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Microsoft commits to major Windows feature releases twice a year

22 April 2017

Microsoft has started rolling out the latest Windows 10 major update last week. This is ultimately is the Redmond giant's way to make feature release schedules more manageable and predictable for IT Pros and in enterprise deployments.

The Windows 10 Creators Update is the latest set of updates to the operating system that empowers users with experiences on 3D, mixed reality, 4K gaming and enhanced security features. The company not only promised two yearly updates for Windows 10, but also said that the same model would be followed for the Office 365 ProPlus programs. The new policies outlined today are specific to Office 365 ProPlus connecting to Office 365 services.

The updates will take place in March and September of each year, and each will be supported by Microsoft for 18 months. By the time the end of Windows 7's 10 year life cycle support period arrives in January 2020, Microsoft will have almost three years of working within this new twice a year release cadence and will have the system well established. The Office 365 ProPlus subscription includes all the standard Microsoft Office applications like Excel, Word and PowerPoint. It's not unprecedented though; Ubuntu and other Linux distros also commit to six-month release schedules. Microsoft has not revealed a release timetable, but most experts expect it to appear this fall. The System Center Configuration Manager updates will be coordinated with this new twice-annual update model, officials stated. The move is supposed to make it easier for the company's business customers to know when updates will be released and for how long each version of Windows 10 will be supported.

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As noted by Mary Joe Foley at ZDNet, these changes to Office 365 does not affect non-subscription based Office client apps and suites, or Web versions of Office apps.

Apparently, the rest of several Office 365 versions will continue to be updated as needed.

Power Throttling works only on Intel processors with that firm's Speed Shift, a feature of sixth-generation and later CPUs, including "Skylake" and the newer "Kaby Lake".

Microsoft commits to major Windows feature releases twice a year