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Microsoft has dropped support extension for Windows 10 Enterprise

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Microsoft ended a six-month support extension for enterprise users of Windows 10 with the feature upgrade released last week.

All editions of Windows 10 1803,  the “April 2018 Update,” will be given security patches and other bug fixes until November 2019, or for its standard 18 months. That will be in addition to the four previous feature upgrades, designated as 1511, 1607, 1703 and 1709 in Microsoft’s yymm format. Customers who licensed Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education received 24 months of support for those versions.

The coming to an end of the extra six months, which Microsoft had taken to calling “supplemental servicing,” was quietly showed in online documentation, including the Windows 10 lifecycle fact sheet. There, version 1803 was not flagged as one of those receiving the added support. “Windows 10 version 1511, 1607, 1703 and 1709 will keep receiving monthly servicing updates at no-cost for a speculated time of 6 months past the end of service dates,” Microsoft stated in the fact sheet, referring to the standard 18-month support timetable.

 Microsoft engaged supplemental servicing in November 2017, when it announced that Windows 10 version 1511, a November 2015 feature upgrade originally slated to drop off the support list on Oct. 10, 2017, would thereafter receive some security fixes until April 10, 2018.

At the time, Microsoft said that support will only be added to 1511. Three months later, however, the company added 1607, 1703 and 1709 to the supplementary servicing list. As with 1511, Microsoft gave to access to the extra support for Enterprise and Education licenses and gave only those security patches rated “critical” and “important” to those customers.

Although industry analysts reported that their corporate clients want or even need, more than 18 months between feature upgrades – a consensus was building that a 24-month gap would be acceptable – Microsoft cancled supplemental servicing.

In February, Microsoft said that it would provide “paid supplemental servicing” starting in April when organizations running Windows 10 Enterprise 1607 (as well as Education 1607) would see patches dry up.

John Wilcox, principal program manager, who wrote in a post to a company blog said,”Volume License customers who need more than the additional six months of no-cost servicing beyond April 10, 2018, can alternatively secure 12 months of extra servicing (starting from April 10, 2018) with paid supplemental servicing,”

Microsoft has never forecast the cost of Windows 10 paid supplemental servicing, nor whether it will be given to versions other than 1607 when their support, supplemental or any related, expires. (The next retirement date on Windows 10’s calendar is October 9, when 1703 is to finish the additional six months of its updates.)

However, it’s uncertain that Microsoft would create a temporary for-fee program for only one version of Windows 10; the company hasn’t made of leaving money behind the bar. Instead, expect it to offer the same 12 months support extension to Enterprise and Education customers for all feature upgrades, meanwhile providing a total of 30 months of free and paid support for each.

Microsoft further said, customers who need more related information about paid supplemental servicing, including costs, should contact their designated account team.

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