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Petrovic

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Microsoft has made a real mess out of explaining its plans for Windows 10 to the masses. I talked about the company’s inability to stop confusing the hell out of Windows 10 users three weeks ago. While the company has slowly been clearing up much of the fear, uncertainty and doubt surrounding its new OS, one big question remained. Just how long would the company be offering free updates for?

"The lifetime of the device" said Microsoft. Which, frankly, meant nothing to anyone. A PowerPoint presentation buried on Microsoft's site suggested that Window 10 users would get free upgrades only in the first 2 to 4 years. Which is hardly any time at all. Thankfully, that turns out not have been true, as today -- at long last -- Microsoft has updated its Windows lifecycle fact sheet.


According to the new information, Mainstream support starts on July 29 2015 (launch day) and runs until October 13 2020. After then Windows 10 will enter the Extended support phase for five years. This ends on October 14 2025. So in total Microsoft will be supporting Windows 10 for at least ten years. This is the same lifecycle that’s been used with previous versions of Windows.

There’s some small print to go with this, however:

Updates are cumulative, with each update built upon all of the updates that preceded it. A device needs to install the latest update to remain supported. Updates may include new features, fixes (security and/or non-security), or a combination of both. Not all features in an update will work on all devices. A device may not be able to receive updates if the device hardware is incompatible, lacking current drivers, or otherwise outside of the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s ("OEM") support period. Update availability may vary, for example by country, region, network connectivity, mobile operator (e.g., for cellular-capable devices), or hardware capabilities (including, e.g., free disk space).
So in other words, provided you install all of the updates (not that you have a choice) and your hardware remains compatible, then you should be eligible for a decade’s worth of free support. Yes, free support. Microsoft won’t suddenly start charging you for updates. Which is good to know, and may reassure a lot of potential upgraders.

Although the fact that a few unsupported hardware drivers could, potentially, derail the update process is rather worrying. Will you have to replace aging hardware in order to guarantee receiving future updates?

Of course the biggest question is now that Windows is a "service", with regular updates to Windows 10 rather than big new Windows releases (Microsoft has referred to Windows 10 as the last version of Windows), how will that affect the lifecycle?
 

Rolo

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How many people actually use devices for 10 years? (of course, I say this from a 4-year old machine that I plan to keep until after uni in 6 more years, heh, but how many people actually do that?)

re: updates. This is what happens when people make stupid choices: you don't get the choice to be stupid. :rolleyes:

re: "as a service" is foolishness. It contributed to (primed?) the notion of making Windows subscription-based and they are either declaring that there will be no major upgrades to Windows ever (i.e. Win98 --> 2000, xp --> Vista/7, etc.)
 

jamescv7

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Well it seems they should separate the LTS phase to the actual yearly major versions like Linux derivatives, because 10 years seems too much to make a huge gap behind for the emerging technology.

In that case Service packs/Update 1-5 will be probably expect in that future updates to come.

The assumption here is because Microsoft, are pretty confident to gain market shares and overrun Windows 7 as those problematic issues are almost been fix and revamp; as why 10 years to use is implement.
 
D

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But is it possible that later some updates/upgrades will find hardware not compatible then what?
 

Rolo

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But is it possible that later some updates/upgrades will find hardware not compatible then what?
Only drivers could have that issue and we can disable driver updates (better to go to OEM for those anyway).
 

jamescv7

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@yesnoo : That should be depend, it should not easily to be incompatible if Microsoft release like Update 1, 2, 3..... cause the main OS still remains and only fix lot of bugs/security patches so drivers must work efficiently.
 

Petrovic

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Microsoft has announced Windows 10 will receive security updates, bug fixes and new features till the end of 2025. The software giant has published the lifecycle of the new operating system which states the mainstream support will end at the 13th of October 2020 while extended support ends at the 14th of October 2025.

Previous Windows versions that were in the extended support stage only received security updates. In case of Windows 10 the updates are cumulative, with each update built upon all of the updates that preceded it. Computers that want to continue to receive security updates will need to install all the latest Windows 10 updates to remain supported.

Microsoft previously announced that Windows 10 will be the last Windows version and that it will continuously add new features to the OS. Windows follower Ed Bott speculates that Windows 10’s lifecycle might be extended the coming 2 years. Support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 ends on respectively the 14th of January 2020 and the 20th of January 2023.
 
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