Microsoft will release just two major Windows 10 updates each year

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Microsoft has quietly announced plans to reduce the number of updates that will be released each year for Windows 10. The company had previously said that there would be three 'feature updates' (like the Windows 10 Anniversary Update) per year, but this has now been scaled back to two.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has not made a great deal of noise about the change to the majority of Windows 10 users, choosing instead to make the announcement at the WinHEC conference in Taiwan. At the event, senior program manager Chris Riggs also revealed how the update scheduling will work for consumers and businesses.

While reducing the number of major updates from three to two -- "targeting twice per year with new capabilities," Rigg said -- will disappoint many people, it will be better received by business and enterprise users who do not relish the prospects of testing and deploying updates on a large scale. Cumulative updates will continue to appear on a monthly basis.

The update schedule for feature updates is staggered for different types of user. For four months after release, updates will be pushed to normal consumers as well as businesses signed up to the Current Branch track. After this, the updates will be pushed to the Current Branch for Business release track.

Each update includes support for 14 months, after which time patches and security updates will no longer be available. This is Microsoft's way of ensuring that as many people as possible are using the very latest version of Windows 10. The new update model is also far simpler than previously planned, and this will be welcomed all round.

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