Microsoft said Thursday it will commit to a strict schedule for Windows and Office feature updates: every September and March. It's a concession to IT administrators that will ripple down to all users.
The company said it would hew to a “predictable” twice-per-year schedule for both platforms, though there’s still a little wiggle room: Microsoft didn’t specify exact dates within those months. As per the new schedule, the next Windows update, code-named Redstone 3, will be released in September.
Technically, Windows 10, Office 365 ProPlus, and Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager are all being aligned on the same schedule. That actually means fewer releases for the basic enterprise version of Office and Office 365 ProPlus, which typically get new feature updates three times per year. Microsoft said it would extend ProPlus support, though, from 12 to 18 months. (The ProPlus subscription includes the standard Office apps like Word and PowerPoint, but excludes some Office services like SharePoint, Yammer, Skype, and Teams.) Consumers who subscribe to Office 365, however, will continue to receive updates more frequently.