Microsoft has announced that they plan to roll out Windows 10 feature updates annually, which is equivalent to the update rate for Windows 11. This year’s Windows 10 update was released today, with the next one scheduled for the second half of 2022.
“We’re moving to a new Windows 10 release cadence and aligning it with the Windows 11 cadence to deliver annual releases full of feature updates,” said John Cable, Microsoft’s head of Windows service and delivery.
Despite all the fuss surrounding this release schedule, this year’s update is quite minor. The main improvement this year was the addition of GPU compute support in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). The content of the 2022 update has not yet been revealed, but Microsoft has made it clear that at least one version of the operating system will be supported until October 14, 2025.
Analysis: There will definitely be support for Windows 10 for a while
It seems that Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 for some time to come, despite Windows 11 rolling out at a rapid pace. At first, this may seem at odds, but when you consider how long it takes users to adapt to a brand new operating system, the decision makes sense.
Earlier this month, participants in the Windows 10 Insider program received access to the redesigned Microsoft Store (exactly the same that 11 launched), while it was rolled out to everyone else through the November 2021 update. In April 2021, it was announced that DirectX 12 would not be tied to Windows 10 updates, but would instead be made available for any version of the operating system.
Microsoft certainly seems to be encouraging Windows 10 users to install the upgrade. They are invited to check if they can use Windows 11 via the PC Health Check app.
The fact remains that many of those devices are unfortunately not suitable for making the switch, thanks to fairly strict requirements. As a result, Microsoft will have to continue to interfere with the technical progress of Windows 10, in order not to alienate all those current users. The best way to do this is to make sure they still have full support well into the future.