Microsoft made some big changes to the way it handles updates with the release of April's Creators Update. Major updates moved to a staggered release guided by telemetry data received from users' PCs. Today, almost four months after the April 11 initial release date, the Windows 10 Creators Update is available to "all compatible devices." The software giant has also announced a plan to keep Windows and Office updates synchronized.
That "compatible devices" wording regarding the Creators Update deserves some attention. Microsoft is still clinging to its previous claim that Windows 10 will be the "last" Windows release, but systems will only receive updates for the "supported lifetime of the device." For systems based on Intel's Clover Trail Atom SoCs and the Imagination Technologies GPU held within, that supported lifetime is over. These machines will be stuck on Windows 10 Anniversary Update forever, though security updates to the Anniversary Update will be supplied to these systems until January 2023.
Microsoft is also moving Windows to a twice-per-year update model called the Semi-Annual Channel for the general PC population, matching the Office 365 ProPlus release cadence. This model replaces the existing Current Branch and Current Branch for Business scheduling, and targets biannual March and September releases to simplify deployment cycles. Both releases will be serviced for 18 months from their debut date. The Creators Update will be the first Semi-Annual Channel offering. System administrators can opt for the Long-Term Servicing Channel, which Microsoft says will see releases every two or three years, serviced for 10 years thereon.
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