Microsoft commits to a permament schedule for new Windows 10, Office updates

Feature updates to hit in March and September, in perpetuity.

IDG

IDG

Microsoft said Thursday it will commit to a strict schedule for Windows and Office feature updates: every September and March. It's a concession to IT administrators that will ripple down to all users.

The company said it would hew to a “predictable” twice-per-year schedule for both platforms, though there’s still a little wiggle room: Microsoft didn’t specify exact dates within those months. As per the new schedule, the next Windows update, code-named Redstone 3, will be released in September.

Technically, Windows 10, Office 365 ProPlus, and Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager are all being aligned on the same schedule. That actually means fewer releases for the basic enterprise version of Office and Office 365 ProPlus, which typically get new feature updates three times per year. Microsoft said it would extend ProPlus support, though, from 12 to 18 months. (The ProPlus subscription includes the standard Office apps like Word and PowerPoint, but excludes some Office services like SharePoint, Yammer, Skype, and Teams.) Consumers who subscribe to Office 365, however, will continue to receive updates more frequently.

“We’ve... heard our customers want more predictability and simplicity from this update servicing model to help make deployments and updates of Microsoft products easier,” Bernando Caldas, the general manager of Windows Commercial Marketing, wrote in a blog post.

Microsoft said each Windows 10 feature update will be officially supported for only 18 months, unchanged from its current timetable. Over 400 million devices uses Windows 10 on a monthly basis, Microsoft said.

The effect on you at home: Probably not that much. The semiannual feature updates will likely just mark iterative improvements to the operating system, with a few notable new features that help distinguish it from other releases. For Microsoft, though, this could mean less auspicious feature bundles, a la the Creators Update, which didn’t quite pan out as promised. If you’re already looking ahead past the Creators Update, you now know about when Redstone 3 is scheduled to drop.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftWindows 10

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?