Microsoft is releasing new versions of Windows 10 on a reasonably set schedule – and just as regularly Microsoft is retiring older versions of Windows from ongoing support. The following post list some of the key schedules you need to know about – from Windows 7’s retirement in 2020 and the future for Windows 10.
Microsoft’s shift to “Windows-as-a-Service” for Windows 10 has resulted in a repetitive, predictable schedule of version release and support expiration dates for Windows 10.
Nov. 13, 2018
Windows 10 1809 – the final Semi-Annual Channel release for the year – rolls out for the second time, 38 days after Microsoft halted the first attempt as users reported the upgrade deleted their files. This feature upgrade is also the first that Microsoft will support for 30 months, not just 18, on Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education.
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 late 2018 update will start appearing on Windows 10 Pro, Pro Workstation and Enterprise PCs that rely on “Windows Update for Business”.
March 12, 2019
Windows 10 1903 – probably named “April 2019 Update” – launches between this date and late April. (Because both 1803 and 1809 were released significantly later than Microsoft’s plan, as marked by the month of release in its four-digit label, we cannot be more specific on future feature upgrade releases than a general range of six-to-eight weeks.)
April 9, 2019
Microsoft stops serving security updates to Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Pro Workstation running version 1709, aka 2017’s “Fall Creators Update.”
Also, on this date, Microsoft stops serving updates to Windows 10 Enterprise 1607 and Windows 10 Education 1607 – dubbed “Anniversary Update” – ending the 32-month-and-change support lifecycle for the feature upgrade that began in August 2016.
Version 1607 will be the first Windows 10 feature upgrade to accumulate 30 or more months of support. Others will follow with 30 or more months of support, including 1703, 1709 and 1803, thanks to Microsoft’s revised support rules. “All currently supported feature updates of Windows 10 Enterprise and Education editions (versions 1607, 1703, 1709, and 1803) will be supported for 30 months from their original release date,” Microsoft’s General Manager Jared Spataro stated.
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 computers and will simultaneously begin seeding Windows 10 Pro, Pro Workstation and Enterprise with the upgrade via “Windows Update for Business”.
Sept. 10, 2019
Windows 10 1909, or “October 2019 Update,” begins reaching users at some point between this date and the end of October.
Oct. 8, 2019
Microsoft delivers the final updates to Windows 10 Enterprise 1703 and Windows 10 Education 1703 – aka “Creators Update” – after supporting those SKUs (stock-keeping units) for 30 months, or two-and-a-half years.
Customers running 1703 must migrate to a newer feature upgrade – 1709, 1803, 1809, 1903 or even the likely-just-released 1909 – to continue to receive security patches for Windows 10.
Nov. 12, 2019
Microsoft halts support for Windows 10 1803 on Windows 10 Home, Pro and Pro Workstation.
This date is of interest because it shows that Microsoft starts counting support from the actual launch of the feature upgrade, not from the supposed March and September release targets.
Microsoft sets the end-of-support date on the first Patch Tuesday – the second Tuesday of the month – following the 18th or 30th month anniversary of release. For example, Microsoft started shipping 1803 on April 30, 2018, making the 18th-month anniversary Oct. 30, 2019. But the stop-support date for Windows 10 1803 has been noted as Nov. 12, 2019, the next Patch Tuesday.
Jan. 14, 2020
Microsoft will retire Windows 7 from support on this date, marking the general deadline for enterprises to replace that OS with Windows 10.
There will be those slow to move away from Windows 7, and some companies will choose to pay to add support by purchasing an Extended Security Updates (ESU) plan (somewhat pricey) to keep critical and important patches coming to Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Education.
It is no surprise that Microsoft decided to offer a more-money-for-more-support deal before enterprises. Windows 7 is expected to remain on huge numbers of computers come the 2020 retirement.
Jan. 15, 2020
Somewhere near this date, Microsoft will proclaim Windows 10 1909 as “sufficiently tested” (by consumers) and ready for wide deployment (by commercial customers). The September update will begin appearing on Windows 10 Pro, Pro Workstation and Enterprise PCs that rely on “Windows Update for Business”.
March 10, 2020
Windows 10 2003 – likely tapped as “April 2020 Update” – releases sometime between this date and late April.
April 14, 2020
Microsoft serves up some final security and non-security patches and fixes for Windows 10 Enterprise 1709 and Education 1709, the fall 2017 feature upgrade Microsoft tagged “Fall Creators Update.” The date marks the end of 30 months of support.
