Windows 10 RTM support ends May 9, 2017

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 14, 2017
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft announced that support for the Windows 10 RTM version, the first retail version of Windows 10, will end on May 9, 2017.

The company had plans to shut down support for Windows 10 RTM on March 26, 2017 initially, but extended the period to May 9, 2017 instead.

Windows 10 uses a different support model as older versions of the operating system such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.

In previous versions of Windows, the end of support date was always the end of life of the operating system. A release of a service pack for an older version of Windows, the last was released for Windows 7, would mark the beginning of the end of support for systems without that service pack.

windows 10 support end

Microsoft switched to a servicing model in Windows 10 instead. Support on Windows 10 is determined by the Current Branch for Business.

Basically, there are three servicing options that Microsoft maintains:

  • Current Branch (CB) -- for all editions of Windows 10.
  • Current Branch for Business (CBB) -- only for professional editions of Windows 10.
  • Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) -- long term support, only for Enterprise

The core difference between Current Branch and Current Branch for Business is that updates are released to Current Branch devices as soon as they are available, but delayed for about four months before made available to Current Branch for Business systems.

Microsoft will always support the two latest Current Branch for Business releases. Whenever a new edition of Windows 10 is made a Current Branch for Business release -- this happens four months after initial release -- the grace period for the oldest Current Branch for Business version begins.

In the case of Windows 10 RTM, both the November Update (version 1511) and Anniversary Update (version 1607) of Windows 10 are Current Branch for Business versions. The promotion of the Anniversary Update version to CBB started the support grace period for Windows 10 RTM.

The same will happen when the Windows 10 Creators Update is promoted to the CBB channel. This will happen in August, and about two months later, Windows 10 version 1511 will reach end of life.

You may say that this is similar to support changed when Microsoft released Service Packs for older versions of Windows. This is true to a degree, but there are a couple of differences.

First, the support period is shorter on Windows 10. Non-Service Pack versions of Windows were supported for about 2 years after the release of the Service Pack. On Windows 10, the support period for any version is about 18 months.

Probably the biggest difference to before is that feature updates are released at a much higher pace than Service Packs. Microsoft released three feature updates so far since July 2015 for Windows 10. The next feature update will be released at the end of 2017, making it four feature updates in about 2 years.

Another difference is that Microsoft made it a lot harder to block updates on Windows 10. Most Windows 10 machines are no longer on the RTM version, unless the system administrator changed system settings to block updates from being deployed on it.

The faster release scheme makes it difficult for Enterprise customers who don't run the LTSB to keep up. This year will be especially taxing for IT departments as Microsoft plans to release two feature upgrades (the first was the Creators Update).

Check your Windows version

windows 10 rtm

To find out which version of Windows is installed on your computer, do the following:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key.
  2. Type winver.
  3. Hit the Enter-key.

The About Windows window should load. It lists the version of the operating system right in the second line. Compare the version to the list below.

  • 1507 -- Initial version of Windows 10.
  • 1511 -- The November Update.
  • 1607 -- The Anniversary Update.
  • 1703 -- The Creators Update

Now You: What's your take on the faster update cycle?

Windows 10 RTM support ends May 9, 2017
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Windows 10 RTM support ends May 9, 2017
Microsoft announced that support for the Windows 10 RTM version, the first retail version of Windows 10, will end on May 9, 2017.
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  1. pHROZEN gHOST said on April 14, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Confusing? No $#!T!!!!

    I hate to point this out but …

    Windows 10 support ends at the time you install it.

  2. Anor KneeMerce said on April 14, 2017 at 10:03 am

    This means each version of Win 10 have an EOL of about 24 months before support from M$ ends, eg Win 10 Version 1511’s EOL will be around Nov 2017 and Win 10 Version 1607’s EOL will be around Aug 2018.

    Many Win 7/8.1 users who took the free GWX Win 10 upgrade offer from 29 July 2015 onward, found that they could not upgrade to the next version of Win 10 mainly because of older hardware incompatibility. Furthermore, some of them could not rollback to Win 7/8.1. Even some who bought new OEM Win 10 RTM Version 1507 in 2015 could not upgrade to Win 10 Version 1511, eg budget/cheap OEM Win 10 2-in-1 tablets that came with only 32GB of eMMC Flash storage.
    ……. So, there are many Win 10 users who will be forever stuck with Version 1507/RTM, 1511, 1607, 1703, etc, ie could not upgrade. Pity them.

    In comparison, Win 7/8.1 users have support for about 10 years before EOL is reached in 2020/2023, and it is not dependent on whether they could do a version upgrade or SP(Service Pack) update.
    ……. In the case of Win 10 users, support for more than 2 years depends on them upgrading to the latest or n-1 version which is released about once every 8 months. The upgrade can be deferred for some months by Win 10 Pro/Ent users(= n-1 version), but not by Win 10 Home users.

    Win 10 Ent LTSB which has 10 years of support or EOL/2025, is only available for companies.

