Windows as a Service (WaaS)

Introduction

Microsoft’s strategy for deploying, maintaining, and servicing Windows 10 is known as “Windows as a service”. Feature upgrades typically happen twice a year, in March and September. They provide the Operating System (OS) with new features.

The OS is made more dependable by quality updates, which are cumulative upgrades released at least once a month and include security patches and other changes.

The most recent update supersedes all earlier updates since they are cumulative and carry all previous ones. After its original release, each feature upgrade gets quality updates for 18 months. This article covers detailed knowledge of Windows as a Service and how we can use Windows operating system to improve functionality and security.

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Servicing Channels

There are three channels for service. Organizations have the chance to test and comment on features that will be included in the upcoming feature update due to the Windows Insider Program. With feature update releases, the General Availability Channel offers additional functionality. When to roll out updates from the General Availability Channel is up to the organization. Only specialized devices should be utilized in the Long-Term Servicing Channel, which was created for that purpose.

  • General Availability Channel

Annual feature upgrades are accessible on the General Availability Channel. This service model is perfect for feature updates, pilot deployments, and customers like developers who need to use the most recent features. Users can decide when the most recent release enters broad distribution after it has undergone testing and pilot deployment.

Any device not set to delay feature updates is made aware of a feature update when it is officially released by Microsoft so that those devices can promptly install it. However, organizations that use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, or Windows Update for Business can delay the approval and distribution of feature upgrades to particular devices. Depending on the management system’s policy, the content available for the General Availability Channel, in this case, may be available but not immediately required.

  • Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC)

Due to their design, specialized systems, such as those that operate medical equipment, point-of-sale systems, and ATMs, may need a longer servicing period. These gadgets often carry out a single crucial function. Thus they do not require feature updates as frequently as other gadgets in the company. The stability and security of these devices should be prioritized over keeping them up to date with new user interfaces. To keep device security up to date, the LTSC servicing model restricts Enterprise LTSC devices from receiving the customary feature upgrades and only offers quality updates.

  • Windows Insider

Gaining access to feature changes before they are made accessible to the General Availability Channel can be interesting, helpful for future end-user communications, and a way to test for any problems with the upcoming General Availability release for many IT professionals. Windows Insiders can use and install preproduction code on their test computers to get an early look at the upcoming build. Testing the early builds benefits Microsoft and its users since it allows them to find any problems before the update is made available to the general public and then report them to Microsoft.

Benefits of Windows as a Service (WaaS)

Utilizing Windows as a Service has numerous advantages, including:

  • Greater Security

Users can defend their computers against the most recent security threats by keeping them updated.

  • Streamlined Deployment

The Windows as a Service paradigm facilitates the controlled deployment of updates, guaranteeing that crucial systems are constantly up to date.

  • Increased Effectiveness

Windows as a Service can increase IT staff productivity by lowering the requirement for manual updates.

Drawbacks of Windows as a Service (WaaS)

  • Windows as a Service have several disadvantages, but one of the biggest is that it needs an ongoing internet connection. Users without access to a dependable internet connection or those who travel frequently may find this an issue.
  • Furthermore, Windows as a Service is subscription-based, requiring customers to continue paying a monthly charge to utilize the operating system. Some users, particularly those on fixed incomes, may experience financial hardship.
  • Finally, only specific devices, including laptops and PCs, support Windows as a Service. Users that favor other device types, such as tablets or smartphones, may find this bothersome.

Servicing Tools

Many of the management tools that IT used to manage updates in earlier versions of Windows are still applicable today, including:

  • Windows Update

IT can specify which devices are a part of the Semi-Annual Channel and which devices within that channel can postpone updates using Windows Update.

  • Windows Update for Business

Windows Update for Business enables IT to centrally control updates through Group Policy and select which devices to put off upgrades.

  • Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)

By enabling IT professionals to control which specific devices or groups of devices receive the update, WSUS expands the postponement options available to them.

  • System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)

With SCCM, IT can delay and approve updates, target certain devices or groups of devices, control how much bandwidth the Windows update uses, and decide when it should execute.

Applications of Windows as a Service

  • A novel method of distributing and updating the Windows Operating System is known as “Windows as a Service.” Microsoft will distribute new features and upgrades regularly under this strategy.
  • Users can gain from this strategy in various ways, such as more regular upgrades with new features, improved security, and more effective use of system resources. It can assist companies in lowering the expense and difficulty of managing several Windows versions.
  • Additionally, it offers a more reliable platform for app developers to create.

Conclusion

Windows maintenance is evolving. One can still utilize conventional imaging programs like System Center Configuration Manager or the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit for disaster recovery situations and bare-metal deployments of Windows 10.

Similar to delivering earlier versions of Windows, these technologies can be used to deploy Windows 10 images. Since each Windows 10 build has a limited servicing lifespan, images must always reflect the most recent build.

NT services were replaced by Microsoft Windows services, which allow you to develop long-running executable programs that operate in separate Windows sessions.

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