Fixed Cycle for Windows and Office Update Releases
In a blog post, Microsoft has recently announced that in the future new feature releases of Windows 10 will be provided according to a fixed cycle, being published in March and September of each year. This specific schedule is valid not only for Windows; Office 365 ProPlus and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) will be updated in the same interval, too.
With this fixed schedule for all three products, the software group would like to offer corporate customers more predictability of new feature releases, thus facilitating the integration into the corresponding IT infrastructure. In the past, the company had announced at least two or three feature updates for Windows 10 per year, without mentioning specific dates and last year, with the Anniversary Update, there was only one single release. For Office 365 ProPlus, however, new functions had been released thrice this year.
Additionally, Microsoft has announced that the support period for major feature updates will be extended. Whereas in the past, customers had to switch within 12 months to a more recent release of Windows or Office, there will now remain six months more time for a change. Microsoft will grant 18 months of support for each feature release, and will accordingly deliver security updates for this release throughout the complete period.
This amended rule means that on May 9, 2017 the support for Windows 10 version 1507 will finally end. As a result, there will be no more feature or security updates available for the first build of Windows 10. According to Microsoft, users of this old edition should perform an update using the new Upgrade Wizard, if an update via Windows Update had failed.
On the other hand, the next major feature update of Windows 10 with code name Redstone 3 is expected to come in September. A first preview version has just been released in the Fast Ring of the Windows Insider program for desktop computers.