Microsoft to retire original Windows 10 on March 26

Version 1507 -- the debut release of July 2015 -- falls off the patching list in two months

Microsoft has set March 26 as the end date for support of the original Windows 10 edition.

"After March 26, 2017, Windows 10, version 1507 will no longer be serviced, as only the two most Current Branch for Business (CBB) versions are actively serviced," Nathan Mercer, a Microsoft senior product marketing manager, wrote in a post to a company blog Thursday.

Version 1507 was the original Windows 10 release of July 2015. It abides by the year-month labeling that Microsoft has assigned to the Windows 10 editions.

[Related: Windows 10 'upgrade' attacked my PC like a virus]

Microsoft warned customers in November, when it promoted version 1607 to the CBB track, that it would end updates, including security patches, for 1507 sometime in March. Version 1507 will continue to work, but it will not receive updates after Sunday, March 26.

The stoppage is an important part of the new software-as-a-service model that Microsoft touts for Windows 10. The company has pledged to support only two CBB builds concurrently, which means that at the release of N+2, where N equaled an earlier version, the company starts a 60-day-or-so countdown. At the end of the 60 days, N drops off the support list. N+1 then becomes N and N+2 morphs into N+1.

When last year's Anniversary Update -- labeled 1607 -- shifted to the CBB, N equaled 1507; N+1 represented 1511, the November 2015 upgrade; and N+2 equaled 1607. That meant 1507 support was to be shuttered two months from the January availability of 1607 in the CBB.

Yesterday, said Mercer, Microsoft released a refreshed 1607 via Windows Update for Business (WUB) and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), two of the most common ways for enterprises to access upgrades. On Jan. 26, the same CBB-qualified build will be issued to the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC), where customers can download disk images of 1607.

Microsoft uses the VLSC availability date as the trigger for the 60-day countdown.

Some company customers are, of course, already running 1607, including consumers (who began to receive the build, aka "Anniversary Update," in August) and businesses that have assigned Windows 10 devices to the "Current Branch" (CB) track.

Users can track the various versions of Windows 10, and the last-served update for each, on Microsoft's website.

Previously, Computerworld predicted that Microsoft will pull the support plug of Windows 10 1511, the first follow-up to 1507, in September 2017.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
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