Microsoft will change Windows again. Perfect.
On June 24, according to Microsoft, the company will reveal or show or reveal all or something or nothing about the «next generation» of Windows, whatever you call, say, Windows 10 21H2, Windows 10 something something , Windows 11, Windows 12 or … wait, I just had a huge headache. We need to stretch a little.
What the know do you know What do you say about this? Microsoft put a marker on it six years ago, when it called Windows 10 «the last Windows ever.» Deny this and there will be very angry business customers.
Why? Because Microsoft is making an unspoken pact with those customers. In exchange for enduring a dramatic break with tradition and embracing (and adapting to) the extremely disruptive six-month update time of Windows 10, customers believed they would never face the daunting task of mass migration to a drastic operating system again. different. the necessary training of workers in a new operating system since then, which they had been forced to do since at least the 1990s every three or four or five or even six years.
(The range varied depending on how long companies with a single SKU were locked; longer periods for better built operating systems such as Windows 95, Windows XP, and Windows 7; shorter periods, if any, for such as Windows 98, Windows Vista and Windows 8.)
So when Microsoft starts launching phrases like «the biggest updates … of the last decade,» a historic period that included not only the introduction of Windows 10 in 2015, but also Windows 8 and more radically, though it failed, that it debuted in 2012; we can’t help but wonder what they think of Redmond.
What exactly could Microsoft do? We’ve covered a few possibilities and what they can mean for Windows-dependent companies.
Take it and shut up
Stage: Microsoft decides that everyone, including those running Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education, will receive the new Windows immediately.
Such a situation would be in line with Microsoft’s long tradition of forcing customers to worship and no doubt the more specific philosophy of Windows 10, where updates were offered, at one point, with no option to refuse.
Here, companies that manage their Windows environments will be able to decide when to implement the new operating system (if this is what it really is) as usual, differing (or not) through Windows Update for Business (WUfB), Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). ), Endpoint Manager Configuration Manager and the like.
Assuming that the «new» Windows takes the place that Windows 10 21H2 would have, customers will be able to postpone an update only as long as their current version remains accepted.
To continue running Windows 10 pre-2021 as long as possible, administrators should migrate to 20H2, updating from the second half of last year (if they have not already done so). Once in 20H2, administrators can extend their lifespan whenever they dare and then launch a newer, but «new» version of Windows, using their standard toolkit.
If they were updated annually, they could in this case (shown as the red arrow in the image above) switch to version 21H2 (or as it is called). Alternatively, administrators can switch to the next 18-month version, 22H1 (blue arrow), or roll the dice and choose 22H2. The latter would be preferable because it would have a support of 30 months, but the transition between 20H2 and 22H2 could be difficult for some companies, as there would be only a few months, at most six, of overlap between the end of 20H2 and the beginning . of 22H2.
If Microsoft does this, Microsoft’s main customers will have until May 9, 2023, the end date for Windows 10 20H2 support, before they have to deal with the new bling. After that date, it will no longer be accepted or will handle changing Windows, no matter what.
Okay, we’ll let you have Windows 10 for the last time
Stage: Microsoft sympathizes with the company and splits the second-half version of Windows into two options, one that allows business customers to run Windows 10 «normally» for an additional year.
According to a report by Windows Latest , a supporting document amended since then suggests two versions this fall. One, the outlet claimed, would be a minor traditional upgrade / upgrade to Windows 10 delivered as 21H2 for companies. A second would be the new Windows, which would be delivered only to consumers, say those running Windows 10 Home and maybe unmanaged Windows Pro devices.
By offering a minor update to Windows 10 21H2 this fall, Microsoft would allow business users to delay the arrival of the new Windows to Windows 10 Enterprise users. 21H2 will not receive your retirement documents until the first half of 2024, such as April or May. Look at this picture; I marked 21H2 with a red rectangle.
Starting with 21H2, customers would accept the new Windows, either earlier (update to 22H2, shown with the red arrow in Figure 2), or later (migration to 23H2, purple arrow).
The difference between this scenario and the first one we present is 12 months, the difference between the end of the 20S2 and 21S2 assistance term. If Microsoft offers something similar, companies will have almost three years today to prepare employees for the new, if not final, version of Windows.
Let go … stop the new one, if you want
Stage: Microsoft offers group policies that allow corporate administrators to disable individual changes to Windows New or disable the entire UI / UX makeover.
Microsoft is sometimes remarkably lenient when it comes to business customers, allowing them to block even aspects of current Windows 10 through group policies implemented on an organization’s computers (or just some of these PCs). At other times, especially when you’ve upgraded Internet Explorer in the past, it even offered «lock kits» that temporarily prevented computers from being offered the latest version.
While it would be presumptuous to assume that Microsoft would allow customers to create a split Windows, a version for everyone except those versed in group policy, forever, why would Microsoft relinquish final control over what Windows stands for? customers? – The company may do it for a short time.
However, it is hard to imagine how Microsoft would let these policies last long; If you wanted to give companies a long-term solution, you would offer Windows 10 21H2 to Enterprise / Education customers, giving them until the beginning of 2024 to deal with the new UI / UX interface. Maybe a year could be more in line with Microsoft’s general philosophy toward business customers: giving them time to fix things, but refusing to give up what you think is best.
Do you want Windows 10? Okay, but you’re not getting anything new. Forever
Stage: It may not be a coincidence that Microsoft intends to launch the next edition of the Windows 10 Long Term Support Channel (LTSC) in the second half of the year .
In many ways, Windows LTSC (originally called LTSB, for the long-term support branch, but don’t ask) is what many business administrators might want more if Microsoft radically changes the look and feel of Windows. Unfortunately, Microsoft prevented LTSC by denying support for locally installed Office 365 applications and, more recently, by halving LTSC support from 10 to five years.
Desperate administrators can call on LTSC to postpone UI / UX changes in Windows, assuming that this year’s release, which has not been named, so it could be marked 2021 or 2022, extracts content from the current Windows.10. say 21H1 or even 20H2.
Microsoft should relax the restrictions it has implemented on LTSC, in particular the exclusion of support for Office 365 applications, to make it a credible alternative to Nadella’s «major updates» that will appear this fall. What are the chances of this happening?
Don’t bet on that.
However, if Redmond were to follow this path, it could give companies a way to run Windows as I understand it by the end of 2026.