Home windows 10 was purported to launch, rinse and repeat on a metronomic cadence. Ticktock. Every replace was to have its months within the solar, then fade away as its assist expired. Ticktock. The repetitive, predictable schedule was to revolutionize working system progress by changing the every-several-years improve jolt.


That promise, although, acquired misplaced as Microsoft rearranged and rejiggered Home windows 10’s assist and replace practices.

This yr, Microsoft messed with the nomenclature of the still-twice-annual upgrades, dropping the yy03 and yy09 labels for the vaguer yyH1 and yyH2, an admission that the supposed precision of the sooner tags fooled nobody. With half a yr – first or second – as a goal, Microsoft gave itself the wiggle room the unique plan had rejected as old style, if not out of date.

And as anticipated, Microsoft will reprise the 2019 major-minor launch observe this yr. For all its discuss of “monitoring suggestions” and “hoping to be taught” whether or not to repeat the supply of 1 main refresh and one very minor retread, or return to a pair of equal upgrades, Microsoft did not appear to hesitate when selecting the previous – not throughout an upside-down, inside-out yr of the novel coronavirus.

Every year of Home windows 10 witnesses new decay of the unique idea. Every mutation of the plan comes as a shock to prospects.

That is why everybody needs to be marking the calendar with Home windows’ most necessary launch occasions. That is the newest schedule; pencil in these dates.

April 13, 2021

Home windows 10 21H1 — most likely nicknamed “April 2021 Replace” — might launch after this date, the month’s Patch Tuesday. (Keep in mind, Microsoft modified its function improve naming conference in June 2020, dropping the yymm format for the brand new yyH1 and yyH2 for annually’s first- and second-half releases.)

It’s doable that Microsoft is not going to subject a spring function improve (because it’s finished since 2017); stories have circulated that the agency will shift to a once-a-year tempo by giving the primary slot of 2021 to the launch of Home windows 10X, one other try by the corporate to craft a lighter-weight OS to compete with the likes of Google’s Chrome OS and Apple’s iPadOS.

If Home windows 10 21H1 does seem, it will likely be put in primarily by Home windows 10 Dwelling and Home windows 10 Professional prospects due to its shorter 18-month assist lifecycle.

February 2021 Gregg Keizer/IDG

Feb. 3, 2021

On this date, Microsoft advised business prospects that Home windows 10 2004 was dependable and steady sufficient that it could possibly be deployed to all company PCs. “Home windows 10, model 2004 is designated for broad deployment,” Microsoft stated.

That steerage was notable — not for its look, for Microsoft has persistently declared Home windows 10 variations’ suitability for broad rollout — however as a result of it got here greater than eight months after the Might 27, 2020, launch of Home windows 10 2004.

The delay was the longest but for Microsoft, breaking the prior report of six and a half months set by Home windows 10 1909, 2004’s rapid predecessor. Beforehand, the time hole between launch and a Microsoft declaration was shorter, on the order of 4 months as a mean.

So, why did it take practically half the 18-month assist lifetime of Home windows 10 2004 to declare it protected and sound? And extra importantly, are these notifications nonetheless helpful to IT directors?

Computerworld would not have definitive solutions for the primary two questions. On the third, our take is that, no, they are not. Not with delays so prolonged that the messages turn out to be meaningless, so tardy that months of energetic use have been wasted. 

Computerworld will, for now, proceed to insert its projected dates for Microsoft’s ready-for-business into this calendar, utilizing a seven-month lag between launch and see, a tough common of the final two notifications.

Frankly, IT admins can be higher served to make use of their very own judgment, not Redmond’s, as to when to push a bigger deployment.

Might 11, 2021

Microsoft serves the final safety patches and different bug fixes to Home windows 10 Dwelling 1909, Home windows 10 Professional 1909 and Home windows 10 Professional Workstation 1909, wrapping up 18 months of assist.

may 11 2021 IDG/Gregg Keizer

Might 11, 2021 … Take #2

Microsoft delivers the ultimate updates for Home windows 10 Enterprise 1809 and Home windows 10 Training 1809, ending 30 months of assist for the autumn function improve.

Prospects working 1809 should migrate to a more recent refresh – 1903, 1909, 20H1, 20H2 and even the possibly-just launched 21H1 – to proceed to obtain safety patches. Home windows 10 Enterprise 20H2 and Home windows 10 Training 20H2 would appear to be one of the best wager, since they’ve probably the most assist remaining (about 24 months from this date).

Might 18, 2021

Someplace round this date, Microsoft ought to inform IT admins that Home windows 10 20H2 — the service pack issued seven months in the past on Oct. 20, 2020 — is able to deploy all through their organizations. This message might seem on the Home windows Replace Twitter account and/or on the Home windows launch well being hub.

Aug. 17, 2021

If these have been regular occasions, Microsoft would start to improve Home windows 10 Dwelling and Home windows 10 Professional PCs working model 2004 with Home windows 10 21H1 round this date.

However what if 21H1 would not exist? (See “April 1, 2021” for particulars.)

August 2021 Gregg Keizer/IDG

Computerworld scoped out how Microsoft would possibly cope with the no-show of Home windows 10 21H1 (to make room for an introduction of Home windows 10X) in that story’s “No spring, ahead to fall” part. There isn’t any must stroll that floor once more.

