Microsoft’s Windows 11 may last much longer than Windows 10 did, here’s why



Microsoft’s new Windows 11 will receive only one big feature update per year, the company said in a post on its support page. “Microsoft will provide a single Windows 11 feature update annually, targeted for release in the second half of each calendar year,” the post says. The company will continue providing its “Quality Updates” during the year, which includes monthly updates that bring new bugs and security patches. Feature updates are the ones that change the consumer’s user experience or add big new features that may affect how the platform grows going forward.

This could also mean that Windows 11 will have an even longer lifetime than Windows 10 did. Windows 10 used to follow a bi-yearly feature update cycle for that platform. Switching to a single big feature update could mean that Microsoft doesn’t see too many new things to add to the platform in the near future, and hence may have to delay the rollout of a totally new version even more.


Companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Apple have also been preparing for an ambient computing future, so a delay in platform updates isn’t really surprising. Ambient computing envisions computers built into surfaces and devices around us, with voice and gestures as the key medium for input, instead of touch, keyboards, mice, and touchpads. Companies such as Facebook have shown prototypes of what they think such systems will look like once augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (AR) products really take off.

For instance, Facebook had showcased a wrist-based AR controlled in March, which could read a gesture directly off the signal our brains send to through the neurons, and relay the same to an ambient computing device. Assuming Microsoft will let Windows 11 stay on the market for at least five years, such devices may just start coming to the mainstream once the next version of the platform rolls out.


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