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Windows 10 LTSB is now called Windows 10 LTSC: Just a facelift – or is there more to it?

Microsoft offers exclusively for industrial customers a version of Windows 10 IoT that does not require forced updates. The new name of this version is Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 LTSC. For whom is this version of Windows most suitable and how does it differ from its predecessor?

For Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2016, Microsoft offered an LTSB (Long Term Servicing Branch) version. Now Microsoft launched Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 LTSC. The new add-on is no longer called LTSB, but rather LTSC (Long Term Servicing Channel). Is this just a new name for the same product or is there more to it? Does Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 LTSC offer any improvements and benefits compared to Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2016 LTSB? These are the questions we are addressing below.

Update issues for industrial customers 
But let’s start from the beginning. Why is Microsoft even offering an LTSB or LTSC version for Windows 10 IoT Enterprise to begin with? While home edition users are used to frequent updates to the operating system, these forced updates cause a lot of turmoil in the industrial sector. The problem is that functional updates can cause compatibility issues that lead to production downtime and thus to breakdown, frustration and annoyance. 

To appease industrial customers, Microsoft previously offered the Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) version of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise. In the LTSB version, new versions were only provided as upgrades every two to three years. They contained only features that had already been extensively tested and whose development had been completed. In addition, the user could choose whether to install them or not. To ensure that the long update cycles did not result in any security gaps, the LTSB version still received security updates and hotfixes continuously. However, since this only included security-related updates instead of functional ones, the actual operating system remained virtually untouched for a long time. Any issues caused by functional updates (releases) were thus prevented.

Furthermore, Microsoft added some industry-specific features to the Windows 10 IoT Enterprise version, such as Write Filter, USB Filter, Input Filter, Branded Boot, and Shell Launcher, and omitted typical home-use apps like the Edge browser and Cortana.

The advantages of 2019 LTSC over 2016 LTSB
Microsoft just renamed the Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) to Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC). Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 LTSC basically follows the same approach as Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2016 LTSB. The key aspect is still that Microsoft only provides its industrial customers with feature updates every two to three years. Just like before, it comes with a ten-year warranty for providing security updates. Nonetheless, Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 LTSC features several changes and improvements over its predecessor. The most important new features are listed below:

  • Revised and enhanced state-of-the-art security features 
  • Faster login to a Windows 10 shared PC
  • New Windows Subsystem for Linux that provides a Linux user space under Windows
  • Net Framework 4.7 Advanced Service Support (2016 LTSB still uses 4.6)
  • Integration of a timeline that displays the activities of a user chronologically
  • A computer with 2019 LTSC can now be quickly connected to a nearby device via Bluetooth using "quick pairing"

For more information go to:

Who benefits mostly from 2019 LTSC?
Generally speaking, Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 LTSC makes sense for all new developments. It includes all the features that were added to Windows 10 IoT in recent years and is completely up to date in terms of security. Moreover, Windows 10 Enterprise 2019 LTSC offers the longest possible availability. What about existing applications - is upgrading worth it? In our opinion, an upgrade is only worthwhile if one of the new features is absolutely necessary. That is because upgrading from Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2016 LTSB to Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 LTSC will require new license fees again.

Syslogic offers Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 LTSC now
For its embedded computers and HMI systems with Apollo Lake or Bay Trail processors as well as for all C-Series products, Syslogic now offers a board support package (BSP) by Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2019 LTSC. Customers not only benefit from robust and long-lasting hardware, but also obtain an operating system that is perfectly tailored to the needs of the industry and is also available for a long time. Thus, Syslogic provides a total package that enables smooth deployment for at least ten years.

Windows 10 IoT Enterprise – More information
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2016 LTSB – White Paper

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