Microsoft has its particular color chart with Windows and that is not something it is saying in a derogatory tone. We find different versions of Windows and an evolution that has already led us to Windows 11. And with them, all the updates that Microsoft periodically launches, so many updates that they can cause the loss of more than one user .

We are talking about Patch Tuesday, optional updates, Service Packs, security updates … **** a list that may confuse the user less since and that we will try to clarify in this article by shedding some light on the subject.

A guide not to get lost

Windows has had two major updates a year since the arrival of Windows 10, released in the spring and fall. The version of Windows does not change, as if for example Apple with macOS did it every year, from Catalina to Sierra, Monterrey … Windows 10 remains unchanged, but it is updated twice a year with two updates. heavy days … more or less, the updates we call “feature updates”.

The problem is that in addition to the two big updates, these “feature updates”, Microsoft releases improvements, news and changes with frequent updates. We can therefore find security updates, quality updates, maintenance stack updates …

Feature updates

We’ve already covered how “feature updates” correspond to the two major updates that Microsoft releases twice a year, the latest being the Windows 10 May 2021 update.

It would be something like Service Packs from previous versions of Windows and something similar to what Apple does every year with macOS, with the difference that Windows 10 remains in the name unchanged.

Feature updates are distinguished by their name, which refers to the month and year of their release. In the branch reference case, the last is 21H1, 21 is the year, and H1 means it was launched in the first half of the year. This branch always matches a name, so 21H1 is the May 2021 update.

Quality updates

Unlike previous ones, quality updates do not have names that identify them. The purpose of these updates is to fix any bugs or issues that arose with the latest feature update.

Quality updates are usually released on the second Tuesday of each month, which is why we know them as Patch Tuesday and each one that is released incorporates the fixes that the previous ones already offer, so installing the latest one will be. as if we would have installed the rest.

Each month, Patch Tuesday, or Quality Updates, includes security updates, critical updates, maintenance stack updates, and driver updates. It is therefore advisable to install them periodically.

Health stack updates

One of the most important, because it is responsible for updating the servicing stack, the component responsible for installing all updates. If it fails or has issues, an update can be ruined.

These usually arrive included in each month’s Patch Tuesdays, although sometimes they can be released independently to correct a last minute issue.

Optional updates

The options usually include driver or driver updates. When you add hardware to your computer, Windows automatically installs the drivers for that component, but over time the manufacturer may update these drivers to improve performance or fix bugs. And these show up as optional updates in “Windows Update”.

Microsoft Product Updates

These are updates intended only to correct problems or add improvements to a Microsoft product or application. Office is the best example, although we also have Windows Defender and its database or other apps like Teams or Skype.