Microsoft was heavily criticized for its slow pace in pushing out Windows updates, especially critical security ones. Now it has swung in the completely opposite direction and has adopted what many may see as a confusing rapid-fire release system. It releases a new Windows 10 version twice a year but each release is only supported for 18 months. Given the global situation, however, Microsoft has decided that the October 2018 update for Windows 10 should still receive updates all the way to November this year.
Windows 10 1809 was launched back in November and, at least based on Microsoft’s regular lifecycle, it would have stopped receiving updates after this month. It would have received its last service update on May 12 and, after that, users would be strongly advised to update to the latest version. That is if they still want to receive critical security updates and bug fixes.
Windows updates, however, have never been smooth-sailing for everyone. It will be understandable if few appreciate being forced to risk breaking their systems at a time when they will have less access to IT support both from the office as well as from Microsoft. Many will put off updating to a new Windows 10 version which also means they will be putting their computers at risk from security holes that would not have been plugged up in an abandoned version.
That’s probably why Microsoft is pushing back the end of life for Windows 10 version 1809 and will deliver its last security update on November 10, 2020 rather than in May. It is just the latest in Microsoft’s temporary changes to its Windows lifecycle schedules to take into account the new situation that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us into.
At the same time, Microsoft has announced the availability of the April 2020 update as part of its regular “B” release. Last month, Microsoft announced it would be pausing its “C” and “D” optional releases to avoid breaking people’s computers but that only starts in May and last month’s optional updates have already wreaked far more trouble than they are worth.