Windows 10 version 1511 end of service for Current Branch (CB) and Current Branch for Business (CBB) will occur on October 10, 2017. This applies to the following editions, which were released in November 2015:
"To help some early enterprise adopters that are still finishing their transition to Windows as a service, we will be providing a supplemental servicing package for Windows 10, version 1511, for an additional six months, until April 2018," said Michael Niehaus, director of product marketing for Windows, in a post to a company blog.
Under its Windows-as-a-service (WaaS) model, Microsoft releases two feature upgrades annually at six-month intervals, and then supports each upgrade for 18 months. However, 1511 was given a 23-month support lifecycle, with the additional time arising from an arcane rule Microsoft implemented but later discarded; it would not retire an upgrade before six months had passed from the most recent upgrade's release.
With the extension, Windows 10 Enterprise 1511 and Education 1511 get a total of 29 months of support, nearly as long a stretch as the historical intervals between major pre-0 versions of the OS, such as the 36 months between Windows 7 and Windows 8, or the 34 months between Windows 8 and Windows 10.
Ironically, the successor to 1511, the mid-2016 feature upgrade designated 1607, will now, absent another Microsoft intervention, exit support in March 2018, before its predecessor. That's not how it's supposed to work.
"What's been a surprise is how adamant Microsoft has been about this cadence," said Michael Silver, an analyst with Gartner, of the every-six-month release tempo and the 18-month support window. "What's not a surprise is that organizations have been telling us that they can't do multiple updates in a year. They're worried about falling off support from [Windows 10] 1511 or even 1607 after that."
It's virtually certain that Microsoft extended 1511's support because its most important customers - corporations - told the company that they weren't able to make the Oct. 10, 2017, deadline. Niehaus did not specifically cite feedback, as Microsoft usually does, for the decision, but that was probably the trigger.
Support extensions weren't unknown before this. In February, Microsoft added about six weeks to the support lifespan of Windows 10 1507, the initial version that launched in July 2015. Generally, however, Microsoft has been hard-nosed about support deadlines.
Kleynhans agreed, saying that Microsoft was doing a "balancing act" between meeting customers' demands and not enforcing deadlines. But he also thought that the 1511 support addendum would be followed by others.
Beginning with Windows 10, version 21H2 (the Windows 10 November 2021 Update), feature updates will be released annually in the second half of the year via the General Availability Channel. Go here to learn more. Microsoft will continue to support at least one Windows 10 release until October 14, 2025.
Last month we wrote about the end of lifecycle support for Windows 10 Version 1511, and how after nearly 24 months of support the so-called "November Update" was finally being officially retired and would not see anymore security or quality updates. Microsoft was encouraging customers to at least upgrade to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Version 1607, or beyond.
Today, in a brief posting over on the Windows for IT Pros blog, Microsoft's Michael Niehaus posted about the progress of Windows as a Service (WaaS) for the companies customers. While he stated that many customers were making good progress with those steps, he also mentioned that some early enterprise adopters were still working on their adoption of WaaS. In order to support them in that process, he shared that the lifecycle of Windows 10 Version 1511 would be extended:
Microsoft's long range plan, previously announced and confirmed, is to support each feature update of Windows 10 for approximately 18 months. Windows 10 Version 1511 is unique because it was almost another year before its replacement, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, was made available. As Microsoft settles into their planned twice annual feature updates release schedule for the operating system, I think it will be less likely that these types of extensions will be necessary since the updates are much closer together to facilitate timely migrations.
As you may already know, Windows 10 Version 1511 recently reached its end of support. However, the operating system continues to receive cumulative updates. That's because Microsoft has decided to extend its support timeframe for Education and Enterprise.
Windows 10 version 1511 was released in November 2015. Since then, Microsoft has released a few major updates for the Windows 10 platform, including Creators Update (version 1703) and Fall Creators Update (version 1709). At the same time, previous Windows 10 versions have received a bunch of cumulative updates, including security fixes and stability improvements.
