Microsoft's Extends Support of Windows 10 1511 to Ease Adoption Pain
I bet no one saw this coming when Microsoft said that they would be moving forward with two updates per year for Windows 10 but some customers are having trouble adapting to ‘rapid release’. Announced today, the company is extending support for Windows 10 build 1511.
The company will continue to support for this version of Windows 10 until April 2018 which is an additional six months after support was set to expire. Microsoft says that they will be providing a ‘supplemental servicing package’ that will address critical and important security issues for those who are still running the older version.
The updates will be available for Windows 10 Enterprise and Education only which means if you are running Pro or Home, you need to move off of 1511 as soon as possible. If you are running the higher SKUs, updates will come via Windows Update, WSUS, Configuration Manager and the Windows Updates Catalog.
Say Goodbye to Traditional PC Lifecycle Management
Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.
For those that have moved to Windows 10 but are struggling with the idea of upgrading all your users every 18 months, this will come as a welcomed change. But, this is only a one-off exception to the upgrade policy but it will be interesting to watch to see how this develops.
The reason I say that is 1511 is the first widely-deployed version of Windows 10 to enterprise customers who didn’t want to be an early adopter on day one when Windows 10 was released. Seeing as these customers are already struggling with meeting the first upgrade timeline, it should raise a few alarms at Microsoft that 18 months may be too aggressive.
That being said, this is the first deadline and it will take some time for organizations who are not set up or accustomed to upgrading this frequently to this rapid release model. Of course, many still prefer that Microsoft release one major update per year and support it for 24 months.
For now, know that Microsoft is extending the support cycle of 1511 but don’t count on it for other iterations of Windows 10.