WSUS can’t distinctly identify 1909 version [EN]

Been using WSUS for so many years and never learned this. Partly because on my old job we always were using one version of Windows 10 (or Windows 7) and there was no need to know the exact versions or builds. Now when i have to manage 4-5 different versions of Windows 10, Version column in WSUS became essential. It shows full Windows version with build number and last CU update version, e.g. 10.0.18362.449 for 1903 version. You can see the same information on a local machine in systeminfo or using winver command. But there is a catch which i’ve only noticed after installing 1909 Enablement Package update on one test 1903 machine. It still shows 18362 build in WSUS console, although it should be 18363. And even CU number after the dot is not up to date. I’ve been told that WSUS is actually checking Windows Update agent’s version (wuaueng.dll) to determine Windows build. And in 1909, this agent hasn’t been updated and stayed the same as in 1903 version (because 1909 is just a CU update of 1903 disguised as a “feature update”). Moreover CU updates also not always change WU agent’s version, so version after the dot might also be stale. It seems that ConfigMgr has another column for that – Operating System Build, which shows correct version of a system. This is probably a result of WSUS being a legacy tool, not originally designed to work with such dynamic changes to build versions and it never was updated properly to work better with Windows 10 (and never will). This also shows in “failed” status while a machine downloads a feature update and some other quirks requiring a mandatory wiping of SoftwareDistribution folder as PCs just stop reporting status to WSUS properly. With 1909 update Microsoft is trying to optimize their updates and new features delivery process going away from a huge feature update rewriting all system files, requiring huge installation package and multiple restarts. Now they release new features with regular CU updates, but features stay disabled until an Enablement Package is installed at some point. It seems that MS is delivering on a promise of a Windows as a Service and maybe in a few years we won’t have big versions like 1809, 1903 and such. There will be one version for good and new features will be released monthly with regular CU updates along with fixes and security patches. Well, some businesses still will require LTSC version, so it probably won’t go away.

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