The delay keeps the 1709 client systems running protected until October, reducing the pressure on IT administrators at a time when everything has stopped.
Microsoft today extended support life for Windows 10 Enterprise 1709 and Windows 10 Education 1709 by six months, postponing their retirement until October 13. The initial deadline for assistance was set for 14 April.
Microsoft cited the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which in the United States alone ranged from mass business closures and even nationwide closures to a broad movement of companies telling administrative employees to work from home. As of noon on March 19, 171 deaths in the United States had been attributed to the virus. Globally, deaths have approached 10,000.
«We’ve assessed the public health situation and understood the impact this has on you,» John Cable, the program’s managing director, wrote in a March 19 blog post. «To alleviate one of the many burdens you face today, and based on customer feedback, we’ve decided to postpone the scheduled end of service for Enterprise, Education and Enterprise IoT editions of Windows 10, version 1709.»
Three years of support for 1709
Windows 10 1709 was released in October 2017, and while the Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro editions received only 18 months of support, starting April 9, 2019, Enterprise and Education received 30 months of updates. Microsoft divided customers into groups of 18 and 30 months in September 2018, when it created the final lifetime of support for the largest customers, companies and organizations.
Under the Microsoft 18/30 scheme, Enterprise and Education receive two and a half years of support only for updating Fall functionality, labeled yy09 in the company’s four-digit format. The spring update, yy03, offers only 18 months of support for each SKU (storage unit).
The six-month extension for 1709 will provide customers with security updates through regular channels, including Windows Update, Windows Update for Business, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), and the Microsoft Update Catalog. Cable also promised that update management processes will not have to change for additional months. «All supported versions of Microsoft Configuration Manager (current branch) will continue to support Windows 10, version 1709 until October 13, 2020,» Cable said.
By adding six months to the 1709 support lifecycle, Microsoft will make it the first version of Windows 10 to receive 36 months or three years of support. Three years is a magical time in Windows, as it has long been considered the ideal interval between operating system updates, as in Windows 7 (2009), which was released three years after its predecessor Vista (2006) and three years before of Windows 8 (2012). ) successor.
By giving companies another six months to migrate from 1709, when IT had a deadline of less than a month, Microsoft reduced the pressure on administrators from late companies to keep their customers’ systems protected. Rather than trying to hurry at a time when everything has been interrupted if it has not turned into total chaos, IT staff, probably with a smaller workforce and, if not, with a lower level of productivity, you can work without panic.
Unresolved versions and support programs could be the new normal
Postponing updates, or suspending them as Google did this week when it stopped Chrome updates, or delaying support times, such as Microsoft, can be a smart move in the current conditions. There is no reason to stick to a set schedule at a time when updating hundreds or thousands of systems should be one of a company’s small concerns. The time spent dealing with updates and the inevitable questions and issues that workers raise and report later is a waste of time when maintaining the business is essential.
In fact, it would be a surprise if Wednesday’s announcement was the last of its kind from Redmond, Washington, or if Microsoft and Google were the only software makers to do so. If the impact of COVID-19 has not diminished in a few months, Microsoft may simply push 1709 and beyond and then add the next in line, Windows 10 1803, to a growing list of delays. (Windows 10 1803 Enterprise and Education SKUs will be discontinued on November 10)
Similarly, there’s no reason why Microsoft can’t delay the release of its next feature update, Windows 10 2004, from the much-anticipated month of April until, well, much later this year. Or cancel the autumn update of the year, which under normal circumstances would be entirely related to 2009.
All launch and support programs are, if not debatable, certainly shaky.