back to article Microsoft promises smaller Windows 11 updates with UUP – but there's a catch

Next month Microsoft will start offering on-prem Unified Update Platform (UUP), which promises to deliver smaller and faster uploads of Windows updates. The promise is 30 percent smaller – and faster – client downloads for updates and other capabilities that Microsoft says will make life easier for Windows admins. However, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hot mess

    Existing clients left in the hell of the previous servicing stacks that are EOL as far are improvements are concerned, WSUS manages to live on like a barnacle encrusted zombie, and the new rewrite for win 11 points to jet another case where the new person gave up trying to rebuild things and started over. So expect a whole new round of I didn't think of that mistakes, missing features and other headaches.

    And of course no mention of being able to notch out individual patches from the rollups, so if on of 60 patches causes a problem, we are likely stuck with removing the whole thing. And only for windows 11 which I have no other incentive to install.

    That's all I got. What am I forgetting that I should also be angry, disappointed, or disgusted by?

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: Hot mess

      Updates have mostly been in monthly lumps rather than individual, even through WSUS, for quite a few years now. The other big annoyance is that CTR Office (i.e. everything since 2016, which was the last version to have an MSI installer option) doesn't go through WSUS at all so updates as and when it feels like it, with no ability to control it.

      1. NoneSuch Silver badge

        Re: Hot mess

        Why control it? It isn't your computer any more. Microsoft will determine when and how to patch THEIR workstation that you just happened to pay for.

        And you'll pay them monthly for the privilege while tugging your forelock, nodding and thanking them.

        If you don't think Windows OS will follow Office in going to a monthly subscription model, you don't know Microsoft and their capricious desire to get more of your money, more often.

        1. 43300 Silver badge

          Re: Hot mess

          "If you don't think Windows OS will follow Office in going to a monthly subscription model"

          It's already started! There are features in Intune which claim to need Enterprise licenses (which in turn are part of various of the MS subscriptions). Doesn't seem to be much enforced yet, but it's probably only a matter of time before things stop working on the Pro version.

  2. Lil Endian Silver badge

    IT pros want...

    ...small updates ...working updates. Not a borkfest.

    1. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: IT pros want...

      Quite. With the bandwidth available to most corporate networks these days the size of updates is actually less of an issue than it was a decade or so ago!

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge

        Re: IT pros want...

        Precisely. Taking a month or more to sort identify the update fuck-up, overlapping with last month's bork fixes, and anticipating next month's bork fixes. It's SysAds bandwidth that's at stake, not the width of the corporate pipe.

  3. stiine Silver badge

    As an administrator

    What I want are atomic updates. One application -> one update. I don't care if its 10 or 20 or even 50 updates as long as each broken update can remain unapproved if its found (ha!) to cause problems. Waiting two or three months to patch application X because of the problems caused by the patch for application Y is unacceptable.

    1. Lil Endian Silver badge

      Re: As an administrator

      stiine, what you're asking for has been available to sysads of SME scale platforms for decades: apt allows holding of packages and pinning of various package releases. And the only reboot needed is after a kernel upgrade.

      Okay, I'll stop pretending that I don't know you mean on Windows! But one last gloat: On Windows?! Haha! You're joking! (Ah, thanks!)

      Seriously though, one can be a mercenary and go the Windows route for the low hanging fruit, or stop encouraging the feckers and take your skills and your enthusiasm for the field to a platform that doesn't work against you and mess with your sanity.

      I know Windows is prolific and is here for a long time. But that doesn't mean you have to put up with it. Abandon the Dark Side!

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge

        Update Your CV (Resume)

        If you think that 'Doze System Admins should update their CV to instead read "Microsoft Beta Tester" downvote this post!

        Or am I? -->

    2. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: As an administrator

      Best atomic update for W11 -->

    3. Lil Endian Silver badge

      "Doing the same thing repeatedly, and expecting different results is the definition of insanity,"


  4. David 132 Silver badge

    Fiendishly cunning.

    The 10GB download is a lookup table of all possible combinations of 1s and 0s. All that future updates have to do is say "I need permutation #<number>" and hey presto, that patch will be delivered to the client.

    So clever!

    (Please note the icon.)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "UUP is becoming the default and only way to download quality updates"

    Why is it needed? Microsoft seem to have difficulty even creating quality updates.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: "UUP is becoming the default and only way to download quality updates"

      Nice bit of politicking there, taking potshots at his Windows Updates and WSUS counterparts across the corridor. So nice to use software developed by a functional company.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "UUP is becoming the default and only way to download quality updates"

        The term "quality updates" seems like wordage from an EDM promo: "Premiere DJ Blue Screen has made quality updates to his tracks... get ready Ibiza!!".

  6. ChoHag Silver badge

    > "IT pros want small updates,"

    No updates. We want no updates. Zero is indeed "small" but that's not what we meant.

    Stop writing shit software.

    1. karlkarl Silver badge

      Good news. Majority of the "updates" are basically empty payloads for most people anyway.

      The software remains just as shite as the first day you installed it :)

  7. DCdave

    Small updates?

    No, what I want is no reboots of my customers' servers when installing OS updates.

    1. Fred Daggy Silver badge

      Re: Small updates?

