Windows 10 v1607 (Anniversary Update) includes new delivery optimization feature

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Microsoft has introduced the Windows Update Delivery Optimization in Windows 10, which is a feature that allows computers to get updates faster from / send updates to other computers on the network, but this would result in bigger bandwidth bills.

This feature is part of the Windows Update for Business set of features, so its main purpose is to help companies manage updates easier. Now that Microsoft has released the Anniversary Update, users who installed version 1607 of Windows have noticed a different client update scheme.

In a blog post, Michael Niehaus, a Microsoft senior product marketing manager for Windows, told users who started deploying Windows 10 1607 that there’s a “change in the behavior of the Windows Update agent for PCs that are configured to pull updates from WSUS. Instead of pulling the updates from WSUS, PCs may start grabbing them from peers on your network, leveraging the Delivery Optimization service for referrals to other PCs that have already obtained the content.”

Windows Update Delivery Optimization is turned on by default in Windows 10 Enterprise and Education editions, but users have to enable it in the Pro edition. The service pulls updates and shares them from PCs on users’ LAN, and not the Internet, and it can be configured to get its bits outside a company’s network. Microsoft had make some clarifications, explaining that “Delivery Optimization can’t be used to download or send personal content.”

Users who want to disable the Delivery Optimization service can do it via the new Group Policy setting, which IT pros consider it a new “Bypass” mode. Niehaus said that organizations that want to bypass the Delivery Optimization service must get the latest Administrative Template (.ADMX) files for version 1607 of Windows 10, and Windows Server 2016. Group Policy can be used by companies to delay Windows 10 updates for up to eight months.