Definition

Microsoft Windows 10 Long Term Servicing Branch

Microsoft Windows 10 Long Term Servicing Branch is a licensing structure available for operating system updates in Windows 10 Enterprise.

This licensing option is designed for specialized devices such as point-of-sale systems and automatic teller machines that must remain stable and secure throughout the OS update process. It does not include updates for some Windows 10 features such as Microsoft Edge and the Windows Store.

One of three update licensing structures for Windows 10, the Long Term Servicing Branch gives Windows 10 Enterprise administrators the most control over the update process, including patch management. The other update branches are Current Branch, which is most common in Windows 10 Home, and Current Branch for Business, which works on Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise and Education versions.

Microsoft makes full operating system updates, including new features, available to IT shops using the Long Term Servicing Branch every two to three years for the most part. This is a much longer interval than the other update branches. Current Branch for Business, for example, pushes updates every 90 days.

Long Term Servicing Branch shops still receive security and stability updates on a monthly basis between full updates. Administrators can choose to make full OS update or delay it for up to 10 years. After 10 years, if administrators do not apply the full OS update, they lose Microsoft support

To use the Long Term Servicing Branch, organizations must have a volume licensing agreement with Microsoft. It uses Windows Server Update Services to stay current.

This was last updated in January 2017

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