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Windows 10

Windows 10 at UW

Windows 10 was released to the public the beginning of August 2015, and to corporations and academic institutions shortly after. Many questions needed to be answered before we could sanction Windows 10 as a mainstream operating system, but it is now our recommended operating system of choice.

Proper Version

It is important to distinguish between “consumer” versions of the Windows OS and the “Campus Agreement” versions that we are licensed to run on UW-owned PCs. That is the key: whether-or-not, the PC running Windows is UW-owned or not.

Our license allows us to run the “Education” version of Windows 10 on “UW-owned” PCs. Conversely, we cannot legally run the Education version on private or personally, owned PCs. Home PCs not belonging to UW typically come with a consumer version of Windows. Even though they may look and behave the same, the two streams are not compatible. Because home PCs belonging to UW are running the “Pro” or “Enterprise” versions of previous OS’s, the “free” upgrade from Microsoft does not work on these.

More information on why the “Education” version was chosen over the “Enterprise” version, as we did for Windows 7, is available here.

Proper Version Number: CB versus CBB

Windows 10 as a service is a new model significantly different from previous OS's. The new design defines it to be constantly upgraded and enhanced without client intervention. This is good in that it will always remain current and secure. It is also a challenge for corporations and us because applications will have to be continually tested for compliance and operation. To help, Microsoft will be directly applying ongoing updates and upgrades to home PCs, but allowing large organizations to hold back all but security updates for up to 8 months. These two streams are called Current Branch or CB (for home PCs) and Current Branch for Business or CBB (for us).

Significant details will become available over time, but rest assured that IST will continue to have some control over deployment cycles. Your personal home PCs however will upgrade frequently, and be under Microsoft's control. CB versions will become CBB versions at which time, testing cycles begin again before this version is deployed on campus.


IST has enhanced our KMS licensing server to respond to W10 licensing requests. WSUS and SCCM have also been altered to accept and deliver W10 patches. SCCM has been upgraded to support in-place upgrades from one release of W10 to the next, and most corporate applications have been tested and certified to run under Windows 10. Windows 10 is now the operating system of choice.

Recommended Upgrade Path

IST always recommends and does a fresh install of the operating system on all PCs. Because user data and application preferences are stored elsewhere, and applications are now so easily reinstalled, reinstalling or replacing a PC is no longer a large concern.

Access and Testing

For IT staff that prefer to install their own version of Windows 10, we always encourage them to to strongly consider our imaged version instead. However, for the select few that insist, they can get the "Education" version from our Webstore. (Please don't share your copy with others but rather have them get their own.)

IST intends on continuing to create virtual instances of all required versions of operating systems in our VDI environment that IT staff can RDP to. As with other VDI instances, it can be configured in such a way that all work can be accomplished from this workstation, to properly test all aspects of the OS without affecting ones primary workstation. To get access to this please contact IST Workstation Services, or submit an RT.

Known Problems/Delays

Please feel free to report known problems to IST Workstation Services, so this page can be kept up-to-date until a better way has been made available.
  • Computer Name is randomly generated during sysprep. We believe Microsoft is aware of this.

  • Power settings are not likely what the Power Options control panel is reporting. Our test workstation had power settings set to "High Performance" and all sleep options disabled. Regardless it still goes into power save after 3 hours.

  • The Ctrl/Alt/Del lock screen no longer supports Alt-K to lock, or Alt-O to logout.

This page maintained by Manfred Grisebach. Last change: July, 2017