Windows RT support


  • Should WSUS work for Windows RT devices, or are there plans to allow it to work?

    The WSUS options has "Windows RT" listed in the products to synchronise, but no updates seem to get found.

    I can add the registry keys for my WSUS server to a Windows RT device and the device will register with the server, but it never actually communicates to report its status.

    I saw the Q&A for Nov2012 saying that Windows RT devices wouldn't work with WSUS and needed to be updated from Microsoft Updates, but that's really undesirable if you have a lot of devices wanting to download updates from the internet... that's the whole point of WSUS!

    So why can't we use WSUS to update Windows RT, and if it will never be supported why is it an option to even sync it in WSUS?

    Samstag, 29. Dezember 2012 02:48


Alle Antworten

  • sounds like you've already found your answer, although i agree, it should be supported at some point and maybe that's why it's available under the products section, it might be in the works

    while this might all be pointless right now but since you managed to get RT to show up in your WSUS console, maybe you can force it to report in to the server: wuauclt.exe /detectnow /register /reportnow (elevated cmd prompt)

    Samstag, 29. Dezember 2012 04:29
  • It's been a product in WSUS for a few months now. Possibly it just shows all the products in the catalogue it downloads regardless if it can support them or not.

    I've already tried every trick I can to force the clients to update (including the one you mentioned), but they just don't. The windowsupdate.log "looks" mostly ok, but it just won't play. I guess it's a hard-coded thing in RT.

    Samstag, 29. Dezember 2012 04:32
  • I can't say exactly if or when this will be supported, but watch the System Center and WSUS blogs for further details. That's all I can say for now, sorry!

    Ben Herila

    PM | Windows Server

    Sonntag, 30. Dezember 2012 06:45
  • I can't say exactly if or when this will be supported, but watch the System Center and WSUS blogs for further details. That's all I can say for now, sorry!

    Ben Herila

    PM | Windows Server

    Hi, I live in Greenland - data communication wise everything here is a bit different. We are about 50,000 people on an area greater than one fourth of United States. Every Megabyte from the internet is attached with a certain cost to it. We use Microsoft WSUS and Apple SUS extensively!!! So saying WSUS might or might not be supported is like saying to us "Don't ever buy that thing - you might end up paying 10 times its initial cost in updates" Just the updates from preview to full version of the Office RT products costs here about $350 in data. And - please don't give me a song about changing to another ISP - At 50,000 people scattered on an area of this size ......... WSUS or no WSUS - without a straight answer no one up here are going to buy. Best regards Michael Williams Microsoft certied and supporter since the 80'ties
    Montag, 14. Januar 2013 07:03
  • Thanks for your feedback. I certainly understand and apologize for the inconvenience and expense of updating Windows RT devices without WSUS available. Bringing support to WSUS is something we are definitely looking at and prioritizing along with our other work items, but it's not as simple as flipping a switch. There are a number of challenges that we need to overcome before we can offer support for Windows RT. Here are just a few examples:

    • Windows RT devices can't be joined to a domain. Is it practical to go around to each computer and update its group policy to allow it to find your WSUS server?
    • We also need to consider where Windows RT devices are being used. Are people going to be bringing these devices into their workplaces and connecting them to their workplace networks to download and install updates? Or are RT devices more typically used on-the-go and it is too risky to leave the machines unpatched for long?
    • Is WSUS the right solution, or are there other more preferable solutions such as downloading updates from a local, less expensive source? (such as your local library or even another Windows RT device on your LAN)

    Once we have identified and agreed on the preferred solution, we still must engineer the feature and make sure it adheres to all of Microsoft's quality control standards, such as the CEC, for both Windows RT and Windows Server. It's a somewhat long process. And, at the same time, there are many other customer issues that we are working hard to resolve, a few of which you can read about on other threads in this WSUS forum.

    I think it may be worth mentioning that the networking team did implement a number of features designed to limit bandwidth consumption on metered networks. You can read their blog on it here-

    We (the WSUS team) will post an update when we know more.

    Thanks again!

    P.S. I am the Program Manager for WSUS and Server Core, so you've found the right person at Microsoft. That means the first battle (finding the right person) is over :-)

    Montag, 14. Januar 2013 08:44
  • Are there any news on this topic? We have 30 Surface running in a classroom. How should we update to 8.1?



    Samstag, 2. November 2013 06:16
  • I don't know if Intune will let you manage the upgrade, but it might be the only option still is to install it on each machine one by one. Perhaps setup a proxy server with a big cache on a network just for them so at least it might only have to download once.

    There really does need to be a better option though.

    Samstag, 2. November 2013 06:21
  • OK, a year and a day later I have found this topic. Has there been any progress yet on deciding what to do?

    Windows RT still shows as a product in WSUS but nothing has ever been synced to it.

    Instead of trying to decide on "the" solution as you said, how about making it work with WSUS for those who want to overcome the obstacles of setting the group policy and all that. Supporting it in WSUS doesn't prevent you coming up with other methods and scenarios but it does help us who are using WSUS.

