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Microsoft Attempts (and mostly fails) to Supply Reasons Not to Use LTSC

Microsoft Attempts (and mostly fails) to Supply Reasons Not to Use LTSC

There’s been growing discussion and renewed interest from customers who want to go back to the old way of deploying and managing Windows versions. In particular, many customers have started deploying Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) for their organization. The reasons are many, but primarily due to the number of botched updates and upgrade fatigue brought on by Windows updates that really haven’t been providing enough value to the business.

The issue has grown large enough that Microsoft is making a concerted effort to try and sway customers back on the proper path.

In a recent blog post entitled “Say No to Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC)“, a UK consultant with Microsoft has attempted to deliver some reasons why businesses should avoid going down the LTSC route. Greg Nottage starts the roll by suggesting that even Gartner agrees with Microsoft’s approach, which is pretty much the worst way to begin a supporting document, if its to be taken seriously. Despite what company’s like Microsoft think, Gartner has become little more than a marketing vehicle that shows where technology leaders exist inside an imaginary “magic” quadrant.

But, Greg goes on to deliver 14 reasons why LTSC should be avoided. Most of them are very valid reasons, however, cases can be made against each one. Here’s this list:

  1. Using LTSC means missing out on new OS enhancements that are included in SAC releases – particularly new security features
  2. LTSC does not keep pace with new silicon releases in the same way SAC does – so LTSC 2016 does not support Intel chips beyond the ‘Kabylake’ generation
  3. Windows Analytics Upgrade Readiness does not support LTSC
  4. No support for the modern Edge browser
  5. No support for Cortana
  6. No support for Windows Store
  7. No support for Surface hardware
  8. LTSC does not support ConfigMgr Express Updates
  9. In-Place Upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is not supported for LTSC
  10. From January 2020, Microsoft Office 365 will not be supported on LTSC
  11. LTSC does not keep pace with feature enhancements to Windows Defender ATP
  12. Potential Independent Hardware and Software Vendor support and limitations on LTSC
  13. Non-security operating system fixes and enhancements may not get back-ported to LTSC
  14. Loosely defined LTSC release cycles make planning ahead more difficult


In the real world, customers don’t care to use Edge or Cortana. Customers are still installing application required by the business that don’t exist in the Windows Store. Surface hardware is still a small segment of the industry and many companies will be using the same hardware for another couple years so won’t take advantage of “new silicon releases.” Security is probably the best reason not to use LTSC and will continue to be. However, with Microsoft’s recent moves to distance itself from Windows, many companies are willing to just wait for the next big thing. Many companies are already looking at Windows alternatives.

There’s much in the list to digest, but truly shows a growing disconnect between Microsoft and its current customers.

What’s your take?

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