With Windows 10, Microsoft decided to update Windows twice a year. So each year we expect at least two major updates, like in 2017 we saw Creators Update early in the year and Falls Creators Update later in the year.
If you remember, prior to Windows 10, Windows had a three year release cycle, except between Windows XP and Vista which had the longest gap of five years.
So like Windows Vista Business released in 2006, Windows 7 released in 2009, Windows 8 in 2012 and Windows 10 in 2015.
In the world where iOS and Android OS dominates and every year a major feature update gets released, Windows used to move at a glacial speed with three year cycle.
Microsoft decided they needed to also update Windows at a much faster rate and bring new features to the users twice in a year.
So this is how Microsoft pushes updates.
Every six months there’s a feature update, which means, it brings in new capabilities to the operating system, eg with Creators and Falls Creators Update Mixed Reality framework was brought in, MyPeople, Paint 3D, Fluent design language and many other.
After major updates Windows 10 gets monthly Quality Updates that brings in security and other updates to the OS combined in a cumulative updates.
With Windows 10, each release will be serviced for 18 months. So you will be required to move to the next release to continue receiving updates and features.
Michael Niehaus – Director Windows commercial explain the video how Windows as a service works.
So here’s what I think.
Windows as a service is really not working, specially for Microsoft’s biggest and important userbase, the business.
Even in the past with every major release in the traditional three year cycle, Businesses would not upgrade when it was released. Heck, they wouldn’t upgrade even after 6-12 months after the release.
Nothing much has changed today either. Mid to large organizations still don’t upgrade to releases as fast as Microsoft hopes. And there are reasons for it. I am also part of an organization where I don’t like upgrading to new Windows as soon as it is released.
There are many reasons, a few include, training (if there are changes to UI), application compatibility or unknown bugs in the OS itself. However, in my personal space I upgrade to Windows the day it is available, in fact one of my machines runs Windows Insider builds.
Yes, there are no known major issues with Falls Creators Update and even Creators Update, but we all know what happened to Anniversary Update. There were so many issues with that update, I wouldn’t even want to detail it here. But the point is, we don’t know how the next version of Windows will be, it may break things? Granted, Long Term Servicing Channel or Windows 10 Enterprise editions prevents Windows to update right away. This does not apply to majority of PCs worldwide but to Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC versions.
I personally don’t understand why Microsoft needs to be so aggressive pushing new feature updates semi-annually. I mean, mobile OS also updates annually, then why would Microsoft want to update a big, humongous Windows twice a year? Aside from that, how many new features can you really bring up every six months that really matter and are useful? (MyPeople, I’m looking at you) I don’t know of anyone who are crying out loud for new Windows features so fast.
What I personally feel Microsoft should be doing is, they do release two updates semi annually but:
- Feature Update: In this release Microsoft should bring new and edgy features to Windows. Features like Timeline (in RS4), more fluent design language, and others.
- Finishing Update: Or an update to bring quality to the OS. This becomes minor in size but important to bring stability and fit and finish to the rough edges of the OS.
I think this is very important to Windows 10 that constantly sends mix feelings to users who feel Windows 10 is a beta software that Microsoft ships to us for testing. With the “Finishing Update” all the fixes, nuts and bolts will be tightened in the OS which will make it a rock solid just like how Windows 7 and Windows 8 felt.
This is my take on the subject, do post in your comments about what you think? Whether WaaS model works or not?