Windows 10 IQ test

Do you know your LTSC from your LTSB? The difference between a feature update and a quality update?

Put your Windows 10 knowledge to the test and prove it.


Think you know a lot about Windows?

Windows 10 has been out for more than two years and, while it hasn’t caught on like wildfire, it’s certainly left lots of head scratching. As we barrel down the two-versions-per-year slalom slide, you’re going to need a cool head – and some cooler facts – to keep it going.

Here are 10 questions about the version that haunts us all – and a few answers that will enlighten (or amuse) you. We’ll start with some of the easy ones, then gradually move into the deeper end of the IQ pool.




Q 1) What was the first version of Windows 10?

A.  1507

B.  10240

C.  “RTM”

D.  All of the above

You’ll find reference to all of those names at various locations in the official Microsoft documentation, in addition to “Original version” or “Original shipping version” or “Initial version released July 2015.” Right now, I most commonly hear “RTM,” although in formal situations “1507” is the preferred appellation. Microsoft didn’t start calling the original version “1507” (signifying July 2015) until many months after 1507 hit the stands.




Q 2) What is the difference between the Windows 10 Fall Update and the Windows 10 November Update?

A.  None

B.  Fall Update came out in September 2016, November Update in November 2016

C.  Fall Update came out in September 2015, November Update in November 2015

D.  Same as the difference between the Creators Update and Fall Creators Update


Win10 code name Threshold 2 was released as “Windows 10 Fall Update,” version 1511, in November 2015. One problem: The term “Fall” is a remarkably parochial name for a Windows version – many outside North America have no idea what “Fall” means, and it’s Spring down unda — so it was hastily renamed “Windows 10 November Update.”




Q 3) The external beta testing program known as the “Windows Insider preview,” has three rings. They range from early, but unstable, versions to those that are closer to the final product. Name the three rings.

A.  Canary, Fast, Slow

B.  Ludicrous, Stable, Release Preview

C.  Fast, Slow, Release Preview

D.  Fast, Slow, Released


You wags who were looking for “Current Branch” – the old nomenclature for the first final version – and “Current Branch for Business” – when new versions were once declared ready for the sainted halls of enterprise, four months after release — can step to the head of the class.





Q 4) Some organizations look for respite from the relentless upgrade pace in the so-called “Long Term Servicing Channel” (formerly “Long Term Servicing Branch”). A new version of Win10 LTSC is released every two to three years, and each one gets support for 10 years. LTSC support includes security fixes only, no feature changes. What does it take to get a license for a PC to run an LTSC version of Win10?

A.  Any PC running Windows 10 Pro can be upgraded to LTSC with a $99 upgrade pack

B.  You must buy a new PC with Win10 LTSC already installed

C.  Your organization must buy a Windows Volume License with Software Assurance (or equivalent), after which you can upgrade your previously-licensed machines in place to Win10 LTSC

D.  Your organization must buy a Windows Volume License with Software Assurance (or equivalent), after which you must wipe the machine completely in order to install Win10 LTSC


As with any discussion of Microsoft licensing, a degree in Licensology helps, but to a first approximation you need to have a Volume License with Software Assurance in order to run (or even install) an LTSC version of Windows 10. Nowadays, in most cases, for most organizations, that means an Enterprise E3 or E5 subscription.






Q 5) Microsoft says the LTSC “is not intended for deployment on most or all the PCs in an organization; it should be used only for special-purpose devices. As a general guideline, a PC with Microsoft Office installed is a general-purpose device, typically used by an information worker, and therefore it is better suited for” regular versions of Win10. What, specifically, is not included in the LTSC versions of Win10?

A.  Edge or Cortana

B.  Access to the Windows (now Microsoft) Store

C.  Mail, Calendar, OneNote, Photos, Music and Clock

D.  All of the above


Microsoft has made LTSC all but unapproachable for “regular” PCs, particularly for individuals and small businesses that want to get off the twice-a-year upgrade treadmill.




Q 6) In Microsoft parlance, what’s the difference between a feature update and a quality update?

A.  A feature update is a version change, a quality update is a bug fix.

B.  A feature update occurs in between version updates; a quality update improves Win10.

C.  A feature update increases the build number (e.g., from build 15063 to 15064); a quality update changes the sub-number (e.g., from 15063.540 to 15063.608).

D.  A feature update will occur when Windows 10 changes to Windows 11; quality updates are like Service Packs.


Microsoft calls its new versions “feature updates” and everything else is supposed to be a bug fix (including security patches).




Q 7) True or false: You can tell Windows 10 to delay installing new security patches as they become available by changing a number in the Settings app.

A.  True.

B.  True, but only for Windows 10 Creators Update (version 1703) or later Pro and Enterprise.

C.  True, but only for Windows 10 Anniversary Update (version 1607) or later

D.  False.


The ability to delay Automatic Update by a specific number of days was built into a Group Policy in Windows 10 Anniversary Update, but it only applied to Pro and Enterprise (and Academic) versions. In the Creators Update, version 1703, that capability was pulled out of Group Policy and placed in the Settings app — but, again, only for Win10 Pro and Enterprise (and Academic). Windows 10 Home users have to use more devious means to avoid installing Automatic Updates as soon as they appear.






Q 8) Windows 10 can keep automatic copies of previous versions of all of the files in your Libraries – Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and other Libraries you may create – much like Apple’s Time Machine. Which of the following is true about File History?

A.  It’s set up automatically on multi-drive (hard drive or SSD) systems

B.  It makes backup copies each time the file changes

C.  It’ll only work if you have more than one drive – including networked drives – and you have to turn it on manually.

D.  OneDrive makes an excellent backup drive.


Of course, Microsoft would rather that you store your data in the cloud, where it can keep backups for you. Still, many people find File History very useful. You have to set it up yourself, and it’ll only work if you have a second drive — internal, external, SD Card, networked — available, but it won’t work with OneDrive. See the setup details on my 23 tips for the care and feeding of Windows 10.





Q 9) Windows 10 can set Restore Points, to make it easy to recover known-good versions of the Registry and certain system files. Which of the following is true about the Restore Points feature?

A.  It’s controlled by an entry called Turn on system protection, which is accessible from the old Control Panel.

B.  It’s set up automatically on multi-drive (hard drive or SSD) systems

C.  Restore Points get created automatically when you install a new app or driver, when you change a setting, or when Windows Update installs a cumulative update.

D.  Rolling back to a Restore Point brings back your old apps, drivers, Registry settings, system files, and data files, and it uninstalls cumulative updates.


Restore Points have fallen out of fashion – it’s much easier for Microsoft to have you reset a system, or roll back a bad cumulative update manually (Start > Settings > Update & security > Recovery). See my discussion in 20 ways to hate Windows 10 less.






Q 10) What does the ‘S’ in Windows 10 S stand for?

A.  Student

B.  Secure

C.  Subscription

D.  Nobody knows

With a code name of “Windows 10 Cloud,” Windows 10 S (now in various guises) is a locked-down version of Windows 10 Enterprise. It only runs apps from the Windows Store (which is being rebranded the Microsoft Store), but that doesn’t necessarily mean it only runs UWP apps. At this point, internet connectivity is limited to Edge (and Bing), and it seems severely hobbled in several other meaningful ways. Whether it can shake the stigma of “Windows RT regurgitated” remains to be seen.