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

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

IDG

IDG

Credit: 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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftWindows 10

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

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?