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Microsoft Extends Life of Some Older Windows 10 Editions

Due to "the public health situation" caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Microsoft has extended the service lifetimes of certain editions of Windows 10 version 1709.

Instead of the previously scheduled end date of April 14, 2020, certain editions of Windows 10 version 1709 will get their last updates on Oct. 13, 2020, the company announced on Thursday. The extension just applies to Enterprise edition users, per Microsoft's description:

To ease one of the many burdens you are currently facing, and based on customer feedback, we have decided to delay the scheduled end of service date for the Enterprise, Education, and IoT Enterprise editions of Windows 10, version 1709. 

There was no mention of extended support for Windows 10 version 1709 Home and Pro editions. They both fell out of support on "April 9, 2019," according to Microsoft's "Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet" document. The Home and Pro editions have more acute end-of-support dates compared with Enterprise editions of Windows 10.

Microsoft will still publish security updates for Enterprise editions of Windows 10 version 1709 via its usual means, namely "Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services and the Microsoft Update Catalog." Additionally, System Center Configuration Manager will have support for Windows 10 version 1709 Enterprise editions through the new end-of-support date.

The end for Windows 10 version 1803 also is on the horizon this year. It'll end on Nov. 20, per the Fact Sheet.

Microsoft is making an exception with Windows 10 version 1709 Enterprise editions due to the pandemic lockdown. However, with the widespread shift to remote work, it's possible that other IT processes will slow down or get impaired.

For instance, in the Patchmanagement.org forum (sign-up required), there was some concern expressed about delays in completing Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 operating systems upgrades.

Also, some systems apparently don't upgrade or get patches remotely. For these organizations, the arrival of updates on machines depends on employees connecting to their workplace's network for it to happen. There also was concern expressed about expiring certificates.

Windows 10 gets more frequent feature updates (twice a year, in the spring and fall), plus monthly quality and security patches, compared with its predecessors. When a Windows 10 version hits its end-of-life date, the operating system continues to function but no updates arrive, including security patches. IT pros need to upgrade the operating system to stay supported.

About the Author

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

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