The core reason for the stated move is to make it easier for large businesses to anticipate when they will need to schedule rollouts for heftier updates. Each distinct version of Windows will be supported for 18 months following its launch date which will give businesses time to adapt any specialized software to the changes made in the latest upgrades. Office 365, the subscription-based version of Microsoft Office, will also be following a similar schedule. This pattern was close to being on track with the two major updates to Windows 10 so far. The Anniversary Update (released around one year after the debut of Windows 10) and the more recent Creators Update were spaced seven months apart.
The move can be seen as a way for Microsoft to encourage businesses to update more regularly for security's sake. It's been a known issue in the tech community that some companies were using positively ancient versions of Windows and Internet Explorer, largely due to some applications being dependent on version-specific functions of the older browsers that were later rendered incompatible. As of last year, the problem still persists to some degree - two-thirds of businesses were still using older versions of Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 in July of 2016. As many as 9% of businesses worldwide still have at least one computer in the workplace using Windows Vista despite the operating system having reached the end of its service life earlier this month.
Major upgrades to Windows 10 should launch in March and September, respectively. Whatever the successor to the Creators Update will be, we'll get a glance at it in the coming months.
Do you think it's a good idea for Microsoft to switch to a six-month cycle for major updates to Windows 10? How do you feel about the Anniversary Update and Creator's Update, respectively? Let us know in the comments below!