With the launch of WIndows 10, many IT administrators talked about strategies to deploy with this latest release. One thing that administrators need to consider with their deployment strategy is which version they will be deploying.
When downloading the media from the various Microsoft download locations, there are some new editions of the software that need to be understood. Besides the full Pro and Enterprise operating system available in different languages, there are options for N and LTSB editions. Which one is right for me, you ask?
Windows 10 N editions include the same functionality as Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, except that it does not include certain media-related technologies (Windows Media Player, Camera, Music, Movies & TV) and does not include the Skype app.
Windows 10 LTSB editions provide customers with access to the Long Term Servicing Branch as a deployment option for their mission critical devices and environments.
What is LTSB?
I found an explanation of the new service in this article.
Windows 10 uses a new approach to providing updates to users. Traditionally Microsoft would release a version of Windows and then provide updates such as security and bug fixes, but not add any major, new functionality. Every few years Microsoft would release a new version of Windows that contains updates and new features but this meant customers would always have to wait years for new functionality. With Windows 10, Microsoft is giving users greater choice in how they receive new features with the introduction of a long-term servicing branch (LTSB) and a current branch (CB) version.
The LTSB is similar to how versions are delivered today with a new one delivered every couple of years and in between each new version Microsoft will provide security updates, bug fixes and so on. Alternatively, customers can choose to use the CB method which provides security updates, bug fixes, and new features every few months.
When each LTSB is released it will converge with the currently existing CB, allowing customers to transition from CB to LTSB, in the event they decide they noo longer want to receive updates so frequently. Customers using LTSB will be able to upgrade between LTSB builds and likely one additional time prior LTSB (current Windows 8.1 would count as a LTSB). This is better visualized in the image below.
When developing your deployment strategy, keep this new technology in mind. This can have a large impact on your workstation environment in the future.