What is Windows 10 LTSB? Which PCs should be running Windows 10 LTSB? How to download Windows 10 LTSB? What is the difference between LTSB and LTSC? This post from MiniTool provides answers to the above questions.

What Is Windows 10 LTSB?

What is Windows 10 LTSB? Windows 10 LTSB is Long Term Servicing Branch. Its full name is Windows 10 LTSB Enterprise. It doesn't have many of the core apps that other iterations of Windows 10 typically have. For example, the Microsoft Edge browser is not included, nor is Cortana a virtual assistant. However, some limited search capabilities remain.

This complements other omissions, including Microsoft Mail, Calendar, OneNote, Weather, News, Sports, Money, Photos, Camera, Music, and Clock apps. Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB doesn't support these apps at all, even if you install them via side loading. The Microsoft Store is also not included.

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How Often Does Windows 10 LTSB Update?

  1. Windows 10 LTSB does receive the usual monthly security updates.
  2. Twice-yearly feature upgrades offered to other channels will not be offered to the LTSB system.
  3. Microsoft upgrades LTSB "builds" every two to three years.
  4. Each LTSB release supports ten years of security updates, the same 10-year lifecycle that Microsoft has specified and maintained over the years. The decade is divided into two equal parts: the first five years for "mainstream" support, and the second for "extended". For Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB, mainstream support will end in October 2021 and extended support will end in October 2026.

Who Needs to Use Windows 10 LTSB?

Microsoft doesn't want people to use Windows 10 LTSB on general-purpose PCs, though. As Microsoft puts it, "LTSB is not intended to be deployed on most or all PCs in an organization; it should only be used on special-purpose devices. As a general guideline, PCs with Microsoft Office installed are general-purpose devices, typically used by information work users, so it's more suitable for [Current Branch] or [Current Branch for Business] service branches."

Critical infrastructure (like ATMs, medical equipment, and PCs that control machines on factory floors) don't need whizbang capabilities, they need long-term stability, and updates that are less likely to break things. PCs operating medical equipment in patient rooms do not require a new Cortana update. Windows 10 LTSB is only for the Windows 10 Enterprise.

How to Get Windows 10 LTSB

Windows 10 LTSB is only available as part of Windows 10 Enterprise. Windows 10 Enterprise is only available to organizations with volume licensing agreements or through a new $7 per-month subscription plan.

Officially, if you are part of an organization with a volume licensing program, you are free to install Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB on your PC, not Windows 10 Enterprise.

Unofficially, any Windows user can get Windows 10 LTSB on demand. Microsoft offers ISO images with Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB as part of its 90-day Enterprise Evaluation Program. You can download the ISO file (be sure to select "Windows 10 LTSB" instead of "Windows 10" when downloading) and install it on your PC.

According to Microsoft, it will work fine for 90 days, after which it will start urging you to activate Windows and your PC will shut down every hour. However, you can use Slmgr to "re-arm" the trial version for 90 days, which according to some users will work up to 3 times for a total of 9 months.

Windows 10 LTSC 2019 vs Windows 10 LTSB 2016

Windows 10 Enterprise 2019 LTSC basically follows the same approach as Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB. Nonetheless, Windows 10 Enterprise 2019 LTSC features several changes and improvements over its predecessor. The most important new features are listed below:

  • Modified and enhanced state-of-the-art security features.
  • Sign in to a Windows 10 shared PC faster.
  • New Windows Subsystem for Linux, providing Linux user space under Windows.
  • Net Framework 4.7 Advanced Servicing Support (2016 LTSB still uses 4.6).
  • Integrate a timeline showing user activity in chronological order.
  • Computers with 2019 LTSC can now use Quick Pair to quickly connect to nearby devices via Bluetooth.

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