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Windows 11 will move to an annual update cadence, gets a new support lifecycle

Multiple PCs running Windows 11 laid on the ground

Microsoft finally took the wraps off Windows 11 today, showing off the work it’s been doing to revamp the UI and bring about new experiences for touch-based devices, productivity, and more. The company also surprised everyone by announcing that it will support Android apps on Windows 11 through a dedicated Amazon Store. Additionally, the company detailed the minimum system requirements for the OS.

In addition to these announcements for consumers, the firm also announced what the update cadence would be for IT admins who deploy and manage updates for the OS in a separate blog post. As part of these details, the firm revealed that Windows 11 will follow an annual update cadence, meaning it will receive major updates just once a year, unlike Windows 10 that has been updated twice a year – albeit with the last year only bringing enablement packages.

In addition to the change in the number of updates, the Redmond giant is also tweaking the support lifecycle for the product. Users running Home and Pro SKUs will be supported for 24 months, while Enterprise and Education users will be supported for 36 months. This contrasts with the confusing support timelines for Windows 10 versions that varied based on when the version was released.

The change to an annual update cadence will be a welcome one for consumers and enterprises alike, and the extended support timelines for businesses – up from the 30 months for Windows 10 H2 releases – might push more admins to consider the move to Windows 11 sooner rather than later.

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