Windows 10 enterprise upgrades: Microsoft to demand payment

Windows colorful logo

Microsoft has confirmed that enterprise users wanting to upgrade to Windows 10 will have to pay extra for support, despite the OS being free in the first year for personal and small business use.

Jim Alkove, head of the Windows enterprise management team, said in a blog: "Enterprise are not included in the terms of free Windows 10 Upgrade offer we announced last week, given active Software Assurance customers will continue to have rights to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer while also benefitting from the full flexibility to deploy Windows 10 using their existing management infrastructure."

However, Windows 10 enterprise users will be able to control how updates are deployed, making it a more flexible solution for companies with a large user base.

Although critical security updates will still be rolled out automatically, IT departments can choose who gets an update and when to prevent the whole corporation coming crashing to its knees at the same time, should an update prove unstable.

Alkove also announced some more details about Microsoft's Long Term Service Branch and Current Branch for Business schemes that mean customers can benefit from a higher level of service and security.

The Long Term Service Branch will help systems keep more secure with the "latest security and critical updates while minimising change by not delivering new features for the duration of mainstream (five years) and extended support (five years)."

Organisations can deliver security updates and fixes via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), ensuring IT departments have "full control over the internal distribution of updates using existing management solutions such as System Center Configuration Manager or to receive these updates automatically via Windows Update."

The Current Branch for Business gives IT departments time to validate updates either when the changes are shipped to consumers or if they are enrolled in the Windows Insider Program, before mainstream release. By the time the updates are rolled out, they would have been validated by "millions of Insiders, consumers and customers' internal test processes for several months, allowing updates to be deployed with this increased assurance of validation," Microsoft said.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.