Microsoft has confirmed changes to Windows 10 support in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, with a statewide ‘stay at home‘ order in California, New York closing down non-essential organizations and widespread disruption to businesses across the U.S. and beyond. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for people to work from home in the U.K. and London has been left “eerily quiet” as a result. The coronavirus crisis touches every walk of life and IT is not exempt. Recognizing this, Microsoft has said that its “top priority” is the health and safety of employees, customers, partners and communities alike. To ease one customer burden during this public health emergency, Microsoft has confirmed it is extending security support for Windows 10, version 1709, until October 13, 2020.
Windows 10, version 1709, gets six months end of service extension
This represents a six-month extension to the planned end of service date for Windows 10, version 1709, Enterprise, Education, and IoT Enterprise editions, which would have stopped receiving security updates on April 14, 2020. By providing the extension, this version of Windows 10 becomes the first to get three years of such support. Updates for Windows 10 Home and Pro editions stopped on April 9, 2019; the business editions provided an extended period of support to enable a safe migration to later versions. Microsoft is to be congratulated for removing at least one pressure from businesses that are already hugely stressed. This extension eliminates the need for already disrupted IT teams to migrate within a month, and by so doing ensures that security is not unnecessarily compromised.
How to get security updates for Windows 10, version 1709
“Security updates for Windows 10, version 1709, will be available via our regular servicing channels: Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services, and the Microsoft Update Catalog,” Microsoft said, adding “you will not need to alter your current update management workflows.”
It’s not such good news for some Windows 10, version 1809, users
However, it’s not all good news. New threats to Windows 10 users are always emerging. Not all of them are restricted to Windows 10, version 1903 and 1909, like SMBGhost, which prompted an emergency critical security update this month. This makes it a concern that Microsoft has also confirmed it has no current plans to delay the end of service date of May 12, 2020, for Windows 10 Pro, version 1809. Many small and medium-sized businesses use this particular Windows version and will likely face the same lack of security updates problem as the coronavirus disruption continues. A Microsoft senior product manager said that it recommends organizations to “up-level to Enterprise to automatically receive an additional 12 months of servicing.”
You might also like to read: How To Secure Microsoft Windows 10 In Eight Easy Steps.