Suffice it to say that a technique Microsoft might deal with the issue can be to improve Home windows 10 2004 with model 20H2, a one-time stutter step to prep for a change to upgrading within the fall, not the spring, annually. Computerworld laid out how Microsoft would possibly try this, theorizing that the developer would warn customers of Home windows 10 2004 early this yr of the change. It hasn’t.

As all the time, solely Microsoft is aware of what it’s going to do. Or so we assume.

Aug. 17, 2021 … Take #2

Microsoft might alert enterprise prospects round this time that Home windows 10 21H2 is on the market for “business pre-release validation.”

That’s, if 21H1 was launched within the spring.

In 2020, two months earlier than launching Home windows 10 20H2, Microsoft stated the improve was “out there for business prospects to start function exploration and validation previous to being launched for normal availability.”

The early have a look at 20H2 was doable, after all, as a result of the autumn function improve was little greater than a rehash of the spring’s Home windows 10 2004. (Microsoft switched its labeling between the 2, discarding the yymm development for yyH1 and yyH2. Sure, Microsoft’s nomenclature tinkering is limitless….) The modifications embedded in 20H2 have been each few and minor, and importantly, have been tucked into the Home windows 10 2004 code weeks earlier than 20H2 formally went reside on Oct. 20, 2020.

Microsoft’s urging of shoppers to start out placing Home windows 10 20H2 by the testing wringer was express in 2020. The yr earlier than, when Microsoft first turned to a major-minor improve cycle, it had left this early leap to prospects’ (and Computerworld’s) imaginations. If the corporate does repeat 2019’s and 2020’s launch observe, Computerworld believes it’s going to formalize this observe, and once more inform company buyer to start out testing two months earlier than public launch.

Oct. 1, 2021

Microsoft begins rolling out Home windows 10 21H2, aka “October 2021 Replace,” after this date. The possible launch: Patch Tuesday, Oct. 12.

The 30-month assist lifecycle on Home windows 10 Enterprise and Home windows 10 Training means this would be the yr’s most well-liked improve for Microsoft’s bigger prospects. The Redmond, Wash. developer will service this model till April 2024.

Oct. 12, 2021

“Mainstream” assist ends for Home windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB, the second no-changes-allowed construct that Microsoft provided for deployment in situations unsuited to the Home windows-as-a-service mannequin.

LTSB, for “Lengthy-term Servicing Department,” which was later rebranded as LTSC (Lengthy-Time period Servicing Channel), is the one version of Home windows 10 which retained the standard 5+5 assist scheme of Mainstream and Prolonged durations.

This date ends some assist, together with function change requests and non-security bug fixes. For a extra detailed description of Mainstream and Prolonged, discuss with this doc.

(Notice: This milestone of 2016 LTSB doesn’t finish assist of 2015 LTSB, Microsoft’s first static construct. Home windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB will proceed in Prolonged assist till Oct. 14, 2025.)

Nov. 9, 2021

Round this date, Microsoft ships Home windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2022 (Lengthy-term Servicing Channel). The successor to LTSC 2019, which launched three years prior, this construct will likely be supported till January 2032.

In a Might 2019 weblog publish, a Microsoft advertising and marketing supervisor introduced that prospects might count on the subsequent LTSC “towards the top of 2021.”

Nov. 9, 2021 … Take #2

If Microsoft launched a Home windows 10 21H1 earlier this yr, round this date it might instruct company prospects that the function improve needs to be pushed into broad deployment. Microsoft will expose this declaration on the Home windows Replace Twitter account and/or on the Home windows launch well being hub.

Notice: With nearly half of the improve’s 18 months of assist already spent, the discover could also be nugatory to IT directors.  

Dec. 14, 2021

Microsoft points the ultimate bug fixes and non-security modifications to all SKUs (stock-keeping models) of Home windows 10 2004, from Dwelling to Enterprise, ending 18 months of assist.

August 2021 Gregg Keizer/IDG

Jan. 18, 2022

Microsoft kicks off pressured upgrades that substitute Home windows 10 Dwelling 20H2 and Home windows 10 Professional 20H2 with the year-later refresh Home windows 10 21H2.

Home windows 10 Dwelling/Professional/Professional Workstation 20H2 run out of assist Might 10, 2022, giving Microsoft 16 weeks to push the newest code to these PCs.

April 12, 2022

Home windows 10 22H1 might launch round this date if Microsoft decides to maintain its twice-annual launch tempo. (See the “April 13, 2021” part for the primary occasion when a spring function improve could also be omitted.) If it doesn’t ship 22H1, Microsoft might use the slot to improve Home windows 10X.

Home windows 10 22H1, if it exists, would exhaust its assist in October 2023.

Might 10, 2022

Help ends right here for Home windows 10 Enterprise 1909 and Home windows 10 Training 1909, the upgrades that debuted in November 2019, concluding 30 months of safety and non-security updates. (Home windows 10 Dwelling 1909 and Home windows 10 Professional 1909 exhausted their assist a yr in the past.)

Essentially the most appropriate alternative will likely be Home windows 10 21H2, the refresh launched in October 2021 that additionally provided two-and-a-half years of assist.

Might 10, 2022 … Take #2

Microsoft delivers the ultimate safety patches and bug fixes to Home windows 10 Dwelling 20H2, Home windows 10 Professional 20H2 and Home windows 10 Professional Workstation 20H2 — all launched Oct. 20, 2020 — and ending 19 months of assist.

By Rana

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