Microsoft is extending support for Windows 10 versions to 30 months

09 September, 2018, 14:46 | Author: Patty Hardy
  • Windows 10 Support Cycle Changes Bugs Fixed Ahead of October Update Windows 7 Gets Paid Extended Security Updates

Even though many enterprises are already deploying Windows 10, some customers will find it hard to move all their PCs to Windows 10 before Windows 7's extended support EOL date (January 14, 2020).

The Windows 7 Extended Security Updates program pushes out Windows 7 SP1 support by three years, which implies that security updates will continue to get released for the operating system.

The ESUs are available to Windows 7 Professional and Enterprise customers in Microsoft's Volume Licensing scheme.

In the same announcement, Microsoft faced up to the fact that the hectic pace of Windows 10 updates was not to the liking of its enterprise and education customers. In addition, Office 365 ProPlus will be supported on devices with active Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) through January 2023. Microsoft pledges that the current set of feature updates (versions 1607, 1703, 1709, and 1803) will get 30 months of support from their original release date.

Starting with Windows 10 version 1809 that's due out this month, future feature updates will also be supported for two and half years, to give customers with longer deployment cycles more time.

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The change follows an open letter to Microsoft from sysadmins, who said keeping up with the twice-yearly feature updates to Windows 10 was causing them "fatigue". Future updates to Windows 10 Enterprise will also have 30 months of support, but that drops to 18 months next March. Under the new policy, Office 2016 will also be supported until October 2023.

Other fixes introduced in the latest Windows 10 build include an issue resulting in particular apps crashing while setting focus to the in-app search box. It will be a per-device cost, so businesses with a lot of Windows 7 machines will pay out the nose for continued support.

Office 365 Services Connections Microsoft had also specified in April 2017 that only Office 2019 or Office 365 ProPlus clients in the "mainstream" support phase (the first five years) would be able to connect to Office 365 services, such as connecting with OneDrive, Outlook and Skype for Business applications.

Currently, most Windows 7 users will stop getting updates until January 14, 2020. In principle, an organization that stuck to the September releases could go two years between feature updates. These extensions align with the extended support for those operating systems. This, Microsoft says, applies to feature updates targeting both March and September.

The longer support guarantee for the Fall updates has been compared to the Long Time Support (LTS) releases offered by Ubuntu Linux. It's unclear if Windows 7 has become so deeply embedded that Microsoft will have to offer a similar service.

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