Microsoft has announced a new schedule for its major software updates, promising a biannual release programme that will see Windows 10's feature updates coming every March and September.
Following the successful launch of the Windows 10 Creators Update last month, Microsoft has opted to keep the ball rolling with the promise of a similarly feature-packed Windows update twice every year. 'Windows is committing to a predictable twice-per-year feature release schedule, targeting September and March of each year, aligning with Office 365 ProPlus,
' explained Microsoft's Bernando Caldas in the brief announcement
. 'These changes reflect our commitment to help make it easier to deploy and service Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus.
The Windows 10 Creators Update, then, formed the first release under the new schedule even if that wasn't public knowledge at the time. 'The next Windows 10 feature update,
' Caldas added, 'will be targeted for September 2017
', referring to the Windows 10 Redstone 3 update which will bring a range of new features including the new power-saving system for limiting the CPU usage of background tasks.
This regular and, for Microsoft, relatively rapid release cycle does come at a cost, of course: support lifespans. Under the new schedule, each Windows feature release will be supported for 18 months, after which security and other updates will only be made available after moving upwards to a newer feature release. With each release being offered for free, and in the case of home users rolled into monthly update releases, this is unlikely to have a major effect on most users.
The reasoning given for the new schedule is the same as that offered for the regular Patch Tuesday releases: By providing system administrators with a regular schedule and advanced warning of major releases, deployment and maintenance of Windows 10 in a corporate environment is simplified - especially now Windows releases coincide with Office 365 ProPlus releases, allowing both to be tested and rolled out simultaneously.
While Microsoft has confirmed Windows 10 Redstone 3 - a working title - will launch in September, it has not tied itself down to an exact day as yet.