If you think you understand Microsoft’s strategy for Windows feature updates, it’s time to reset. With Windows 10, Microsoft experimented with feature updates during the tumultuous first year or two, even assigning a marketing name to each major feature release: Anniversary Update, Creators Update, They eventually settled on a predictable schedule for feature updates, with major releases every six months, typically in March/April and September/October.
Those feature updates are designed to be distributed through Windows Update and are, for all intents and purposes, a full version of Windows upgrade.
Microsoft returned to that schedule with the launch of Windows 11, pledging to deliver these sometimes disruptive feature updates only once per year, in the second half of the year. (That decision also applies retroactively to Windows 10.)
Reasonable people might assume that the change in schedule means that Microsoft has committed not to deliver any new features beyond those annual year-end feature updates. LOL – League of Legends, as the kids like to say.
Windows boss Panos Panay put together the list of “new experiences” (that’s Microsoft’s way of talking about features) at the end of February in a lengthy blog post.
Many of those changes are coming this week as part of the March Tuesday Patch update. That’s right on schedule for what previously would have been a semi-annual feature update. It also poses a series of questions, starting with the obvious one.