Microsoft commits to biannual Windows feature updates

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In a post on the Windows Blog, Microsoft laid out their plans in which they promised that they will be releasing two major Windows 10 updates a year. Users are hoping that the company will also add more cool and useful features for Windows 10 on the next update.

The company said it would hew to a "predictable" twice-per-year schedule for both platforms, though there's still a little wiggle room: Microsoft didn't specify exact dates within those months. Office 365 ProPlus will have its major updates at the same time.

Microsoft has been heavily criticised for the move, which has created an artificial end-of-life to operating systems that are not due to go ex-support for another five years, in the case of Windows 8.1.

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Figuring out Microsoft's agile approach to software support, referred by many as Windows as a Service or Any Microsoft Product Name as a Service, has been an interesting journey to say the least. The upcoming September update of Windows 10 code-named Redstone 3 is also aligning with the Office 365 ProPlus update. Recently, users discovered that they were not able to receive the latest security updates on their Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs that are powered by newer Intel chips.

Microsoft has publicly committed itself to biannual Windows feature releases, to take place every March and September. However, the company frequently upgraded smaller functionalities in the Office suite nearly on a weekly basis. That means it'll probably be included in the next major Windows 10 update. Windows 10 will determine which apps you're now using and block other apps from drawing too much juice when they're not in use. We will reduce the Office 365 ProPlus update cadence from three to two times a year, with semi-annual feature updates to Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus targeted for March and September.

In terms of application compatibility, Microsoft has announced four new investments: Upgrade assessment tools, application compatibility testing, Office 365 ProPlus monitoring services and reporting, tracking and resolving issues. We still see a wide variety of experiences in Windows 10 with each feature update.