Microsoft is doing away with monthly Patch Tuesday updates and is planning to switch to an ongoing update system that works in the background on Windows 10 devices.
The plans were revealed by Terry Myerson, Microsoft's executive vice president of operating systems, at the Ignite 2015 event and outlined further in a blog post.
Myerson claimed that Microsoft's new approach puts the firm ahead of its rivals, and that customers will be better protected against threats.
Patches will be offered in a tiered format which will be different for consumers and enterprises. Consumers will be served updates automatically when they are ready, but the Windows Update for Business option will take a more measured approach and allow administrators to plan their own installations.
Myerson said that Microsoft customers can be assured about their update management options, and will benefit from the more organised and flexible Windows Update for Business option.
"Windows Update for Business will reduce management costs, provide controls over update deployment, offer quicker access to security updates, and provide access to the latest innovation from Microsoft on an ongoing basis," he said.
"Windows Update for Business is free for Windows Pro and Windows Enterprise devices. It's part of our intelligent cloud. We will update and maintain Windows devices for you, while still giving you control."
"Here at Microsoft, we take our responsibility to keep Windows secure seriously. We follow up on all reported security issues, continuously probe our software with leading edge techniques, and proactively update supported devices with necessary updates to address issues," he said.
"And today, we're announcing that this continuous update process applies to all Windows 10 devices, including phones."
This would not be Microsoft if it did not take a swipe at the competition, and Myerson singled out Google.
"This level of commitment and support is far different than Android, for example, where Google refuses to take responsibility for updating its customers' devices, leaving end-users and businesses increasingly exposed every day they use the device," he said.
Enterprises may find the changes beneficial, according to Chris Goettl, product manager at security firm Shavlik, as it will give them a chance to see the impact of an update before it's installed across the company.
"An IT organisation with a desire to vet new updates before they reach the bulk of their user base [can] get a feel for the changes coming, the stability of those changes and potentially block any of those updates that have a negative effect," he said.
"This new system will provide a strong set of features to enable companies to improve on their update process.
"We are living in a world where most vulnerabilities will be exploited in just a few weeks after the vendor releases an update. This is a startling reality and one that will likely only get worse."
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