May 12, 2020
Microsoft pushes the final patches and fixes to Windows 10 1809 on Home, Pro and Pro Workstation.
Like its immediate predecessor, 1809 was weeks late getting to customers, so Microsoft extended support by a month. This date also confirmed that Microsoft sets the end-of-support date on the first Patch Tuesday following the 18th or 30th month anniversary of release.
July 15, 2020
Somewhere around this time Microsoft will tell commercial customers that Windows 10 2003 has been tested enough to roll out to corporate computers. Machines running Windows 10 Pro, Pro Workstation or Enterprise will start seeing the upgrade arrive through “Windows Update for Business”.
Sept. 8, 2020
Microsoft starts delivery of Windows 10 2009, aka “October 2020 Update,” between this date and the end of October.
Oct. 13, 2020
“Mainstream” support ends for Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB (Long-term Servicing Branch), the static build Microsoft offers customers who can’t – or won’t – adopt the more-releases-less-support model that underpins “Windows-as-a-Service”.
Although this original LTSB (a second was released in August 2016 and a third was to appear in the fall of 2018) has five more years of “Extended” support coming to it, this date ends some support offerings, such as feature change requests and non-security bug fixes. For more information on what’s included in mainstream and extended support, refer to this support document.
Nov. 10, 2020
Microsoft purges Windows 10 Home 1903, Pro 1903 and Pro Workstation 1903 from the support roster on this date or later.
Meanwhile, Microsoft hands out the last updates to Windows 10 Enterprise 1803 and Education 1803, calling an end for support that has lasted more than 30 months.
Dates Worth Noting:
- Windows 7 End of Extended Support (14 Jan 2020)
- Office 2019 (Now Available)
- Windows 8 End of Extended Support (10 JAN 2023)
- Windows 10 End of mainstream support (13 OCT 2020)
- Windows 10 End of Extended Support (14 OCT 2025)
History of First Windows (GUI)
Microsoft Windows was first launched with version 1.0 on November 20, 1985. Since its launch, there have been over a dozen variations of Windows. The most present version of Windows for end users is Windows 10. 33 years of Windows is an article for the 33-year journey of the window since it’s the first launch.
Windows 1.0 (featured in 1985)
Windows 1.0 was launched on 20 November 1985. Microsoft worked with Apple Computer to construct this application for the original Macintosh (the first personal home computer to have a graphical user interface).
Basics: When Windows 1.0 starts, it launched a MS-DOS shell. The MS-DOS shell was a basic File Manager or Explorer. There were no icons and no drag-and-drop. Programs and directories were opened by double-clicking. A GUI menu allowed different disk capabilities to be actioned.
Windows 2 added some visible enhancements. Windows 2 provided overlapping windows, menu keyboard short-cuts, and a different interface influenced by IBM standards. Windows 2 offered help to set up to a floppy disk. The later editions of Windows 2 added help and support for 286 excessive memory and operating functions in a 386 VDM.
In Windows 3.0, Microsoft made a much improved GUI (Graphical User Interface). Windows 3.0 offered individual Windows to be opened, a command button and other extras. A enhanced mode allowed page swapping.
Unlike Windows 1.0 and Windows 2.0 that used a MS-DOS command (shell), Windows 3.0 had a system supervisor shell that could process windows applications and MS-DOS applications.
Windows 3.1 became a primary and well used version of Microsoft Windows. On the user side of things, Windows 3.1 did not introduce any outstanding new features over Windows 3.0.
Windows For Workgroups 3.1
Windows for Workgroups 3.1 (initially codenamed “Winball” and later “Sparta”), launched in October 1992, featured native networking support and help. Windows Workgroups 3.1 was an extended model of the early Windows 3.1 that comes with SMB file sharing help via the NetBIOS-based NBF and IPX network transport protocols. It also also offered the Hearts card game, and launched VSHARE.386, the Virtual Device Driver.
Windows 95 became Microsoft’s first initial consumer hybrid 32-bit Operating System. Previously, most of Windows internals had been 16 bit. Windows 95 capabilities surpassed these of the earlier Windows with Win32s (32-bit support).
Windows 95 additionally revolutionized the computer interface by switching from the program manager to the Explorer desktop shell. Windows 95 was seen as simple for first-time users to operate, and it was wildly well-liked for the GUI offered.
Windows 98 was originally code named “Memphis“, and it was at one point, referred to as “Windows 97” based on an earlier manufacturing schedule. Windows 98 nicely expressed Microsoft’s perception that users needed a better view of programs and documents and that Internet technology would become an essential a part of the user interface.