ECA - The Service Branches of Windows 10

The Service Branches of Windows 10

In News by cbetton

ECA - The Service Branches of Windows 10Originally, Microsoft would release a new version of Windows followed by updates and bug fixes, with new functionality being saved for the next version released a few years later. With Windows 10 now running on more than 250 million devices around the world, Microsoft is now giving users the choice in how they receive updates with the introduction of 3 Service Branches; CB, CBB and LTSB. In collaboration with the Technical Team here at ECA, we’re explaining the differences between these Service Branches and how they compare to one another.

Current Branch (CB)

CB is considered the most rigid of the three, requiring Windows users to accept all new features, fixes and updates that are pushed to them via Windows Update. CB always ensures users have the most up to date version, giving enterprises the opportunity to test and validate new features across Windows 10 Home and Pro.

Current Branch for Business (CBB)

CBB is more flexible when it comes to updates and fixes. Those running Windows on CBB have a choice of how these updates are disseminated – Windows Update for Business or Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). Windows Update for Business gives more flexibility, allowing businesses to put protocols and procedures in place before they are installed.

Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB)

LTSB is the most flexible of the group. Users of LTSB can refuse everything except for those updates and fixes for security. LTSB users can also move their users between branches, essentially controlling how and when users receive updates – a useful feature for those organisations with more complete IT infrastructure. LTSB is reserved for Windows 10 Enterprise.

Targeted For Consumers Business and educational users Mission critical systems
Windows Version Home, Pro, Education, Enterprise Pro, Education, Enterprise Enterprise only
Security & Critical Updates Required shortly after release Required shortly after release Available immediately, may defer indefinitely
Feature Updates Required shortly after release (~every 4 months) Available ~4 months after CB deployment, must deploy within ~8 months Available ~every 2-3 years, may defer indefinitely
Update Options Windows Update*, WSUS,
SCCM, Adaptiva OneSite
Windows Update, WSUS, SCCM, Adaptiva
Windows Update, WSUS, SCCM, Adaptiva OneSite
Supports All New Consumer Apps Yes, Edge, Cortana, etc. Yes, Edge, Cortana, etc. No Edge Browser, Cortana, etc.
Note – Microsoft Software Assurance customers have additional options/restrictions
* Home users are limited to Windows Update

Windows 10 IoT Enterprise

Windows 10 IoT Enterprise is a full version of Windows 10 that will power the next generation of OEM devices. As OEM manufacturers face increasing pressure to innovate, IoT Enterprise will allow them to create high-performance devices that deliver powerful business applications. IoT Enterprise runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit chipsets with support for both UWP and Classic Windows applications. We’ve detailed the key features below:

Granular UX Control Unified Write Filter ✓: Create Read-only devices
✓: Protect system against write operations
Assigned Access ✓: Block edge gestures, hotkeys and other combinations
✓: Launch a Universal Windows app on login plus lock access to system
✕: Multi-user profiles for mobile with Application and Settings Allow Lists
✕: Button Remapping and Lockdown
AppLocker ✓: Eliminate unwanted/unknown applications
✓: Suppress system dialogs & control processes that can be run
MDM & Group Policies ✓: Suppress toast notifications
✓: Restrict USB devices / peripherals on system
Shell Launcher ✓: Launch a Classic Windows application on login
✓: Block hotkeys and other key combinations
Embedded Logon ✓: Suppress Windows UI elements displayed during Windows logon and shutdown
✓: Suppress Windows UI elements displayed during logon and logoff
Embedded Boot Experience / Unbranded Screens ✓: Custom brand a device by removing and/or replace Windows UI boot elements
Security Advanced Device Security ✓: Only allow trusted peripherals
✓: Secure IoT Devices with Trusted Platform Modules (TPM)
✓: Next Generation Credentials – two-factor authentication
✓: Device Guard – Run only trusted apps with Advanced Threat Resistance
✓: Windows Hello and Passport
Management ✓: MDM Enablement
✓: Ability to control and block modern app updates
✓: Ability to block un-enrollment
✓: Context Manager
✕: Bulk provisioning through Barcode/NFC/SD card
Servicing ✕: Current Branch (CB)
✕: Current Branch for Business (CBB)
✓: Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB)
Activation ✓: Deferred activation
✕: No activation required
✓: Online activation
App Platform ✓: Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps
✓: Classic Windows applications (Win32/.NET)
Tools ✓: Converged toolset: Image Configuration Designer (ICD) in the Assessment & Deployment Kit (ADK)
Peripheral/Device Connectivity Support ✓: Retail Industry Peripherals support in box by Enterprise (Barcode Scanner, Mag Stripe Reader, Receipt Printer, Cash Drawer, Payment Terminal)
✓: Access to standard busses (e.g. GPIO, I2C, PSI) and system settings (e.g. power state, radio control, Bluetooth) via UWP APIs
✓: Access to Windows Universal Driver (UD) Platform created common & consistent device driver APIs
✓: AllJoyn is integrated into Windows 10 core framework, so it’s available to all Windows 10 devices

Windows 10 IoT Anniversary Update

With the number of IoT devices rising on a daily basis, it’s critical that organisations have the ability to scale their IT infrastructure as they grow. Microsoft is supporting this business model with Windows 10 IoT Enterprise and a move to value-based offerings that are aligned to computing capability:

  • High-End: Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2016 LTSB High-End; Windows 10 IoT Enterprise CBB High-End
  • Value: Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2016 LTSB Value; Windows 10 IoT Enterprise CBB Value
  • Entry: Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2016 LTSB Entry; Windows 10 IoT Enterprise CBB Entry

The grid below contains the value-based pricing for Embedded audiences. It has recently been updated to include the addition of new silicon across Entry, Value and High-End Windows 10 IoT Enterprise products:

Supported Processor Entry Value High-End
Intel  ✓  ✓  ✓
Pentium (N3540, J2900/J2850, A1020, N3710, J3710, N4200)
Celeron (N2940/N2930/N2920/N2830/N2808/N2807, J1900/J1800/J1850, N3010, N3060, N3160, J3160, J3060, J3010, N3350, J3455, J3355)
Atom (E3805/E3815/E3825/E3826/E3827, Z3735F/3735G, Z3736F/Z3736G, Z3745/Z3745D, Z3775/Z3775D, Z3795/Z3795D, x5-E8000, x5-Z8550/z8350/8330, x7-z8750, x5-E3900 series – E3930/3940, x5-A3900 series – A3930/3940, x7-E3950, x7-A3950)
E1, E2E-350, A4, A6, G-Series
Intel  ✓  ✓
Pentium (G2120, 1405 v2, D1519, D1517, D1509, D1508, D1507, G4400, G4400TE)
Celeron (G1620, 1047UE, 1020E, 927UE, 3765U, 3955U, G3900, G3900E, G3900TE, G3902E)
Core i3, Core i5, Core M
C4450, C4250, C4650
R-Series, A10, A8, Rest of FX Models
Intel  ✓
Core i7, Xeon
Selected FX models (FX 7500, FX 9370, FX9590, FX7600P)

To find out more about Windows 10, Windows 10 IoT Enterprise or Microsoft’s 3 new service branches, call our team on 0118 929 4990 or email us