      In addition to the above:

      - Health status of client. If "Windows Update" service is borked on the client (and it often is), WHY? With a quick and simple way to fix it. Even if "here is an EXE with all dependencies that will fix all the things that block installing a patch" - go nuclear.

      - Quick and simple report: What is not fully patched, in order of severity, or number of patches. What IS fully patched?

      - Who did what (approved, declined and when)

      - The ability to PUSH a patch NOW to pa particular host. (ok within 5 minutes is ok). If not installed, WHY NOT?

      - Fix the farcical naming scheme for products in WSUS, particularly Windows and Windows Server

      1. Fred Daggy Silver badge

        Re: Small updates?

        ... and i forgot. I real time, text version, WindowsUpdate.log file. Not some log file (systemd I am looking at the corner of my eyes at you here too) in binary format that needs to be translated to be human readable.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. GraXXoR

    Hundred time used stock photo shows a ridiculous looking model drinking cappuccino in a naturally lit office using some gods-know-what mock up interface... on an iMac.

    Every time I see a photo from this particular series, I'm left with the smell of cold, corporate checkboxing...

    Still, at least he wasn't wearing a red, checked shirt and ankle length trousers.

    /rant... sorry. I'll get my coat.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      I was sitting in a conference talk, and a young guy from New York came on stage with ankle length trousers and colourful socks (oh, from New York... so "pants" and "colorful", sorry). A colleague (really unimpressed by the current / emerging fashion) who was sitting next to me asked a friend "did his mom not dress him properly this morning?"....

      (still, it was a good talk)

      1. sgp

        I tend not to judge people by what they choose to wear. Ever seen pictures of Richard Stallman?

  9. steviebuk Silver badge

    What I want

    Is the option to fucking avoid Windows 11, easily. We are with an MSP who helps out when we hit an area we don't understand. Unfortunately they convinced us to take over the Windows update duties. They use n-able. They "accidentally" pushed out Windows 11 to a few machines and when I questioned it they asked if I wanted it stopped. It was too late, to many machines had been hit so let them carry on. "its been fine in our office" it doesn't matter, we're not your office and have old shit software that doesn't like it.

    When all calmed down I asked for isolation for my IT machine. Did not want it. Was told because of the way Microsoft have been pushing out Windows 11 its not possible to isolate it. As people were blocking the term Windows 11 so MS changed the update name so it would get pushed out anyway. A few poor excuses of why they won't put a filter in and what was essentially a threat to remove our access to n-able (wouldn't be a bad thing) I've taken my own steps. Having to turn off encryption so I can turn off the TPM 2 chip so I don't get the weekly Windows shitty 11 update.

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: What I want

      In corporate environment we stay one major version behind on purpose. Trouble is when 12 appears…

      Regarding update hell, MS have never really had a handle on this, have they? 98 took forever. 2k, XP same. Vista had endless nag warnings and handholding required. 7 was ok until deliberately borked to get people off it. 10 will see the same join I’m sure.

      It’s almost as though their design philosophy stemming from admin-everything in the beginning, failed; and unpicking it is tough because compatibility demands.

      The NT kernel is old hat now and we don’t need win32 compatibility anymore. A clean break with focus on performance would do wonders. Let old stuff live in a VM for the transition period. Voila.

      1. Snapper

        Re: What I want

        MS could take more than a few lessons from Apple in how to upgrade an OS! Of course there are issues, but usually with MS apps.

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: What I want

        "we don’t need win32 compatibility anymore"

        Oh yes you do. You may not realise it, but if you took the Win32 layer out of Windows then I doubt whether anything would run. The system probably couldn't even boot.

      3. ComicalEngineer

        Re: What I want

        Still running a couple of Win7 machines with office 2010.

        Regedit to remove the office 2010 nag and sundry other crap

        No inclination whatsoever to change.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What I want

      Back in the day, you used to be able to prevent windows update by disabling the service, I think there was a registry key as well.

      Not sure if you still can.

      1. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: What I want

        If you use a 3rd party like n-able you have to do the filtering in there. Even the registry setting in Windows 10 gets ignored by n-able. There is a way to filter in n-able (I've asked them directly) our MSP is just refusing to put any filters in.

  10. Snapper

    Microsoft says will make life easier for Windows admins

    'Microsoft says will make life easier for Windows admins'

    Run for the hills!!

  11. hammarbtyp

    "IT pros want small updates,"

    Personally I would be happy with updates that don't mean i have reboot my computer to install so I have to re-create my desktop.

  12. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    While I can't say I've had many problems as a result of updates, as an administrator in charge of hundreds of Windows PCs, all of which are connected to a nice fat internet connection, and are managed through System Centre, I find I am more concerned at the quality of the updates rather than their size. I'm not too worried about the size, as we leave our PCs in standby overnight, and system centre is quite capable of waking them if needed. For a lot of our PCs, this means they have over 12 hours a day in which they can download updates and are all connected to our various distribution points via gigabit ethernet, so even if the updates are multiple gigabytes, it doesn't matter. Even those who do work late (or come in early) can't use their PCs between about 12am and 7am, because the buildings are shut. People working from home MAY have access to their desktop PC 24 hours a day, but this access has to be requested by their line manager, and a lot don't, preferring their staff to use our virtual desktop machines..

    The TLDR is I'd rather have well tested updates than small ones.

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