Businesses can now defer major Windows updates for two and a half years

Windows 10 on a Microsoft Surface Pro

Microsoft has changed the way it supports Windows 10 updates for schools and businesses, giving them more flexibility to choose when they install updates.

Microsoft has settled into a regular update schedule, releasing one patch in March, and another in October. Initially, businesses were given 18 months to upgrade their systems after each release. After that period, Microsoft would withdraw support.

However, that's not very long for large businesses and schools, so Microsoft has sweetened the deal for Windows 10 Education and Enterprise users by offering 30 months of support for each October release. That means more conservative businesses can defer updates for up to two and a half years (which matches the time they were given for Windows 7 updates).

More choice

That's great news for businesses that don't want their IT systems to be out of commission while updates are rolled out, but it's not without limitations. While October releases will be supported for 30 months, March updates will still only be supported for 18.

“You’ve been talking, and we’ve been listening,” said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president of Microsoft 365. “We recognize that it takes time to both upgrade devices and operationalize new update processes. Today’s announcements are designed to respond to your feedback and make it easier, faster, and cheaper to deploy a modern desktop.”

This change only applies to Windows 10 Education and Enterprise – Windows 10 Home and Pro edition updates are still only supported for 18 months.

Via Ars Technica

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)