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Win10 WSUS Gets Smaller Downloads

In a recent (9/27) post to the Windows IT Pro Blog, MS reports it will start releasing smaller update packages. This applies to “commercial customers using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or connected to System Center Configuration Manager.” Windows 10 versions affected include 1703, 1709 and 1803. How, exactly, is that Win10 WSUS get smaller downloads after all? By unbundling components and letting downloaders decide what they want or need.

Note this bundle mixes business and consumer editions, each in x86 (32-bit) and x64 (64-bit) forms.

User Selection Means Win10 WSUS Gets Smaller Downloads

The preceding graphic shows what goes into what commercial customers downloaded from MS through WSUS or via SCCM. MS states further that “x64 and x86 files were bundled together as a single download … approximately 4.8 GB in size.” The new regime lets downloaded choose to download the x64 file as a separate package. Given the extreme scarcity of x86 systems in commercial use nowadays, the reduced 2.6 GB package size for x64 only translates into an immediate reduction of 2.2 GB as compared to the old regime.

Note: feature updates represent the original RTM version of the OS. They don’t include cumulative updates, Features on Demand (FODs), nor language packs. Thus, admins must apply the latest cumulative quality update to bring systems fully up-to-date. The x64 files map to language versions available when RTM was released: e.g. en-US for English-United States. When 1809 is released, an x64-only feature update will be made available.

What Does This Change Mean to You?

If you’re a commercial Windows 10 organization and use WSUS or SCCM to deploy updates, this will save time and network bandwidth when downloading images from Microsoft to start the deployment process. But as the afore-cited MS blog post states “this change will not save bandwidth between the Configuration Manager and the client (PC) device” (that’s because only targeted, applicable downloads go from one to the other, as always). Also, organizations that DO need x86 feature updates will have to continue to use the old bundled packages. For them, nothing changes.

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