Windows 10: Is Microsoft planning yearly feature updates?

[German]Until now, Microsoft uses it’s semi annual Windows 10 feature update as a credo, made in stone. Now there are signs that Microsoft intends to switch to a ‘one feature update per year’.


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The semi annual upgrade disaster

Twice a year, in spring and in summer, Windows 10 is supposed to have a so-called feature update. The name feature update alone is marketing buzz and bullshit bingo. It is an upgrade that changed the complete base of your Windows 10.

And these semi-annual upgrades prove to be a disaster for Microsoft. Windows 10 version 1809 feature upgrade had to be withdrawn for six weeks due to serious issues. Windows version 1903 also had serious bugs and several show stoppers. And with Windows 10 version 2004, we are experiencing a new Waterloo with a bunch of known issues and upgrade stoppers.

Rumor: One feature update per year

In this ZDnet article Mary Foley has prepared some information she picked up in the corridors of Microsoft. I had published the blog posts Windows 10X: Launch 2021 als Light without Win32 Support and Is Microsoft planning a ‘Windows 10 Cloud-PC’ for 2021? about some new plans, based on Mary Foley’s information. 

Another rumor that Foley has picked up is that Microsoft is considering suspending the semi annual Windows 10 feature updates and is planning to switch to an annual rollout of feature upgrades. Foley writes: “Microsoft may only release one feature update per year for Windows 10 from 2021. The reason for this is to free up more developers who can focus on Windows 10X and Windows 10.”

Foley speculates that Microsoft will release Windows 10X versions in the H1 season in spring and new Windows 10 feature updates in the H2/autumn season. She lists the following dates:


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  • Microsoft will release Windows 10 20H2 in the fall of 2020. It will be a small feature update, where the 20H1 will be updated to the 20H2 by an enablement update (see Windows 10 20H2 will (probably) be a minor Update). So far, everything in the feature updates cycle for Windows 10 indicated a half-yearly “major”/minor release cycle.
  • In spring 2021, instead of updating Windows 10 21H1, Microsoft plans to ship its first version of the operating system Windows 10X.
  • In fall 2021, according to Foley’s sources, Microsoft plans to release a feature update for regular Windows 10 SKUs. This will be the 21H2 update if Microsoft sticks to its current nomenclature.
  • And in the spring of 2022, Microsoft plans to release an updated version of Windows 10X that will work on both single and dual-screen devices.

These are all still unconfirmed rumors, but usually Mary Foley is well informed about such developments.

Similar articles:
Windows 10 20H2 will (probably) be a minor Update
Windows 10: Rumors about 20H2 and deprecated Stores
Windows 10: Update plans explained
Windows 10 V2004: Microsoft started to add 20H2 features


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