With Microsoft pushing out two feature updates per year, and each feature update supported by 18 months only, it is a regular occurrence that Windows users upgrade their Windows 10 PCs to a new version.
For those of you who still run Windows 10 version 1607, generally known as the Anniversary Update, it is time to fire up the update engine and update to a newer version of Windows 10 as support for Windows 10 version 1607 will run out next month.
To be precise, April 10, 2018 will be the last Patch Day for the operating system. Microsoft won't release any update, security or otherwise, for the operating system once the date has passed.
This is true for Home editions only, as Enterprise and Education systems will receive another six months of servicing before they reach end of service.
Windows 10 version 1511, 1607, 1703 and 1709 will continue to receive monthly servicing updates at no-cost for a period of 6 months past the end of service dates. The security-only updates are available through all normal channels including: Windows Update (WU/WUfB), WSUS, the Update Catalog, and enterprise management solutions and are delivered as standard cumulative update packages.
Some versions of Enterprise and Education editions will have an option for an additional paid extension for eligible volume licensing customers. Customers should reach out to their Microsoft account team for more information about a paid program.
Microsoft did extend the support period in the past for certain Windows 10 versions but I would not hold my breath that the company will do the same for the Anniversary Update version of Windows 10.
Microsoft customers who operate Windows 10 Home or Premium computer systems that are still running the Anniversary Update can theoretically upgrade to any version of Windows 10 that is still supported.
Provided that compatibility issues or hardware restrictions won't keep the device from being upgraded to a new version of Windows 10, it may make sense to upgrade to Windows 10 version 1709 or even to Windows 10 version 1803 which will be released in April 2018.
Why? Because if you'd upgrade to Windows 10 version 1703, the Creators Update, you'd have to upgrade to a new version again after six months of operation.
While systems won't be offline for nearly as long anymore as before, as Microsoft improved the upgrade process and cut down on the offline time, it still is seen as a nuisance by many users.
The downside to skipping feature updates is that you will end up with an accumulation of changes introduced in skipped versions and the version that is installed on the machine.
While you will still recognize the Windows desktops and use core programs and tools, you'd have to spend more time getting to know the system as more Settings may have been moved around, renamed, or modified.
Some devices are stuck on the Anniversary Update but Microsoft revealed that it will support those with patches even after support ends for the version of Windows 10.
The rapid release process that Microsoft introduced for its Windows 10 operating system may speed up the delivery of new features and changes to users.
I'm not sold on the idea that this is indeed more beneficial than the release of service packs for the operating system but Microsoft seems to believe that this is the way to go forward.
While users will get new features faster this way, it is clear that the new rapid release system requires more work on the users part to keep the system up to date and keep up with all the changes that Microsoft introduces in new versions.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.