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Each feature update to Windows 10 is supported for approximately 18 months after its release, and it is quickly becoming apparent that companies are not cycling through each feature update once they are released.
But should they keep updating Windows 10 at this pace or should they slow things down a bit? Since the initial release of Windows 10, Microsoft has made four major feature updates available for their latest operating system.
So you're staring down a minimum of 14 updates annually.
Well I believe it might just be time to tweak that approach – at least when it comes to updating Windows 10.
There are some that are even looking at deploying the Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) version of Windows 10 to avoid the heavier update cycle in the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC).
Microsoft states that LTSB should not be deployed on production machines but that is not stopping companies from seriously considering this move to slow down the pace of feature updates around Windows 10.
So instead of fighting this hesitation from enterprise and business customers, Microsoft should embrace this approach and shift to one feature update each calendar year.
This will still get new capabilities out into the operating system much faster than the three year cycle of service packs that existed in previous versions of Windows and yet give organizations a more manageable update cycle.
In addition to the semi-annual feature updates for Windows 10, Microsoft also builds out new cumulative updates for the OS which are released each month on Patch Tuesday.
These updates do not add new features but are used to address security, performance, and bugs that impact the functionality of Windows 10.
So in order to maximize the development and engineering methods that go towards updating Windows 10, I would say slot the feature update for the fall of each year because there is less disruption in the schedule around big holidays leading up to September and then put more folks behind the work to remedy bugs and performance issues in the monthly cumulative updates that are released.
This does not limit other products and services from shipping updates monthly or semi-annually, but if this smoothes out the bumps along the way to a feature release of Windows 10, then maybe it might be worth some consideration in these other areas of Microsoft.
There are some smart folks working at Microsoft so I am sure they could figure out how to make this happen.