Microsoft wants Windows 10 servicing calendars? Here are two more
Microsoft last week rolled out what it called "Windows servicing calendars" to help enterprise customers
schedule several product lines so IT can plan, prep and deploy each year's updates.
Apply one feature upgrade every two calendar years
Because of Windows 10 Enterprise's 30 months of support — remember, only for yyH2, as in this year's 20H2
— it's possible to do one better than Bell's annual upgrade. Agile enterprises can stretch any yyH2's lifespan
to two years. After deploying 20H2, for example, an organization with its wits about it can wait until 2022 to
roll out a replacement, the refresh marked 22H2.
The following figure shows the narrow window, no pun intended, available for the maneuver. An organization
already on 20H2 begins the process of the next upgrade in October 2022, six months before 20H2's support
expiration. It rolls through planning (October) and prepping (November-December) in 2022, then deploys 22H2
during January, February and March 2023. If all goes smoothly, the enterprise will have wrapped up deployment
of 22H2 around the time Microsoft issues the final security update for 20H2.
The company's devices will have skipped 21H1, 21H2 and 22H1; in that time, they will have run the 20H2 version for
approximately 24 months.
But with time that tight, there will be little to no room for Microsoft screw-ups. A two-month delay in the release of 22H2,
for instance, will put a real crimp on scheduling, possibly make the firm miss 20H2's support deadline of March 2023.
(Microsoft has had problems meeting release dates for Windows feature upgrades, with both 2020's and 2019's spring
refresh appearing in late May, a month-and-more behind the company's usual target of April.
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