    The fact that Windows RT isn't updateable with WSUS is a major reason we haven't bought any RT tablets at my company, we have limited bandwidth and can't have any machines going direct to Microsoft for updates.

    Mittwoch, 15. Januar 2014 16:52
  • New features take time and we do have a lot on our plate. We are working on it :-)

    Mittwoch, 15. Januar 2014 20:12
  • I was replying to the long thing you wrote on January 14, 2013, which was a year and a day ago. ;)

    Regardless of that, I'm very glad to see that the issue is still getting your attention.

    Mittwoch, 15. Januar 2014 20:17
  • Considering it has been over a year (30th dec 2012), and a significant OS version update later surely some additional info must be available to share. Sure it takes time, but the impression I get is that it isn't even on the roadmap.

    For my part, I've started down the configmgr and intune path, but no luck as yet due spending the last 6 months waiting for my O365 and Intune portals to be activated correctly.

    Mittwoch, 15. Januar 2014 21:38
  • Config mgr and Intune both require underlying support in WSUS for Windows RT updates. There are many considerations beyond just enabling the Windows updates. We want to be able to patch everything that ships in the Windows RT box through WSUS. If we shipped a half-baked solution now, it might unblock some customers in the short term, but ultimately could do more harm in the long run.

    P.S. A range-caching HTTP proxy that supports BITS and HTTPS should unblock you for the bandwidth consumption scenarios for your Surface RT devices, and has the bonus of reducing bandwidth consumption for other applications as well :-)

    Mittwoch, 15. Januar 2014 22:07
  • Config mgr and Intune both require underlying support in WSUS for Windows RT updates.

    Actually yes, I hadn't even gone as far as making that connection, I was also looking at it from an overall management and app deployment perspective.

    Are you able to elaborate further on just what the challenges here are?

    Windows RT RTM'd October 2012, 15 months ago - It was in dev long before that. Given the WindowsUpdate system has obviously been updated to handle RT, is the update engine in RT really that much different from the full OS?

    WSUS has had it listed in the catalogue for quite some time (as I have mentioned above). Why is this so if it isn't a supported product?

    The environment I am currently working in (education) is potentially going to have hundreds, if not thousands, of these devices coming this year. Range-caching proxies are not an option that is available here. More likely they would block access to the Windows update site to prevent the devices updating at all.

    Even if the current RT policy of forced approval/installation/reboot is required, why can't we at least point to a local WSUS/CM12 server for the content (like a reg key change?)

    We are already "in the long run" as far as RT is concerned, and now we are starting to talk Windows 9!

    I do appreciate the fact you are taking the time to respond and discuss this, not many teams are as engaged, but this is very frustrating from an end-user perspective. Windows RT is being actively advertised for use as a "business tool" in Australia, so Microsoft obviously feels it is not a consumer-only product any more.

    Mittwoch, 15. Januar 2014 22:40
  • WSUS is a product that supports many platforms, software, endpoints, etc. and we have been investing in multiple areas -- in other words, we haven't been working exclusively on Windows RT support for WSUS. You might think back to how Windows RT was advertised when it was first released, and that would likely reflect the thinking that went into the engineering process from the marketing team, which to a large extent prioritized our feature plan. In short, we have delivered new features and customer value in the recent R2 release of Windows Server -- just not the one that you happen to need. I'm really sorry about that :-(

    The one thing that I will say is that as more customers pile on requests (via support tickets, DCRs, Premier cases, etc.), the more resources we can get to make Windows RT support for WSUS a reality sooner.

    Donnerstag, 16. Januar 2014 00:01
  • The one thing that I will say is that as more customers pile on requests (via support tickets, DCRs, Premier cases, etc.), the more resources we can get to make Windows RT support for WSUS a reality sooner.

    It's nearly a year later. Add me to the pile.

    To provide the use case - we have several web applications that we use for managing warehouse inventory, production reporting, etc. They all run just fine on the latest surface RT tablets when we bought one to evaluate.

    However, the time-value of my junior admins to check on and patch/maintain these tablets exceeds the cost difference with the Surface Pro. This leads us to overspend by hundreds of dollars on a Surface Pro 3 just because the RT can't work with WSUS.

    Here is how the math works:

    Assumptions: Labor cost estimated to be $25/hour.

    13 patch cycles/year (conservatively estimating only one out-of-band patch a year)

    Time to track down the user, schedule downtime, perform the patching, validate success, and return the tablet to production is estimated at about 1 hour/tablet.

    Amortize that over the 5-year hardware life-cycle we operate on, and the cost becomes 25x13x60= $1,625 dollars.

    If even if we accept an untenable hardware refresh cycle, the cost is still 25x13x2=$650 and that's with 2.5 times the hardware costs.

    So as you can see, the economics work out to the TCO of the Pro 3 being cheaper than the RT - solely because of the lack of WSUS support.

    Montag, 8. Dezember 2014 16:51