    1. Yuliya said on April 14, 2017 at 11:17 am

      >Win 10 Ent LTSB which has 10 years of support or EOL/2025, is only available for companies.

      I have it. And I’m not a company =)
      Btw, LTSB 2016 and Server 2016 have support till 2026.

      1. Corky said on April 17, 2017 at 10:49 am

        @Yuliya, not that analogies are perfect but what you’re suggesting is the equivalent of saying that because car manufactures or after market mods make cars that can exceed the speed limit that it’s OK to break said speed limit, that’s not how things work, it’s not illegal to provide people with the means to break the speed limit in much the same way as it’s not illegal to provide people with a means to break DRM, however if you as an individual breaks the speed limit or DRM then you could find yourself in court should you get caught doing so and in court you’re given the chance to explain if you legally had recourse to break the law.

      2. Corky said on April 17, 2017 at 9:17 am

        @Yuliya, Despite that link not working i got the gist of the single court case you’re referring to and i hate to tell you you’re wrong, Cote dismissed the charge of contributory infringement, ruling that the publishers didn’t have a case because they couldn’t point to any specific example of actual infringement, as can be read in the following link.

        Also further reinforced by EEF publishing a more up to date press release last year saying they’re challenging the anti-circumvention and anti-trafficking provisions of the 18-year-old Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (

        And again 9 month ago the EEF filed a court action
        in which they state….”but when the owner is legally prohibited from reconfiguring the product to enable that conduct, it’s vital that they be informed of this restriction before they make a purchase, so that they might make an informed decision”

        I’m sorry to say you’ve been misinformed so perhaps it’s not a good idea to accuse others of the same.

      3. Yuliya said on April 16, 2017 at 2:42 pm

        www eff org/deeplinks/2014/12/pointing-users-drm-stripping-software-isnt-copyright-infringement-judge-rules

        Stripping DRM from legally aquired software is not illegal. LTSB iso can be legally aquired by anyone and it will work out of the box for 4 x 30 days. Strippind the DRM is not illegal and neither is for the creation of the said software or distribution of said software. Is illegal to further redistribute the software with its DRM removed. Take the iso out of public domain, place it behind a pay wall, and maybe then you can talk about “theft”.

        Law can differ from a contry to another (on a closer look many countries, while not explicitly stating that it’s legal, they also don’t state that it’s illegal to do so). You may want to do more research on your own if you’re interested in regards to how DRM circumvention works in your country (but apparently you aren’t into “stealing” – I didn’t really get this, did you think I was talking about physically taking the hard drive on which the LTSB iso is being storred on to? LTSB iso is publicly available for download at no cost.) Do note that you won’t find anywhere written on the wall for you that “this is legal” and “this is illegal”. DRM circumvention covers a broader spectrum. Unlocking your otherwise carrier locked phone to use it with other networks is also DRM circumvention. Providing means to do so and the end users aquiring and using the said means is perfectly legal. In the LTSB case, the iso file is offered at no charge (which is something, I think, you did not understand).

      4. Corky said on April 16, 2017 at 8:49 am

        @Yuliya, like i said I’d like you to provide some evidence (a link) of your claim that breaking a contract you signed is not illegal, until you do i can only assume you’re repeating what seems like an Internet myth that people on forums like to tell each other in some attempt to make themselves feel better about stealing.

      5. Yuliya said on April 15, 2017 at 7:55 pm

        The fact that some company specifies something in their TOS does not make it enforceable by law. You are free to modify the software in any way without redistributing the modified final prodct. This is why software products made to bypass DVS’s DRM encryption (allowing you to either store a copy of it on your HDD, a reencode, or make a copy of the said DVD on a blank) are legally to aquire and to use in personal interests. It’s both legally for you to use the said software and for the one who created the said software as well to make it public, as long as it’s not used to create counterfeit copies (which subsequently subjected to being sold). I don’t care what Micro$oft claims, me not being able to modify their software which I then run on my PC is not something that I’m prohibited.

        Breaking DRM, providing means of breaking DRM or aquiring the said means was never illegal. It is the very reason why those websites can’t be taken down legally. MDL forum is up and running, M$ can’t do anything about it – they COULD have in the past (and they tried) when modified iso files of Windows were posted there, but not any longer, the site provides means of modifying WIndows in any possible way, with M$ having no right to take i down. Micro$oft’s right would be to actively break those utilities by modifying Windows. Redistributing/selling the product with the DRM stripped away – this is illegal.

        End of the line, KMS activation in any way is not illegal. It’s there, it was reversed engineered. The only thing Micro$oft can do about it is modifying how it works or remove it alltogether – later is very unlikely as that’s how you activate Windows within business environments and former would be a cat and mouse game.

      6. Corky said on April 15, 2017 at 6:01 pm

        @Yuliya, I’m unsure where you’re getting that information from (please provide evidence) as i think you’ll find that circumventing software activation is considered illegal in the majority of courts around the world, that’s before we even get into the legality of doing something that (IIRC) is specifically prohibited in the T&C’s that you agreed to when installing Windows.

