So what about the lifecycle?

On April 5, 2014, in news, by

Windows 8.1 Update: The IT Pro Perspective:

I’m copying a comment that I agree with completely.  In the zeal of Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley today on the TWIT web cast talking about BUILD no one talked about the risk of this update and the fact that this isn’t an optional update, it’s a mandatory one.  We HAVE to get this installed.

So far I’m seeing issues with moving folders (don’t do that – expected honestly as I saw it with the 8 upgrade), issues with possible system corruption (run the DISM command if it gets stuck), and finally a concerning issue with 2012 R2 and Veeam backup software.

The KB2919355 article states “All future security and nonsecurity updates for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 require this update to be installed”.  

What happened to Microsoft’s Lifecycle policy with providing customers with a 24 month timeframe before ending support of a superseded operating system RTM / Service Pack level ??

This update is effectively equivalent to a Service Pack, if not more so as it also contains functionality changes for both the operating system and browser.  According to the KB article it is a hefty 768mb in size.  

By immediately withdrawing all future security updates for Windows 8.1 RTM in the eyes of most enterprise customers you are effectively performing an immediate End-of-Life on Windows 8.1 RTM itself.

This places enterprise customers who are in the midst of a Win8.1 RTM rollout in a very precarious position given that they are now forced to introduce this very large update into their SOE in a very short timeframe.

There’s always a higher risk of introducing breakages with an update of this size as well, and by dropping patch support with little notice Microsoft is not leaving any time for enterprises to conduct a reasonable QA effort on ‘Update 1’ or deal with any subsequent issues/defects that arise.  So the enterprise customers are faced with a dilemma, either deploy this major update immediately with a reduced level of QA, or run the risk of being unpatched if a major security incident occurs.

I know that Microsoft wants its customer base to adopt updates to its Windows platform faster, but immediately dropping security patching on the Win 8.1 RTM release is just plain crazy.”


4 Responses to So what about the lifecycle?

  1. Rosewood says:

    I understand the problems and headaches but I feel like it is long past time for us to start moving to a faster update schedule. So many issues also come up from these long 24mo support time frames. If I put them all on a scale I’m going to say the faster mandatory updates side wins.

    (Imagine if 10 years ago if we would have gone through the painful transition of mandatory quarterly updates. We would have figured out a way to deal with it and change wouldn’t be so scary and we wouldn’t have most of London still running Windows XP.)

  2. bradley says:

    So how about a bit better support then? If we’re to be faster then how about Microsoft step up to the plate and test better and provide an easier way to report patching issues and conversely report back to US when they see issues.

  3. bradley says:

    And what’s so horrible about a bit of beta testing and feedback?

  4. Definitely another strike against the Windows 8 line IMO. It clearly isn’t meant to be an enterprise product.