Microsoft Moves Windows 10 to 2 Feature Updates Each Year

Microsoft Moves Windows 10 to 2 Feature Updates Each Year

Microsoft spent much of the last year cobbling together a more cohesive plan for delivering updates to Windows 10. What the company had originally communicated about constant updates has evolved over time and a new, more clear plan seems to have surfaced.

In a recent presentation by Microsoft senior program manager Chris Riggs to WinHEC attendees in Taiwan, the company representative shared more information about the software company’s Windows 10 update and upgrade.

According to the Windows as a Service presentation (slide deck HERE), Microsoft plans to release single cumulative updates each month, and so-called feature updates twice a year.

Microsoft has already been delivering monthly cumulate updates, but the limit on the number of feature updates per year is new. An example of a feature update is the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition that is expected to roll out at the end of July. These ship with new features and capabilities.

According to Riggs, here’s how the timeline for feature updates progress through the system…

  1. Each feature release follows a six-month development and testing cycle in the Insider program and then published to Current Branch systems.
  2. The update is then distributed to applicable consumer editions. Windows 10 Home users, of course, have no control over the update and it will be installed automatically. Pro, Education and Enterprise editions can defer the upgrades.
  3. After a four-month “pilot” phase, the update is then pushed to all audiences.

The Windows as a Service deck covers many other aspects of Microsoft’s Windows 10 updating strategy and contains some valuable information. Make sure you grab it: Windows As A Service slide deck

The new strategy (only 2 feature updates per year) should make businesses pretty happy. A number of businesses have held off upgrading to Windows 10, afraid to get on an update train that had no destination and no way to stop it. Limiting the number of feature updates and communicating what to expect each month, allows IT to plan, upgrade, and patch accordingly and to get some level of control back.

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