Difference between LTSB, CB, CBB, Semi-Annual Channel versions of Windows 10

Difference between LTSB, CB, CBB, Semi-Annual Channel versions of Windows 10

Microsoft has come up with their new concept called “Servicing branch desginations” which broadly used for 3 types of servicing branch we are going to discuss now. These are the terms used by Microsoft defining Windows as a Service options available for Windows 10. Lets not get confused by versions of Windows 10 (ie Home, Pro, Enterprise etc).

There are 3 versions of Windows 10 available in terms of delivering Windows as a service

  1. LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) – Previously known as LTSB (Long Term Servicing Branch)
  2. Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) – Previously known as CB (Current Branch)
  3. Semi-Annual Channel – Previously known as CBB (Current Branch for Business)

LTSC (Long Term Servicing Channel) / LTSB (Long Term Servicing Branch) – Programs like Edge, Cortana, Store, Outlook Mail, Outlook Calendar, OneNote, Weather, News, Sports, Money, Photos, Camera, Music, and Clock. and the Store are not available.

Long term Servicing Channel for Windows 10 is exactly similar to old versions of Windows where users receive Security Updates and bug fixes every month but no new features and enhancements will be applicable. Minimum length of servicing lifetime of LTSC is 10 years.

The only supported version for this version is Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC as it is intended to target for Corporate and enterprise user. Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC supports release deployment by using Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services, Configuration Manager, and other configuration management systems:

If you require all the features of Windows 10, you have to switch from LTSC to Semi Annual Channel , you need to use in-place upgrade

  1. Semi Annual Channel / CB (Current Branch) – This is the latest version of Windows and is called Current Branch, this version receives all upgrades (new versions) and updates (patches) from Microsoft within a few days of their release. CB is what all home users get and what most small business corporate Pro users will get. Version can be verified as(you wont be seeing Current Branch written as one can think of), this is the latest version: 1709 with Build 16299, below screenshot showing old detail version 1511 build 15086:

  1. Semi Annual Channel / CBB (Current Branch for Business)Current Branch For Business is NOT and edition or version of Windows 10, instead it is a SETTING in Windows 10. You have enable DEFER UPGRADES in Windows Update settings.

This is also configurable via Group Policy:

  1. Open a Group Policy Object that is targeted at the machines you wish to use CBB.
  2. Navigate to Computer Configuration >> Policies >> Administrative Templates >> Windows Components >> Windows Update.
  3. Double-click Defer Upgrades and Updates.
  4. Enable the policy and set a duration for upgrade duration.
  5. Click OK.


New feature update releases are initially considered Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) releases; organizations will use these for pilot deployments to ensure compatibility with existing apps and infrastructure. After about four months, the feature update will be declared as Semi-Annual Channel, indicating that it is ready for broad deployment.

Each Windows 10 feature update (which initially begins as Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) and then is declared as Semi-Annual Channel) will be serviced with quality updates for a minimum of 18 months after it is released.
Windows 10 Release Information (versions)

Servicing option Version OS build Availability date Latest revision date
Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) 1709 16299.248 10/17/2017 2/13/2018
Current Branch (CB) 1703 15063.936 4/11/2017 2/22/2018
Current Branch (CB) 1607 14393.2097 8/2/2016 2/22/2018
Current Branch (CB) 1511 10586.1417 11/12/2015 2/13/2018
Semi-Annual Channel 1709 16299.248 1/18/2018 2/13/2018
Semi-Annual Channel 1703 15063.936 7/11/2017 2/22/2018
Current Branch for Business (CBB) 1607 14393.2097 11/29/2016 2/22/2018
Current Branch for Business (CBB) 1511 10586.1417 4/8/2016 2/13/2018
Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) 1607 14393.2097 8/2/2016 2/22/2018
Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) 1507 (RTM) 10240.17770 7/29/2015 2/13/2018

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