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Microsoft adds 6 months support for Windows 10 1709 to account for pandemic disruption

Microsoft today extended the support lifespan of Windows 10 Enterprise 1709 and Windows 10 Education 1709 by six months, pushing their retirements to Oct. 13. The original end-of-support date had been fixed as April 14.

Microsoft cited the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact, which in just the U.S. has ranged from massive business closings and multi-county lockdowns to a broad movement of companies telling white-collar employees to work from home. By midday March 19, 171 deaths in the U.S. had been attributed to the virus. Globally, deaths approached 10,000.

“We have been evaluating the public health situation, and we understand the impact this is having on you,” wrote John Cable, director of program management, in a March 19 post to a company blog. “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.”

Three years of support for 1709

Windows 10 1709 launched in October 2017, and although the Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro editions of the release received just 18 months of support — until April 9, 2019 — Enterprise and Education got 30 months of updates. Microsoft split customers into 18- and 30-month groups in September 2018, when it created the latter support lifespan for its most important customers, larger businesses and organizations.

Under Microsoft’s 18/30 scheme, Enterprise and Education receive two and a half years of support only for the fall feature upgrade, the one labeled yy09 in the firm’s four-digit format. The spring upgrade, yy03, provides only 18 months of support to everyone and every SKU (stock-keeping unit).

The six-month extension for 1709 will supply customers security updates through the usual channels, including Windows Update, Windows Update for Business, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and the Microsoft Update Catalog. Cable also promised that update management processes would not need to change during the added months. “All supported versions of Microsoft Configuration Manager (current branch) will continue to support Windows 10, version 1709 until October 13, 2020,” Cable said.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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