      7. Yuliya said on April 15, 2017 at 2:28 pm

        Corky, using known activation bypass methods for personal use is not illegal. Providing means on bypassing software activation/DRM that anyone can do is also not illegal. The distributor of said software should step up their game if it’s so easy to bypass it. Re-distributing said software in a modified state which strips away the said DRM is illegal – this is not the case with KMS activation.

      8. Corky said on April 15, 2017 at 1:45 pm

        @Yuliya, I know how KMS and their clients work, however that’s not relevant to the legality of emulating a server that’s intended to replace Microsoft’s own activation servers.

      9. Yuliya said on April 15, 2017 at 1:14 pm

        Corky, The way KMS activation works, is rather a grace period of 180 days (needs to be redone after that). So at most *someone’s going to see that your LTSB installation has 120 days of grace period (assuming you did it a couple of months ago). Well, it’s expiring in 120 days, “what do you want from me? trial works as intended”.

        That being said, KMS activation functionality is built-in Windows Pro, Enterprise, LTSB and Server. The iso files are publicly available (the Pro one is so easy to aquire to the point people had to actively deny its download). And reverse engineering of how something works to make my own KMS emulator is not illegal.

        Ofcourse, I don’t have that knowledge, but someone who has this kind of skill also can’t be forced not to make its work public. If Micro$oft is unhappy, then they should remove this feature from Windows. Not much else they can do about it, not within Europe at least. Micro$oft prohibits, and actively tries to take down, any modified Windows iso, but that has nothing to do with it.

        * Within Europe no one has the right to search what’s on your computer/laptop, just to check what you’re running. In airports they scan it for sharp objects and what not, but nothing software related. They’re willing to strip you naked if the damned thing keeps beeping on you, and apparently it’s their right to do so, same thing with your machine if it contains any questionable physical objects hidden inside, but otherwise have no right to press the power button on it. And in airports is as close as anything law-related can get to your laptop.

      10. Corky said on April 15, 2017 at 9:38 am

        The problem with using KMS server emulators, Yuliya, is that they’re in violation of Microsoft’s Terms and Conditions, that’s not to say i agree or disagree however using a KMS server emulator would (afaik, inal) be illegal and probably not a risk some people would be willing to take.

      11. pHROZEN gHOST said on April 14, 2017 at 7:49 pm

        The words “Microsoft” and “support” should not be used in the same sentence.

        After the fact, M$ adjusts the past to make current changes in terms and conditions suit their needs.

      12. Yuliya said on April 14, 2017 at 5:18 pm

        Anor KneeMerce, No, it’s not the evaluation build, it’s the actual VL iso. Here are the SHA1 hashes:

        en_windows_10_enterprise_2015_ltsb_x64_dvd_6848446 (iso)

        en_windows_10_enterprise_2015_ltsb_x86_dvd_6848454 (iso)

        en_windows_10_enterprise_2016_ltsb_x64_dvd_9059483 (iso)

        en_windows_10_enterprise_2016_ltsb_x86_dvd_9060010 (iso)

        For activation there are multiple KMS server emulators (i.e Microsoft Toolkit which can be found on MDL forum) which will give you proper activation. Micro$oft can’t do anything in this regard. And given the nasty practices of this company in the past few years, and to top it all, failing (read: willingly denying) to provide support for an OS which is still in “mainstream support” phase, Windows 8.1, I encurage anyone who has to use Windows 10 not to pay for the abomination consumer (Home/Pro) version, that they dare to call a desktop OS, instead get the LTSB version and use it. It’s a lot nicer, no Store, no Edge, no Cortana, none of those crapps, and no forced reinstall every six months. It’s still trash compared to 7, but if you can’t manage to install and run 7 on modern hardware, LTSB and a big FU to Micro$oft.

      13. Anor KneeMerce said on April 14, 2017 at 4:29 pm

        @ Yuliya

        I believe yours is an evaluation copy of Win 10 Ent LTSB that is supposed to be evaluated for only 90 days, ie it’s not an official/licensed copy.
        ……. Even though M$ are closing one-eye to allow “evaluators” like yourself to continue using it after 90 days without activation but just displaying a nag screen, there is no saying when M$ will put a stop to this, eg when Win 10 has reached a market share of more than 50%.

        As we know, M$ have been “begging” people to use Win 10, eg by quietly allowing all Win 7/8.1 to still be able to upgrade to Win 10 for free, ie after the supposedly 1 year cut-off date on 29 July 2016 = “Beggars can’t be choosers”.

  3. Corky said on April 14, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Seeing how Microsoft have been playing fast and loose with the term “support” recently their “support” is all but meaningless, i signed a contract when i installed Windows 7 & 8 that said Microsoft would “support” those OS’s and now some 3 and 6 year before the end of that “support” their refusing “support” depending on what hardware is installed in my PC, when i agreed to the terms of the contract it didn’t say installing new hardware would invalidate the agreement.

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