De-clarification on Windows 10 New Feature Upgrades Release Cadence

De-clarification on Windows 10 New Feature Upgrades Release Cadence

If you were all set to expect a certain number of Windows 10 new feature releases per year, Microsoft has muddied the water a bit.

Late last week, Microsoft finally released a document to its TechNet library to help clarify how Windows 10 servicing will work. That document explains a lot of what we’ve been covering here on WindowsITPro, including servicing timelines, who gets what when, and how long businesses can wait to apply new updates before reaching an unsupported status. It’s a live document and will be updated accordingly as new information becomes available.

Full TechNet article: Introduction to Windows 10 servicing

Windows 10 changes things. For some – those with rigid plans in place for updating systems – the new model of updating will require changes in long-standing processes. Windows 10 updates can be delayed, but not forever, and only to offer time for proper testing before a subsequent rollout. But, one thing we’ve come to believe is that major updates to the operating system will come on a regular cadence. We’ve heard that feature upgrades will happen two or three times a year. That’s great for planning purposes. As long as it holds true.

One piece in the new servicing document shows that even this precept may not be as solid a measure as we hoped…

Although Microsoft is currently planning to release approximately two to three feature upgrades per year, the actual frequency and timing of releases will vary. Because the servicing lifetimes of feature upgrades typically end when the servicing lifetimes of other, subsequent feature upgrades begin, the lengths of servicing lifetimes will also vary.

If you can’t hit the target, move it closer or change the trajectory. We’ve become used to Microsoft’s regularly scheduled Patch Tuesday (first Tuesday of the month), and the subsequent second Patch Tuesday that seems to follow a couple weeks after the first now. But, this is a new world where features rollout out quick and constant. Understanding when feature updates will deliver will take a much more concerted effort to manage. At least the updates will be cumulative so if a business decides to skip one, or hasn’t been able to deploy one quick enough before a new servicing update is available, they can get current in one fell swoop.

So, I'm curious. Will the potential for moving the target for upgrades change your planning for Windows 10 updgrades?

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