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Some Windows 10 Users Getting 6-Month Support Extension

Schools and enterprises running Windows 10 version 1803 will continue to receive patches for the operating system until mid-2021, Microsoft announced this week.

Specifically, "Enterprise, Education and IoT Enterprise editions of Windows 10 version 1803" will now fall out of support on May 11, 2021, according to Microsoft, instead of on their previously planned end-of-support date of Nov. 10, 2020.

An extension for users of the Windows 10 version 1803 Home and Pro editions wasn't mentioned, but those operating system editions lost support back on Nov. 12, 2019, according to this Microsoft document.

The reason for extending Windows 10 version 1803's service life wasn't explained. Clearly, organizations using the Enterprise and Education editions aren't able to move as quickly to a new version of Windows 10 as Microsoft requires.

When a Windows 10 OS falls out of support, security patches from Microsoft no longer arrive, which increases potential security risks. Organizations and individuals have to install a newer version of the OS to stay supported and get patches.

A six-month reprieve is all Microsoft seems to allow for enterprises and educational institutions using older versions of Windows 10. In March, Microsoft extended the service life of certain editions of Windows 10 version 1709 to Oct. 13, 2020, citing delays caused by "public health" (COVID-19) issues. In April, Microsoft extended the service life of certain editions of Windows 10 version 1809 to Nov. 10, 2020.

Also back in April, Microsoft gave organizations a little leeway on System Center Configuration Manager version 1810, SharePoint Server 2010, Exchange Online Basic Authentication and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement.

Microsoft appears to be in the process of revamping its product lifecycle search portal. A note at that page directs users to try a "new search experience" at this page, which is marked as a "preview." The preview search results show more simplified end-of-life dates for Windows 10, dropping the "extended support" column that displays in the current portal's search results.

Windows client OS releases traditionally have followed the Fixed lifecycle support model, with five years of "mainstream" support followed by five years of "extended" support. Windows 10, though, follows the Modern lifecycle support model, which doesn't specify support periods. At best, users get notified of a major product change 30 days in advance under the Modern policy.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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