No more feature updates for Windows 10 – current version is final
Shift off to Win 11 now, go on... better hope your biz is giving out fresh hardware
Windows 10 is reaching the end of the road, with the current release – version 22H2 – confirmed as the final one, and support for the platform is scheduled to end on October 14, 2025.
Microsoft disclosed in an update to its client roadmap that there will be no further feature updates for Windows 10, and so the current version, 22H2, will be the final build of this version of Windows.
The ultimate end of the Windows 10 lifecycle has been known about for a couple of years, when the Redmond outfit updated its product lifecycle pages to show that Windows 10 Home and Pro, as well as the Enterprise and Education editions, will all be retired on 14 October 2025 .
But it wasn’t clear until now how long before the final cut-off deadline Microsoft would continue to deliver updates to the platform, which was first released in 29 July 2015.
“We realize that a clear Windows client roadmap update helps consumers and organizations with planning their Windows release activities,” said Microsoft’s Principal Product Manager for Windows Servicing and Delivery Jason Leznek, announcing the update on the Windows IT Pro Blog.
The good news is that all Windows 10 editions will remain in support with monthly security update releases through that date, while long-term servicing channel (LTSC) releases will continue to receive updates beyond that date based on their specific lifecycles.
However, Microsoft has made it clear that it would like users to “transition to Windows 11 now as there won't be any additional Windows 10 feature updates.”
This might be easier said than done, however, as Windows 11 carries hardware requirements, such as a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0 and UEFI firmware with Secure Boot, that mean some users will not be able to upgrade from Windows 10 on their existing system.
As The Register reported towards the end of last year, research found that nearly 43 percent of devices studied by asset management provider Lansweeper were unable to upgrade for this reason, representing millions of systems.
Customers have also proven less than enthusiastic about Windows 11, with only about 16 percent of online Windows users running it in November last, according to Statcounter.
Windows 10 was widely touted on its release as “the last version of Windows that will ever be released”, as it marked the unveiling of Redmond’s “Windows as a service" concept that the platform would simply be continually updated.
The “last version of Windows” bit may have been due to a misunderstanding, but it was one that Microsoft didn’t hurry to correct, at least until it was ready to launch Windows 11, of course.
Meanwhile, the regular updates have proven to be as much a curse as a benefit, with the ever-present chance that they might break compatibility with something, while user interface changes would annoy users who had just got used to the way everything worked.
“During these years, how many times did Microsoft fiddle with Win10's start menu design only to break it? And Settings app is still incomplete, we never got rid of classic Control Panel. What an underwhelming end,” responded one user on Twitter in response to a Microsoft tweet about the final version of Windows 10.
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With the final ending of support for Windows 7 Extended Security Update (ESU) and Windows 8 and 8.1 on January 10 this year, Microsoft is ushering many of its ageing OS releases towards that great Windows Update in the sky within just a few years of each other, perhaps making the task of software support easier for Redmond.
Microsoft said it is important for organizations to have enough time to plan for adopting Windows 11, and so it disclosed that the next long-term releases - Windows 11 Enterprise LTSC and Windows 11 IoT Enterprise LTSC - are due to be available in the second half of 2024. More details will be revealed closer to availability. ®