Microsoft Software Updates

Windows 10 update (and retirement) calendar: Mark these dates

Microsoft is releasing new versions of Windows 10 on a set schedule – and just as regularly retiring older versions from support. Here are all the dates you need to know about through Windows 7's retirement in 2020.

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Microsoft's shift to Windows-as-a-service (WaaS) for Windows 10 crafted a repetitive, predictable schedule of version release and support expiration dates for Windows 10.

Although consumers can essentially ignore any schedule - Microsoft decides when their devices are upgraded - business customers and their IT personnel should be marking the calendar with the important upcoming events.

To keep up with 10's WaaS schedule, pencil in these dates.

march 2018 IDG/Gregg Keizer

March 13, 2018

Windows 10 1803 - the first Semi-Annual Channel release for the year - debuts on this date or soon after. Because the Oct. 17, 2017 launch of 1709, aka Fall Creators Update, was more than a month later than anticipated by Microsoft's professed plan, the date for 1803 will tell us which the company sticks to more tightly: the every-six-month schedule or the March and September targets.

april 2018 IDG/Gregg Keizer

April 10, 2018

After Microsoft granted a six-month extension to version 1511 of Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education, that November 2015 feature upgrade's retirement moved to this date -- the month's Patch Tuesday.

Users of lesser SKUs (stock-selling units), including Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro, did not get the additional support. Their PCs stopped receiving updates as of Oct. 10.

Also, on this date: Microsoft retires Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro version 1607, the mid-2016 feature upgrade dubbed Anniversary Update. But a recent change to Windows 10 support -- one that extended support for Windows 10 Enterprise 1607 and Windows 10 Education 1607 -- means that those SKUs won't be retired for another six months.

During the six-month "servicing extension" -- Microsoft's words -- Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education will receive "security-only updates" that omit the non-security bug fixes provided in the first 18 months of support.

July 16, 2018

By this date Microsoft will proclaim 1803 as suitable for broad deployment across the enterprise. The March update will begin reaching Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise PCs that use Windows Update for Business (WUfB) to download and install feature upgrades.

Sept. 11, 2018

Windows 10 1809 -- the second and final Semi-Annual Channel release for the year -- rolls out on this date or soon after.

oct. 9 2018 IDG/Gregg Keizer

Oct. 9, 2018

Microsoft retires Windows 10 1703, the early-2017 feature upgrade labeled Creators Update, for customers running Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro.

For Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education, today is the end of support for version 1607, aka the Anniversary Update from 2016. Those customers must migrate to a newer version – 1703, 1709 or 1803 – by this date to continue receiving security patches.

Jan. 15, 2019

Around this date, Microsoft will declare 1809 as thoroughly tested by consumers, and thus, ready for wide deployment throughout the enterprise. The September update will start appearing on Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise PCs that rely on Windows Update for Business (WUfB).

march 2019 IDG/Gregg Keizer

March 12, 2019

Windows 10 1903 launches on this date or soon after.

Microsoft removes Windows 10 1709, aka 2017's Fall Creators Update, from the Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro support lists, halting security and non-security updates to devices running those editions.

Also, on this date, Microsoft stops serving all updates to Windows 10 Enterprise 1703 and Windows 10 Education 1703, ending the 24-month-or-there-abouts support lifecycle for the feature upgrade that debuted in April 2017.

april 9 2019 IDG/Gregg Keizer

April 9, 2019

Microsoft removes Windows 10 1709, aka 2017's Fall Creators Update, from the Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro support lists, halting security and non-security updates to devices running those editions.

Also, on this date, Microsoft stops serving all updates to Windows 10 Enterprise 1703 and Windows 10 Education 1703, ending the 24-month-or-there-abouts support lifecycle for the feature upgrade that debuted in April 2017.

When Microsoft recently set firm dates for the demise of various versions' support, it answered a question Computerworld had been asking for some time: Would the company start counting the months of support – 18 for Home and Pro, now 24 for Enterprise and Education – from the launch of the feature upgrade or from the supposed March and September release targets that the company has rarely hit?

The answer is now clear. Microsoft will start the servicing clock at the actual release date, making sure to give customers the promised minimum amount of support (either 18 or 24 months, depending on the SKU).

July 15, 2019

Around this date, Microsoft will notify customers -- on a post to a company blog -- that Windows 10 1903 is stable enough to deploy to all corporate PCs and will simultaneously begin seeding Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise PCs with the upgrade via Windows Update for Business (WUfB).

Sept. 10, 2019

Windows 10 1909 launches on this date or shortly thereafter.

oct. 8 2019 IDG/Gregg Keizer

Oct. 8, 2019

Microsoft halts support for Windows 10 Home 1803 and Windows 10 Pro 1803, putting an end to security and non-security updates to devices running those editions.

This is also the date when Microsoft retires Windows 10 Enterprise 1709 and Windows 10 Education 1709 from support. Customers running those must upgrade to version 1803, 1809 or 1903 by this date to continue receiving security patches and non-security bug fixes.

Jan. 14, 2020

Microsoft will retire Windows 7 from support, marking the general deadline for enterprises to replace that OS with Windows 10.

jan. 2020 IDG/Gregg Keizer

There will undoubtedly be laggards – as there were when Windows XP got the axe in April 2014 – and some companies will likely pay to extend support, assuming Microsoft offers what it calls "Premium Assurance" for Windows 7. Currently, Premium Assurance is limited to Windows Server and SQL Server licenses. But Microsoft has just announced that it offers "an option for an additional paid extension for eligible volume licensing customers" for "some versions" of Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education.

With that in place – and the strong likelihood that massive numbers of Windows 7 machines will still be in place at this date – Computerworld thinks it's inevitable that Microsoft will dangle a more-money-for-more-support deal in front of organizations unable to dump Windows 7 by the deadline.

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