Windows 10 customers will have a simplified, more predictable features update cycle after Microsoft announced it will move to a twice-yearly cadence for its client operating system.
A new semi-annual channel (SAC) will replace the present current branch (CB) and current branch for business (CBB) update cycles, which sees Windows 10 updates released around March and September each year.
Each SAC release will be serviced for 18 months after its debut.
Microsoft said it will deliver the updates “right away to targeted, compatible consumer devices and gradually ramp up to full deployment based on the telemetry that we receive” with each SAC release.
The company recommends enterprises follow the same SAC release strategy, with targeted deployments to validate apps, devices, and infrastructure.
Special-purpose computers such as those used for medical control systems and in point-of-sales setups will be covered by the Windows 10 long-term servicing channel (LTSC), which replaces the current long-term servicing branch.
LTSC releases of Windows 10 are expected to appear every two to three years, with the next scheduled to arrive in 2019. Each LTSC release will be serviced for ten years after it appears, Microsoft said.
Microsoft has already aligned Windows update cycles with Office 365 ProPlus for simplified deployment.
Creators Update now ready
Windows 10 version 1703, known as Creators Update, will be the first SAC release, Microsoft said.
Announced earlier this year and in targeted deployment since April, Windows 10 Creators Update is now fully available to all customers.
Microsoft is encouraging commercial organisations to broadly deploy Creators Update for security purposes.