Microsoft quietly prolongs life of original Windows 10

Microsoft earlier this month quietly extended the life of Windows 10's debut edition, the version launched in July 2015.

Rather than end support for Windows 10 v. 1507 -- Microsoft labels the OS by year and month -- in March, as announced last year, the company will issue the version's final security updates in May, probably May 9, that month's Patch Tuesday.

The new date was posted as a revision to a mid-January blog post by Nathan Mercer, a senior product marketing manager for Microsoft. In the original entry, Mercer had tapped March 26 as the end of 1507 "servicing," a company synonym for updating and patching.

In the amended post, Mercer did not give a reason for the extension.

The end date of 1507 notwithstanding, stopping support is an important part of the Microsoft's software-as-a-service model. The company has pledged to support only two Current Branch for Business (CBB) builds concurrently, which means that at the release of N+2, where N equaled an earlier version, the company starts a 60-day-or-so countdown. At the end of the 60 days, N drops off the support list. N+1 then becomes N and N+2 morphs into N+1.

Microsoft timed the earlier end-of-support to exactly two months after the Jan. 26 release of media for N+2, where "N" equaled 1507 and "N+2" equaled 2016's single upgrade. That version was marked as 1607 but is more commonly called the "Anniversary Update" because it appeared a year after the original.

After May, Microsoft will continue to provide updates and bug fixes only to Windows 10 1511 (a November 2015 version) and 1607. Users running 1507 must have upgraded to one of those versions (or to 1703, expected to ship next month) to receive security patches.

When commenters asked Mercer to clarify whether the former 60-day support grace period remained policy, he answered: "Think of the grace period as 'at least' 60 days."

One hundred and three days, to be exact (using May 9 as the stop date).

IDG Insider


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