Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 with annual feature updates

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Microsoft

Microsoft is releasing the November 2021 Windows 10 Update, also known as Windows 10 21H2, to the public today. The company is also clarify its plans for the future of Windows 10 updates: From now on, Microsoft will continue to provide Windows 10 feature updates once a year, rather than the current schedule of twice a year. This is intended to sync Windows 10’s update schedule with that of Windows 11, which will also receive major feature updates once a year.

Microsoft has not made a commitment on the number of annual updates it will provide for Windows 10, but the company will support “at least one version” of the operating system until the end of update support. day in October 2025. Microsoft is promising 18 months of support for Windows 10 21H2, so it seems safe to assume that we’ll see at least 22H2 and 23H2 for Windows 10. For companies using Windows 10 Enterprise, 21H2 is also a Long Term Maintenance Channel (LTSC) update and will benefit from update support. for five years instead of 18 months.

While more Windows 10 updates are good news for anyone who isn’t ready to upgrade to Windows 11 or whose hardware doesn’t support the new operating system, it’s unclear what the updates are. “Feature updates” will imply for an operating system that has been replaced. . Microsoft has a habit of backporting certain apps and APIs to older versions of Windows to increase adoption of new technologies and reduce the amount of work developers have to do. But some features are already exclusive to Windows 11, including 64-bit x86 app emulation on the ARM version of Windows 10, the fastest to update version from the Microsoft Store of the Windows Subsystem for Linux, the entire Windows Subsystem for Android, and most updated proprietary apps, and we expect this list increases rather than decreases.

The “Windows-as-a-service” model as it was originally proposed was meant to alleviate fragmentation between different versions of Windows and remove the need for backporting features in the first place. It remains to be seen how Windows as a service works when Microsoft runs two slightly (but increasingly) different versions of Windows in parallel.

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