Learn about Windows 10 ITSC

Some businesses are considering deploying Microsoft's Long-Term Servicing Channel. As with all other Windows 10 operating system options, Windows 10 ITSC has its pros and cons.

Some businesses are considering deploying Microsoft's Long-Term Servicing Channel. According to a report by Dimension Research, 1 in 5 companies with more than 5,000 employees planned to deploy LTSC in 2017 - a huge increase of 27% compared to 2016.

As with all other Windows 10 operating system options, Windows 10 ITSC has its pros and cons. Let's take a closer look at the concept behind the LTSC acronym and considerations for its application to a wider user base.

What is the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC)?

The Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC), formerly known as the Long-Term Service Branch (LTSB), refers to a specialized version of Windows 10 specifically designed for situations and devices that require consistency in features, such as PoS terminals, medical devices (CAT / MRI scanners), industrial process control devices, ATMs and air traffic control devices.

Because these systems are often carefully developed and thoroughly tested for a specific purpose, upgrading the operating system every 6 - 12 months will backfire. Instead, Microsoft will support each LTSC release for 10 years without changing the features in its lifecycle.

Of course, companies looking to apply Windows 10 to specific situations don't have to wait 10 years for the new version. Microsoft will release a new version of Windows 10 LTSC every 3 years.

The Long-Term Servicing Channel is very different from the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC), which provides two feature upgrades within a year.

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Businesses stay away from applying LTSC extensively

Thankfully, the predictions (made in the months before and after the release of Windows-as-a-Service) that LTSC will become the preferred Windows 10 version for many businesses have not come true. There are many reasons why businesses should stay away from this version. 3 of the top 14 reasons are as follows:

Microsoft's "Windows Silicon Policy" may result in an annual upgrade

Windows Silicon Policy is a policy in which Windows products will be supported for security, reliability, and compatibility on the latest devices available at the time of release. This includes previous hardware generations still supported by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

LTSC versions will not be supported on hardware released after it is released and therefore, do not keep up with new hardware releases such as the Semi-Annual Channel.

Windows 10 LTSB will support device launches at the time of LTSB release. When future product generations are released, support will be generated through future Windows 10 LTSB releases that customers can deploy to those systems.

According to Gartner analysis, this will lead to more frequent, even annual upgrade cycles. In addition, Surface hardware will no longer be supported.

LTSC does not include features developed over time

To ensure continuity, the LTSC version does not contain any features that require changes over time. For example, it includes Internet Explorer instead of Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Store, Cortana or Microsoft applications. This means that devices running productivity applications, such as MS Office, using multiple Windows Store applications or being used to browse the Internet are not used for LTSC.

Moreover, it does not support ConfigMgr Express Updates nor does it update Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). In addition, businesses will likely be subject to restrictions on hardware and software support.

Upgrade in place is not supported with LTSC

If you're hoping to run on-site upgrades from Windows 7 to Windows 10 LTSC, unfortunately you're out of luck. LTSC updates require local .MSI files to be installed. Due to the specific nature of this version of Windows 10, non-security operating system fixes and improvements may not be backported.

The Long-Term Servicing Channel version of Windows 10 is completely developed for devices and situations that cannot withstand frequent changes. While avoiding the frequent upgrades of Windows 10 SAC releases, this is not an option for large-scale enterprise deployments over the long term, as it will cause you to manage. and maintain multiple supported versions, as well as face feature limitations.

But instead of dodging, businesses should take advantage of this new rate of change and apply appropriate methods.