Windows 11 to receive a single Cumulative Feature Update per year: Just three updates before Microsoft ends support for OS?

Windows 11 Cumulative Feature Update
One Major Update per year. Pic credit: Christiaan Colen/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the most troubling aspects with Windows 10 was undoubtedly the Cumulative Feature Updates. Understanding the same, Microsoft has indicated that Windows 11 will receive a single, and presumably big, update per year.

Microsoft offered multiple Big and Small Feature Updates for Windows 10. But Windows 11 could have a total of two or three updates before the company stops supporting the OS.

Windows 11 will have way fewer Cumulative Feature Updates compared to Windows 10:

Microsoft took a radically different approach regarding the deployment of new features and functions for its operating system with Windows 10. Windows 7 had Service Packs, but with Windows 10, Microsoft moved to the ‘Windows as a Service’ model. Needless to say, the strategy might look good on paper, but in reality, quite a few users suffered.

One of the biggest annoyances with Windows 10 OS has been its update schedule. Several users suffered from unstable systems, OS freezes, BSODs, and other erratic behavior of the OS. Such problems usually peaked after nearly every Cumulative Feature Update.

As a result, forums were filled with problems and their temporary workarounds or solutions. There were several posts that suggested Microsoft should reduce the number of these feature updates, and instead, focus on the stability of the operating system.

It appears Microsoft has listened. The company has reportedly confirmed that it’s moving to once-a-year feature updates for Windows 11.

Feature updates: Microsoft will provide a single Windows 11 feature update annually, targeted for release in the second half of each calendar year.

It is, however, important to note that Windows 11 will reportedly receive monthly quality updates. Still, Microsoft has assured that Windows updates will now be 40 percent smaller and more efficient,

Windows 11 will have just three or four major updates before End of Support?

Windows 10 has a 10-year life cycle. It launched in 2015, and support for the OS will end in 2025. As for Windows 11, Microsoft has a significantly shorter support period indicates official information:

  • Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, and Pro for Education editions of Windows 11 will receive 24 months of support.
  • Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 11 will be supported for 36 months.

The official statement from Microsoft seems to suggest that Windows 11 won’t receive active support beyond 36 months, for Enterprise and Education variants. And regular users have just two years.

This indirectly implies Windows 11 will only receive two Big Cumulative Feature Updates for regular users. Enterprise and Education iterations could receive security and quality updates beyond the two-year period, but not a Feature Update.

It is not immediately clear, but it seems Microsoft is adopting Apple Inc.’s update schedule. Apple macOS has a yearly update cycle. MacBook and Mac PC users are free to accept and install the Over The Air (OTA) update.

Windows 11 test build will soon be available to Windows Insider program participants. Moreover, the OS is yet to launch for the general public. Hence, there could be a few major changes.

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