Windows 7, Windows 8.1 gets new ‘Service Pack’, bundled update scheme detailed

windows 7

The still widely used duo of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are both getting a simplified updates scheme, Microsoft today announced.

The Redmond company currently has its flagship Windows 10 OS to market and maintain, but thankfully, it’s not forgetting about the near 57% of the desktop user base still on the company’s two legacy OSes.

As a result, it’s making updates a much less painful event each and every month. But first, what about the older updates? Microsoft has a plan for that too.

The ‘convenience rollup’

Taking to the TechNet Blog, Microsoft rep Nathan Mercer explained the changes:

We’re happy to announce today that we’re making available a new convenience rollup for Windows 7 SP1 that will help.  This convenience rollup package, available to download from http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Search.aspx?q=3125574, contains all the security and non-security fixes released since the release of Windows 7 SP1 that are suitable for general distribution, up through April 2016.

Mercer notes that this update contains practically all updates released before April 2016. It’s effectively a Service Pack.

While this update is optional, Mercer suggests that it won’t “be offered via Windows Update”.

Windows’ new monthly all-in-one update bundles

But this does set a trend for Microsoft it seems, because from today, the company won’t be releasing the usual slew of pending updates each month. Instead, the company will be rolling the monthly updates into a single package.

“Each month, we will release a single update containing all of the non-security fixes for that month.  We are making this change – shifting to rollup updates, to improve the reliability and quality of our updates,” Mercer explains.

Microsoft will still release security fixes and the like when the need arises though, and this could be more than once a month as we’ve seen in the past.

The updates lump is a welcome change though, especially for those who battle to install various updates each month. However, it also has its apparent issues.

Some updates generally have problems installing on a select number of machines. If a particular piece of the bundled update can’t install, we imagine that the entire update will fail — it’s one single package, after all.

Additionally, this means that Windows users won’t be able to pick and choose which updates they want installed.

Ultimately, it remains to be seen just how beneficial this move is for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 clients, but it’s comforting to note that Microsoft does acknowledge its OSes updates system as problematic.

Andy Walker
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