A new blog post reveals that Microsoft is extending support for Windows 10 version 1511 until April 2018. This change will affect Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education users only. This means that only enterprise and education users of Windows 10 Version 1511 will have access to cumulative updates until April 2018.
To help some early enterprise adopters that are still finishing their transition to Windows as a service, we will be providing a supplemental servicing package for Windows 10, version 1511 for an additional six months, until April 2018, providing updates to address critical and important security issues that arise during that time. These updates will be available to anyone using Windows 10 Enterprise, version 1511 or Windows 10 Education, version 1511. Updates will be offered via all normal channels, including Windows Update, WSUS, Configuration Manager, and the Windows Update catalog.
If you are running Windows 10 Version 1511, it is a good idea to upgrade the OS to a newer release. Running an older version of Windows 10 may allow hackers to potentially execute harmful code on your devices via newly discovered yet unpatched security holes. So if you're concerned about your security, don't forget to upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10.
Versions of Windows 10 that are listed as "end of service" have reached the end of their support period and will no longer receive security updates. To keep Windows as secure as possible, Microsoft recommends that you upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10.
This update includes reliability improvements to Windows Update Service components in all editions of Windows 10, version 1507, 1511, 1607, 1703, 1709, 1803, 1809, 1903, 1909, 2004, 20H2, 21H1, 21H2, and Windows 11, version 21H2, 22H2. It may take steps to free up disk space on your device if you do not have enough disk space to install Windows updates.
Windows 10 Support ExtensionsThe good news is that Microsoft added six months of product life to the Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 10 versions 1607, 1703 and 1709. The revised end-of-support dates are shown in the following table:
In November, Microsoft had extended the life of Windows 10 version 1511 by six months. The explanation for the extension back then was that organizations were still getting used to Microsoft's Windows as a service approach, where new operating system features arrive more frequently. Under this scheme, organizations must hop to the next "channel" release after 18 months or risk running unsupported OSes that don't get security updates.
Microsoft's out-of-the-blue Office support restrictions and exceptions have been seen before. In April, Microsoft announced that all perpetual-license Office products would no longer have connections to Office 365 services, starting on Oct. 13, 2020. For users of the perpetual-license versions of Office, this restriction means their productivity suites will lack connections to Office 365 services like OneDrive, Outlook and Skype for Business applications on that date.
Microsoft finally retired a 2015 version of Windows 10, marking 29 months of support for the untitled feature upgrade, nearly as long a stretch as the time between the releases of Windows 8 and Windows 10.
Earlier this year, Microsoft added six months of support to all versions of Enterprise and Education, raising the support roof from 18 months to 24 for not only 1511, but also for 1607, 1703 and 1709. The less expensive, less expansive, Home and Pro, however, retained the 18-month support timeline.
The company has extended the lifespan of other software previously, including the original version of Windows 10, tagged as 1507. In February 2017, it added six weeks to the timetable. Generally, however, Microsoft has been hard-nosed about support deadlines, and for good reason.
Microsoft's release cadence for Windows 10 has been the stuff of nightmares for IT pros. New feature updates (the equivalent of full Windows upgrades) arrive every six months and are supported for only 18 months. When you're accustomed to deploying major Windows versions every five years or so, the idea of having to make those large, coordinated moves every year is daunting, to say the least.
Must read: Microsoft permanently extends support for Windows 10 Enterprise and Education feature updates to 30 months | Microsoft relents on Office support cutoff dates | Microsoft to offer paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates
Today's announcements are the latest twist in a series of changes and extensions in the three years since Windows 10's initial release in 2015. In November 2017, Microsoft extended support for version 1511 by six months, to April 2018. (The blog post announcing that change is no longer online.)
Today's announcement adds an extra six months of support, with all currently supported Windows 10 versions (1607 through 1803) supported for 30 months from their original release date. Once again, the extension applies only on Enterprise and Education editions. 2b1af7f3a8