Windows 10 represents a significant evolution in the relationship between deploying the Windows OS and licensing the Windows OS. We\u2019ve already seen other major changes to Windows licensing: the introduction of the user-based subscription, the ability to purchase an upgrade license to Windows Enterprise without the need for Software Assurance\u2014and there are more changes to come. One of the most significant changes specific to Windows 10, however, is the way you\u2019ll be consuming updates. Until Windows 10, there\u2019s always been something of a dividing line between security updates and features updates. Security updates are quick and ongoing, while the features updates are rolled into big groupings\u2014and deploying those is usually a heavy lift for IT.\nWindows 10 takes its cue from consumerization of IT trends, mixed in with a little of what we\u2019ve seen behind Office 365: no more dividing line between features and security. Just the ongoing push of all updates as they are developed and rolled out. This is fantastic for consumers, who don\u2019t generally worry about application compatibility and helpdesk issues. However, most businesses are more circumspect about their updates. They need time to test, time to make sure end-users don\u2019t have their workflows interrupted by a new feature they weren\u2019t expecting. There\u2019s a balance that needs to be struck between the pace of change and the demands of the infrastructure.\nEnter Windows 10 \u201ccurrent branch\u201d and \u201clong-term branch\u201d update methodologies. Microsoft is trying to thread the needle between the needs of cloud-first, mobile-first computing and the more traditional environments that must prioritize stability and minimize the disruption of change. Both environments exist, often must co-exist, and so Microsoft is doing their best to accommodate both at the same time. So what does it mean? In a nutshell, current branch is the \u201cgive me the updates as they come\u201d version. It\u2019s designed for systems that can handle that pace\u2014think BYOD and non-mission critical systems. You set them up, the updates happen, end of story. You will, however, have the ability to delay these updates for a time. This is a nice balance as well\u2014perhaps you have some systems that you\u2019d rather be current branch but you just need to make sure they work with that one critical legacy application that everyone uses. Otherwise they\u2019d be a perfect candidate. Put them on the current branch and delay the updates and prioritize your testing so those systems can be checked out first. Bear in mind the practicalities, however. If you can delay updates, but they happen on a frequent basis, it\u2019s still going to mean that you\u2019ll eventually be doing updates on that regular basis. Each batch of updates will land in succession, even with a delay \u2013 which means that no matter what \u2013 you\u2019ll have to be prepared.\nBut what about long-term branch? That sounds a lot like business as usual in terms of Windows deployment, and it should be, but with a huge exception. Long-term branch will only be available as part of Windows Enterprise. There are many enterprises out there that upgrade their OS with new systems, using the Professional version of Windows that comes with those systems. But, they use a long-term branch deployment methodology, even though we didn\u2019t call it that until now. Under Windows 10, these two things become incompatible. You can\u2019t do Windows Pro with long-term branch anymore, and that means you\u2019ll have to make a big decision: change the way your infrastructure works to support a current branch methodology or make a big investment in Windows Enterprise. Neither of those are easy choices, and both mean a strategic-level investment either in the way you operate IT, or the amount of money you\u2019re spending on Microsoft licensing. While both have costs, both have significant potential benefits as well.\nMany IT leaders I\u2019ve spoken with in recent months expressed a strong desire to get out of the upgrade business, but realize it will be a big challenge. Windows 10 may be just the thing to kick-start that heavy lift\u2014a rallying point with a clearly defined set of rewards for successful transformation. If current branch just isn\u2019t going to work for all your systems, then you\u2019re looking at a major new investment in Windows technology. If that\u2019s the case, it means you\u2019ll be deploying Windows Enterprise for the first time\u2014and I would encourage you to look hard at all the features that come with it. Don\u2019t just swap what you\u2019re doing for a more expensive version of what you\u2019re doing. Use it as a transformative moment to see what new things you can accomplish for your end-users with Windows 10 Enterprise. If you have to spend the money, do everything you can to get your money\u2019s worth.\nEither way, I believe Windows 10 will require transformation for most enterprise-sized organizations. We look forward to exploring these new avenues with our customers. This is just getting started, and it\u2019s a big change so we\u2019ll be writing on this a lot, especially when we learn new tricks and best practices begin to emerge!\nWindows 10 is here.\u00a0It\u2019s the Windows you know, only better. Be more productive with a familiar Start Menu, stay safe with new security features, and get more done across multiple devices.\u00a0Experience the operating system of the future. Our experts can offer expert advice and ensure your Windows 10 Migration success.