Microsoft might move to once-a-year updates for Windows 10

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What you need to know

  • Microsoft might move to a single feature update per year for Windows 10 starting in 2021.
  • The shift would free up Microsoft engineers to work on Windows 10X.
  • If this is the case, Microsoft could work on updates for Windows 10 and Windows 10X going forward.

Windows 10 news is building up today. Following our report on Microsoft planning to launch Windows 10X as a web-first OS, reports emerged that Microsoft might make a major shift in its update schedule for Windows 10. According to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft might switch to a single feature update for Windows 10 each year. If this happens, it would free Microsoft engineers up to focus on Windows 10X as well. If this shift occurs, current reports state that the shift would start in 2021.

According to Foley and sources she's spoken with, Microsoft could switch to one feature update for Windows 10 in 2021. Bringing all of the new reports together, this would mean that Microsoft would ship Windows 10X updates in spring and Windows 10 updates in fall going ahead.

Foley outlines what this new update schedule could look like in her report. In 2020, Microsoft would roll out Windows 10 20H2, which is a minor feature update. Then, in spring 2021, Microsoft would release Windows 10X. Following that, in the fall of 2021, Microsoft would then release the next feature update for Windows 10, which would be 21H2 if the company sticks with the current naming convention.

As with any reports on internal plans that Microsoft has not shared publicly, these schedule changes might not happen or could change in the future. If they did roll out in a way similar to what's been reported, it would be a major shift for Microsoft's strategy for updating Windows 10.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at