most vital sort of Windows Update. They’re also predictable for system administrators, who know when to expect them.
“C” and “D” Updates: “Optional” Preview Updates
“C” and “D” updates are released within the third and fourth weeks of the month, respectively. Unfortunately, these don’t include any new security updates.
These updates include new bug fixes and enhancements for other non-security issues. However, Microsoft says C and D updates are “optional,” and Windows Update won’t automatically install them on your PC.
According to Microsoft, “D” updates typically include the bulk of non-security updates. This provides people with a couple of weeks to check before those non-security fixes are released to everyone within the next B update. In addition, Microsoft sometimes releases “C” updates within the third week of the month for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and older versions of Windows 10, which provides people longer to check them.
“C” and “D” Updates Are For Unwitting Seekers
Here’s where it gets ugly: Windows Update doesn’t automatically install C and D updates on most PCs. However, it does install C and D updates once you head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and click on “Check for Updates.” In Microsoft’s world, this causes you to be a “seeker” who wants to check these updates before most Windows users get them. Microsoft disclosed this during a recent blog post.
So, if you click “Check for Updates” within the third, fourth, or first week of a month before the subsequent B update has been released, you’ll probably get a C or D update installed on your system. If you never click “Check for Updates,” you’ll persist with the better-tested B updates.
After these updates are “tested” by being unwittingly installed on Windows 10 PCs and Microsoft has confirmed they’re stable with Windows 10’s telemetry, the bug fixes within these updates appear in the next B update. The C and D updates are a beta testing program for B updates happening on stable PCs.
In other words, Microsoft is using people that click the “Check for Updates” button as beta testers for quality fixes instead of counting on the Windows Insider program and its Release Preview ring. It’s bizarre, and it’s an equivalent bad decision that made Microsoft roll out the unstable October 2018 Update to several Windows 10 users who didn’t want it.
It’s not just a theoretical concern. For example, Microsoft recently placed a block on KB4467682, a “D” update causing blue screen crashes on its Surface Book 2 devices. People that never clicked “Check for Updates” and cursed with the B updates wouldn’t have encountered this problem.
Microsoft has repeatedly said only “advanced users” should click the “Check for Updates” button, but that warning only appears in blog posts that only advanced users will read. the quality Windows Update screen in Windows 10 provides no such warnings. It’s ridiculous, but that’s the way Windows 10 works immediately.
Out-of-Band Updates: Urgent Patches Only
Microsoft also occasionally releases “out-of-band” updates. These are urgent patches that don’t follow the traditional release schedule.
For example, if there’s an enormous new security bug that has got to be fixed immediately or a drag causing some Windows 10 PCs to blue screen, Microsoft may fix it with an instantaneous patch. Meaning everyone gets the fix as soon as possible.
Fixes in out-of-band updates also will appear within the next cumulative update. So, if there’s an out-of-band update released in late December, it’ll also appear in January’s B update on Patch Tuesday.
Feature Updates: Big Updates Every Six Months
There also are “feature updates,” which are big upgrades to Windows 10 and are released every six months. These break away the monthly “quality updates.” Instead, they’re entirely new versions of Windows 10, and Microsoft gradually rolls them bent PCs.
The most recent big update was Windows 10’s October 2018 Update, which skipped the discharge Preview ring and wasn’t properly tested by Windows Insiders before Microsoft released it to people that clicked “Check for Updates.” Microsoft loves abusing that “Check for Updates” button.
Microsoft had to tug the update for deleting some people’s files and remains to fix bugs in it over two months later. However, it’s technically considered stable and is slowly rolling down a few Windows 10 users.
This would all make tons more sense if Windows Update provided a far better interface that told people exactly what they were stepping into. For example, users shouldn’t accidentally become testers simply because they habitually click the “Check for Updates” button. And, if that’s how the Check for Updates button goes to figure, Microsoft must put an enormous warning about it within the Settings app—not just in blog posts.
- What is a C update?
“C” and “D” updates are released within the third and fourth weeks of the month, respectively. These don’t include any new security updates. Instead, these updates include new bug fixes and enhancements for other non-security issues.
- What is the newest Windows version 2020?
The latest version of Windows 10 is the May 2021 Update, version “21H1,” which was released on May 18, 2021. Microsoft releases new major updates every six months. These major updates can take a while to succeed in your PC since Microsoft and PC manufacturers do extensive testing before fully rolling them out.
- Is there getting to be Windows 11?
Microsoft has announced that Windows 11 will be available for brand spanking new machines starting October 5, 2021. Updates to existing Windows 10 users should start coming at the beginning of 2022, and Microsoft hopes to possess offered Windows 11 to each compatible machine by mid-2022.
- Microsoft has removed the soft floor for CPUs & TPM: now requires 8th Gen Intel & AMD Zen+ or newer, and TPM 2.0 (not 1.2)
- Microsoft was handing these out at the Windows 10 press event today (x-post from /r/fellowkids)