IT pros can now install the Windows 8.1 Update but are not forced to do so before next month’s Patch Tuesday.
In a blog post issued by Microsoft, the company said it extended the time frame for IT administrators to deploy the update from 30 to 120 days.
The extension comes a week after Microsoft said there was a bug in Windows 8.1 Update and recommended businesses wait to deploy the update until the company issued a fix.
While Microsoft has resolved the connectivity bug with Windows Server Update Services 3.2, IT pros would have had to deploy the Windows 8.1 Update relatively quickly throughout their organization. If the Windows 8.1 endpoints did not have the latest Update release, those devices would not be able to install future security and non-security updates starting with the May 2013 Patch Tuesday release. This new update support strategy also applies to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 Industry customers.
“In order to receive future updates, all customers managing updates using WSUS, Windows Intune, or System Center Configuration Manager have until August 12th to apply the new updates. For those that decide to defer installation, separate security updates will be published during the 120-day window,” according to the post.
Microsoft’s push to have organizations quickly deploy Windows 8.1 Update falls in line with its strategy to offer a faster cadence for upgrading products. However, IT pros need time to test the updates before deploying it throughout their organization. The small time frame Microsoft offered was not realistic for many IT pros, especially in light of the end of support for Windows XP and the recent security issues surrounding the Heartbleed bug, which called for IT pros to quickly ensure the integrity of their data.