Microsoft to release two major updates for Windows 10 per year, instead of three

By: Ivan Jenic
2 minute read

Microsoft recently changed its timetable of releasing major updates for Windows 10 to two feature updates per year, instead of three, that were originally announced. Besides cutting the number of annual major updates for Windows 10, Redmond also revealed how the schedule of updates will work.

Microsoft announce its change of plans for Windows 10 major updates timetable relatively silently, at last month’s WinHEC technical conference in Taiwan. Microsoft’s senior program manager, Chris Riggs revealed info about Microsoft’s new policy at the conference.

Apparently, the reason for scaling back the number of upgrades is to provide users with as stable updates as possible. This is completely reasonable, if we have in mind that previous major update for Windows 10, Threshold 2 (or 1511) caused a lot of problems to some users who installed it, and Microsoft doesn’t want to repeat the same mistake.

Releasing two feature updates per year will give Microsoft time and space for developing new features for Windows 10, as well as addressing all possible bugs.

Timetable of releasing cumulative updates for Windows 10 remained the same. Microsoft will issue cumulative updates to the current branch of Windows 10 once a month, during a Patch Tuesday. Cumulative updates will mainly contain standard security improvements, and minor system enhancements.

Support for a current build will last 14 months

At the same conference Microsoft also revealed its plan for releasing feature updates for different branches of Windows 10. When a new major update is released, it will stay in the Current Branch for 4 months first. After original 4 months, it will become available to “Current Branch for Businesses (CBB)”, which is used by larger companies and businesses.

Microsoft will further support that release for 12 months, plus a ‘grace period’ of 60 days. Microsoft gave additional 60 days to businesses and companies to migrate to a newly released version of Windows 10, and make sure they don’t stay without needed support. So if we calculate all these periods, we come to a total of 14 months of supporting a currently released version for Windows 10.

So, as we expect the next major update for Windows 10, the Anniversary Update to arrive in July this year, if Microsoft sticks to this plan, it should arrive to businesses on the CCB in November 2016.

Early builds of each big update are going to be released to Windows Insiders in Windows 10 Preview, so they can test new features, and provide needed feedback. So, nothing change here.

What do you think about Microsoft’s new schedule of releasing major updates for Windows 10? Is releasing less frequent, but more stable builds a better solution, or you’d still like to get 3 major updates per year? Tell us your opinion in the comments.


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