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Operating Systems & Patch Management — Windows-as-a-Service

Operating Systems & Patch Management — Windows-as-a-Service

On July 29th, it will be 5 years since the release of Windows 10.  Seems like just yesterday that Microsoft released their bundle of joy into the marketplace.  They grow up so fast, don’t they?  Well, yes and no.  After all, the current version of Windows 10 is only 1 month old.  Confused?    If so, you’re not alone.  Most of us grew up with the familiar 2-3-year cadence of Windows releases.  Windows 95 in 1995, Windows 98 in 1998, Windows ME in 2000, Windows XP in 2001, etc. (and my sincere apologies for mentioning Windows ME for those of you old enough to remember).

So, how is Windows 10 both 5 years old and 1 month old and why hasn’t Windows 11 come out yet?  Windows-as-a-Service is the answer to both questions.  This agile approach to Operating System development eschews “new” Operating Systems in favor of feature updates to Windows 10.  Think of iOS for the iPhone.  Apple doesn’t release newly branded iOS’s every couple of years.  They are constantly releasing new versions of iOS with new features and enhancements every few months.

The Windows-as-a-Service roadmap consists of feature updates twice a year, one in the Spring and one in the Fall. Each update has a version number that corresponds to the year and month of intended release (e.g., version 2004 was intended to be released in April of 2020). These feature updates are essentially new free versions of Windows 10.   Who doesn’t like getting new things for free?  Well, there’s always a catch.