Windows 10 Version 1507 To Lose Support in March
Update 2/10: Microsoft now says that Windows 10 version 1507 will lose support in May.
Microsoft issued two Windows 10 announcements today for IT pros tasked with updating and deploying the operating system.
First, support for the "current branch for business" (CBB) release of Windows 10 version 1507 is winding down. After March 26, 2017, that CBB will become unsupported, according to a "Windows for IT Pros" blog post. It will no longer get feature updates or security updates from Microsoft, constituting a potential security risk.
A CBB release is Microsoft's recommended branch of Windows 10 for use in production environments. Microsoft first released the CBB for Windows 10 version 1507 on July 29, 2015. The March end-of-support date means that it will have been supported for a total of about 18 months, but there's a 60-day "grace period" added, so Microsoft calculates support at 20 months total for this particular CBB. Microsoft had described this peculiar aspect of its Windows 10 update scheme back in November.
Microsoft's Windows 10 release history, available at this page, presently doesn't indicate exactly when a CBB will fall out of support. It seems that IT pros have to keep an eye on the Windows for IT Pros blog posts, or they'll have to notice alerts that might arrive via patch management systems, to stay current.
Organizations that follow Microsoft's CBB update scheme are expected to upgrade to the next CBB release before its end-of-support date. There are actually two supported Windows 10 CBBs at any one time. Organizations running CBB version 1507 could jump to CBB version 1511 or CBB version 1607, for instance, as both are currently released and supported.
Next, the Windows IT Pro blog also announced today that the media files for Windows 10 version 1607, known as "the anniversary update," are available today from Microsoft's Windows Update for Business service, as well as Windows Server Update Services. The media files also can be downloaded from the MSDN subscriber portal. Of course, it was possible to create the imaged media before, but Microsoft now offers them all bundled up.
Organizations that were running "the December cumulative update (KB 3201845), or any later cumulative update" likely have upgraded to Windows 10 version 1607 CBB already, Microsoft's announcement suggested.
Media for Windows 10 version 1607 will be available from Microsoft's Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) on Jan. 26, Microsoft's announcement also indicated.
The VLSC release perhaps just seems important for large organizations planning big Windows 10 client deployments. However, Microsoft sees the Jan. 26 VLSC media release date as the period at which the 60-day grace period for Windows 10 version 1507 CBB will begin. Apparently, VLSC media releases are cues for IT pros to get moving on the next Windows 10 CBB upgrade.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.