Microsoft released two major Windows 10 feature updates per year, but if you’re not ready to upgrade right away, the company continues to support older versions for 18 months. That’s not a lot of time compared to the 5 years of support Microsoft offered for earlier versions of Windows, but since Windows 10 updates are free, there’s not much reason for most users to hold off on an update for more than a year and a half.
Feature updates to Windows 10 Enterprise and Window 10 Education editions will receive up to 30 months of support. Home, Pro, and Office 365 ProPlus users will still get only 18 months.
Things are actually a little more complicated than that: Microsoft says it’ll offer 30 months of support… but only for feature updates released in the fall. Spring updates will continue to receive 18 months of support.
The idea isn’t that the fall updates are more robust, but that Microsoft expects customers to be more likely to update in the fall… and the move means the company only has to offer extended support for half as many versions of the operating system. So while my first thought was that the fall releases are the equivalent of Ubuntu’s LTS (long term support) releases, that appears not to be the case.
Anyway, Microsoft is still encouraging most individual users to update more frequently to get the latest security updates, bug fixes, and new features. But businesses and schools that may want to thoroughly test new versions of Windows and ensure that the apps they need are compatible can now do that every other year instead of once or twice a year.