Windows is an operating system created by Microsoft and it can be used mainly for PCs.
But this is just a very general definition, things are a bit more complicated with Windows 10, compared to previous operating systems, such as Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Let’s look at the list of Windows 10 versions released so far and then understand the concept behind.
Windows 10 versions: a brief history
|Version number||Name||Release Date||End of support [Home * Pro]||End of support [Enterprise * Education]|
|1909||November Update||Nov 12, 2019||May 11, 2021||May 10, 2022|
|1903||May 2019 Update||May 21, 2019||December 8, 2020|
|1809||October 2018 Update||November 13, 2018||May 12, 2020||May 11, 2021|
|1803||April 2018 Update||April 30, 2018||November 12, 2019||November 10, 2020|
|1709||Fall Creators Update||October 17, 2017||April 9, 2019||April 14, 2020|
|1703||Creators Update||April 5, 2017||October 9, 2018||October 8, 2019|
|1607||Anniversary Update||August 2, 2016||April 10, 2018||October 13, 2026|
|1511||Threshold 2||November 10, 2015||October 10, 2017||October 10, 2017|
|1507||Threshold 1||July 29, 2015||May 9, 2017||May 9, 2017|
What is Windows 10 as a service?
Microsoft decided to completely change their approach. Now, Windows is not simply an operating system, but a service. This way, the American tech giant simplified the lives of Windows users by offering smaller and periodical updates, rather than big changes that will bring an entirely new version of Windows with a distinct name.
So, now, instead of changing for example from Windows Vista to Windows 7, we may change from Windows 10 version 1809 to Windows 10 version 1903.
The differences between the last two are smaller than the differences between Windows Vista and Windows 7, but they should not be taken without any consideration. You run an entirely new version of the operating system, although it continues to be under the umbrella term “Windows 10”.
Therefore, starting with Windows 10, instead of waiting a few years to provide an entirely new version, Microsoft offers smaller incremental updates once every six months.
To have a clearer image of how this new concept of Windows works check out the table above with the entire update history for all the versions of Windows 10. This starts with Windows 10 version 1507 (released in the summer of 2015) and updates twice a year with a new version released by Microsoft Windows: 1511, 1607, 1703, 1709, 1803, 1809, 1903.
Will Microsoft end the support for older Windows 10 versions?
Well, of course. Each version has a “lifecycle” and it is supported by Microsoft for an 18 month period after the release date. It is worth mentioning that this period is available for Windows 10 Home, Pro, and Pro for Workstations editions.
The date for the end of support is different for Windows 10 Enterprise and Education editions.
Also, with Windows 10, there are two release types: feature updates, that are released twice a year, and quality updates (builds) that offer security and reliability fixes at least once a month.
For a better understanding of Windows 10 versions lifecycle, check out this timeline with the availability of each version release.
How do I get a new version of Windows 10?
For this new approach, Windows 10 can be provided via three servicing channels. This concept allows users to have greater control over which feature updates and quality updates are installed in Windows 10.
Windows Insider Program offers the opportunity to test and provide feedback on various features. With Semi-Annual Channel, users can choose when to deploy updates. Long Term Servicing Channel is designed for specialized devices, such as medical equipment or ATM machines.