This month Microsoft will officially cease support for the initial release of Windows 10 that was shipped in July 2015.

Depending on how you look at the timing you could say it has already been 22 months since that release or you could say it has only been 22 months since it was made available.

In the evolution of Windows as a Service (WaaS) this is the first release of Windows 10 that is being deprecated out of support. On the 9th of May, this month's scheduled Patch Tuesday, this first version of Windows 10 will get its final cumulative update with system and security patches. That means if any organization is still running Windows 10 Version 1507 they need to move to a supported feature update.

This end of support impacts Windows 10 Home, Pro, Education, and Enterprise versions however, Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2015 LTSB will continue to receive security updates.

The next feature update that will drop from support for Windows 10 is the November Update which was released in November 2015. Based on Microsoft's recently announced plan to support each feature update for 18 months, this means the November Update is already at the expected limit of support right now. I would expect Microsoft to place this update in its 60 day grace period for ending support and push out its last updates in June or July of this year.

That means the decision to move to the Anniversary Update which was released last August might be the best move as it has already been designated as Current Branch for Business and its support cycle should not end before February 2018 - 18 months after initial release.

As you can see, WaaS ensures that users keep moving forward with a supported version of Windows 10 and that nno user should be on any version of Windows 10 older than 18 months. Many organizations are still developing their own methods and tools for becoming more agile with updates so I highly recommend you read/view anything from Michael Niehaus about the process. He has made some great recommendations for ramping up your companies own processes for testing cumulative and feature updates before they go out to all of your users. Also check last year's collection of Ignite videos and find his sessions from that event on the same process.

Reality is that Microsoft is hanging their hat on this WaaS process and eventually anyone in the Windows ecosystem will have to get onboard and working with it because Windows 7 extended support ends in less than three years (January 2020).

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