Microsoft has some Long Terms Servicing Channel (LTSC) announcements this week. This is the company’s area of services that are not linked to the cloud. Alongside the announcement of Office LTSC, Microsoft says it will cut the number of years it support for Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC in half.
Specifically, the company will slash the ten-year support lifecycle it currently offers to just five years. This new support timeframe will start with the release of Windows 10 21H2 during the second half of 2021.
Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC is a variant of the platform that allows enterprise customers to use Windows without cloud services. Many organizations are still holding out on cloud migration for various reasons. However, that migration is hard to ignore, especially as Microsoft is full steam ahead in support of it.
Microsoft is a cloud-first company these days. Sure, Redmond still offers support to non-cloud customers, but is increasingly trying to push them onto the cloud. That’s clearly the goal of this latest decision, which will surely anger some customers who are committed to LTSC.
In response to any critics, Microsoft says user research shows most LTSC customers “found that they do not require the full 10-year lifecycle.”
“With the fast and increasing pace of technological change, it is a challenge to get the up-to-date experience customers expect when using a decade-old product. Where scenarios do require 10 years of support, we have found in our conversations that these needs are often better solved with Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC.”
Some users running older versions of Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC, such as 2015, 2016, and 2019 may be concerned about this decision. However, Microsoft says support for those customers will not change, meaning 10-year total support.
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