computer keyboard
577 gradient

Title

Windows Updates

Update your University-supported Windows device to keep it running efficiently and securely

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) regularly pushes application and software updates to University Windows devices to ensure devices run efficiently and securely. Older and unpatched operating systems and software applications increase the likelihood of cyber criminals exploiting vulnerabilities to control systems or steal information. University policy requires that devices are updated and patched regularly. 

OIT deploys several types of updates to University-supported devices:

  • Third-party application updates
  • Routine Microsoft updates
  • Branch updates

Third-Party Application Updates

A third-party application is an application not made by Microsoft. These include applications like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Adobe Acrobat DC. OIT releases security updates for third-party applications on a weekly basis as they’re made available by the vendors.

OIT deploys these updates to University-supported devices Tuesday mornings with 7 day and 14 day deadlines. 

Routine Microsoft Updates

Microsoft releases updates to the Windows operating system, Office Suite products, and other Microsoft software products on a monthly basis. These updates include quality updates to the products and security patches.

The updates are usually released on “Patch Tuesday” (also known as “Update Tuesday”), which is the second Tuesday of each month.

OIT deploys these updates to University-supported devices in the evening on Patch Tuesday with 7 day and 14 day deadlines. 

Third-Party and Routine Microsoft Updates Schedule

The below schedule applies to both weekly third-party and monthly Microsoft updates. NoteThe schedule is subject to change in the event of an emergency or critical patch.

  • Updates are deployed to test devices with a 36 hour deadline after release
  • Updates are deployed to all University-supported devices 3 days after release and are available to be installed at your convenience for 4 days
  • Updates will attempt to automatically install during the Maintenance Window 7 days after release
  • Updates will attempt to automatically install at any time during the day 14 days after release

OIT highly recommends that you install updates as soon as you receive the Software Center notification that they are available and restart your device, if required. If it is inconvenient to update your device during work hours, you can configure your business hours in Software Center to have updates installed at a predetermined time.

Branch Updates

Microsoft offers Windows 10 as a service, which means it pushes iterative branch updates, or feature updates, to devices running Windows 10.

Prior to Windows 10, Microsoft released new versions of Windows every few years. This traditional deployment schedule imposed a training burden on users because the feature updates were often significant. That schedule also meant waiting long periods without new features. Windows as a service delivers smaller branch updates twice per year, around March and September, to help address these issues.

Branch Updates Schedule

Branch updates are released to all University-supported devices once yearly and to a subset of the devices twice per year. The spring update is pushed in May or June to select devices (i.e. pilot devices) that offer the widest coverage of important factors for a pilot of Windows upgrades. The fall update is made available to all University-supported devices in December or January. NoteThe schedule is subject to delay due to testing.

The specific schedule is as follows:

Spring Update

  • Pilot devices will receive the update as soon as Microsoft releases it (around April/May)
  • Update is enforced 10 days later and will automatically install for pilot devices
  • Update is made available in Software Center for all other devices 20 days later

Fall Update

  • Pilot devices will receive the update as soon as Microsoft releases it (around Oct./Nov.)
  • Update is enforced 10 days later and will automatically install for pilot devices
  • Update is enforced 20 days later and will automatically install for all devices