Windows 10

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Windows 10 is a computer operating system by Microsoft. It is part of the Microsoft Windows group of operating systems. It was called Threshold when it was being developed (made/coded). Windows 10 was announced at a press event on 30 September 2014. It was released for personal computers on 29 July 2015. It is a free update for Windows 8 that can be found in the Windows Store until version 1709.

Windows 10
Windows 10 running on a Laptop
DeveloperMicrosoft Corporation
OS familyMicrosoft Windows
Working stateCurrent
Initial releaseJuly 29, 2015; 8 years ago
Latest release22H2 (10.0.19045.3324) / August 8, 2023; 6 months ago (2023-08-08)
Latest preview22H2 (10.0.19045.3391) / August 10, 2023; 6 months ago (2023-08-10)
Preceded byWindows 8 (2012)
Windows 8.1 (2013)
Succeeded byWindows 10X (2020)
Windows 11 (2021)
Support status
Support of all-non LTSB/LTSC version:

Mainstream support ended on October 13, 2020 Extended support will end on October 14, 2025 All LTSC loT, and all LTSC/LTSB of 2019 and older variants of Windows 10 are unsupported 10 years or 5 years after release

Windows 10 was eligible for the Extended Security Updates (ESU) service. This service was available via specific volume licensing programs for Professional & Enterprise editions (via OEMs for some embedded editions) in yearly installments. Security updates were available for the operating system until October 10, 2028.

Windows 8 users (except those using Windows Embedded 8 Standard) had to install Windows 10 to continue receiving updates after January 12, 2016

Windows 10 is designed to provide the same look for different systems. These include desktop, laptop, and other systems.

Unlike earlier versions of Windows, Windows 10 was regularly updated with new features based on user feedback, starting before it was first released. Each release has a four-digit build number. The first two digits (2 numbers) refer to the year of release, and the other two digits refer to the month of release (e.g. "1903" refers to a build released in March 2019).

Windows 10, is by now, the most popular Windows version, at 71.1%.[1] Older versions of Windows 10 (any version before 22H2) are officially discontinued and do not get updated, and Windows 11 is 2nd most popular.

New or returned features[change | change source]

Feature Present in Windows 8.1 Present in Windows 7 Remarks/Improvements
Return of the Start Menu No Yes It is a mix of Windows 8's Start Screen with Live Tiles and Windows 7. Basically, combines both into one. This was done due to criticism of Windows 8's removal of the Start Menu.
Multiple desktops No No This feature allows users to 'create' multiple desktops in Windows. This feature was first available for Ubuntu and OS X.
Tablet Mode Partial No Used on multi-mode (convertible) devices like Microsoft's Surface Pro 3. When a user detaches the keyboard, it changes into a touch-friendly mode and the reverse happens when it is reattached.
Cortana No No A personal digital voice assistant that was first released on Windows Phone 8.1.
DirectX 12 ver 11 ver 11 DirectX updated to version 12. Allows games to run faster in some cases.

Milestones (accomplishments)[change | change source]

  • 30 September 2014 – Windows 10 was officially announced.

2015[change | change source]

  • 21 January – Microsoft announced that most of the devices currently running at least Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update will get a free upgrade to Windows 10 if it is done within the first year.
  • 2 February – Microsoft announced a free version of Windows 10 for Raspberry Pi 2.
  • 2 April – New Office 2016 for Touch preview launched for Windows 10.
  • 18 March – The 5th official update to Windows 10 (Build 10041) since the first was introduced.
  • 30 March – The 6th official update to Windows 10 (Build 10049) was introduced.
  • 15 July – Released to manufacturing (Build 10240)
  • 29 July – General availability (Version 1507)
  • 12 November – November 2015 Update (Threshold 1, Version 1511, Build 10586)

2016[change | change source]

  • 2 August – Anniversary Update (Redstone 1, Version 1607, Build 14393)

2017[change | change source]

  • 5 April – Creators Update (Redstone 2, Version 1703, Build 15063)
  • 17 October – Fall Creators Update (Redstone 3, Version 1709, Build 16299)

2018[change | change source]

  • 30 April – April 2018 Update (Redstone 4, Version 1803)
  • 13 November – October 2018 Update (Redstone 5, Version 1809)

2019[change | change source]

  • 21 May – May 2019 Update (19H1, Version 1903)
  • 12 November – November 2019 Update (19H2, Version 1909)

2020[change | change source]

  • 27 May – May 2020 Update (20H1, Version 2004)
  • 19 October – October 2020 Update (20H2, Build 19042)

2021[change | change source]

  • 18 May – May 2021 Update (21H1, Build 19043)
  • 16 November – November 2021 Update (21H2, Build 19044)

2022[change | change source]

  • 18 October – October 2022 Update (22H2, Build 19045)

Versions[change | change source]

Windows 10 has many versions for different uses, that have different features.[2]

  • Windows 10 Home is meant for home use. It can be used on desktop, laptop, tablet, and 2-in-1 (mix of tablet and laptop) computers.
  • Windows 10 Pro is meant for use by big corporations. It adds features on top of Windows 10 Home and is meant for advanced users.
  • Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is similar to Windows 10 Pro but is meant for workstation use. It allows more Central processing units to be used at a time.
  • Windows 10 Enterprise is meant for use by small corporations. It adds features on top of Windows 10 Pro.
  • Windows 10 Education is meant for use in schools, colleges and universities. It is the same as Windows 10 Enterprise, but it doesn't include Cortana.
  • Windows 10 Mobile, which has now been discontinued (discontinued means no longer available), was meant for mobile devices.

Support lifecycle[change | change source]

Support status summary
Expiration date
Mainstream supportOctober 13, 2020 (2020-10-13)
Extended supportOctober 14, 2025 (2025-10-14)[3][4]
Extended Security Updates (ESU) supportOctober 10, 2028 (2028-10-10)[5][6]
Applicable Windows 10 editions
Excluding LTSB/LTSC editions:
Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, S, Education, Pro Education, Enterprise, IoT Enterprise, Team.[4]
Windows 10 Mobile, Mobile Enterprise, and IoT MobileUnsupported as of January 14, 2020[7]
Extended Security Updates (ESU) support ended on January 10, 2023
Windows 10 IoT Core (non-LTSC)Unsupported as of November 10, 2020[4]
Windows 10 Enterprise and IoT Enterprise 2015 LTSBMainstream support ended on October 13, 2020[4]
Extended support until October 14, 2025[4]
Extended Security Updates (ESU) support until on October 10, 2028
Windows 10 Enterprise and IoT Enterprise 2016 LTSBMainstream support ended on October 12, 2021[4]
Extended support until October 13, 2026[4]
Extended Security Updates (ESU) support until on October 9, 2029
Windows 10 Enterprise, IoT Enterprise, and IoT Core (via IoT Core Services)[8] 2019 LTSCMainstream support ended January 9, 2024[4]
Extended support until January 9, 2029[4]
Extended Security Updates (ESU) support until on January 13, 2032
Windows 10 Enterprise 2021 LTSCSupported until January 12, 2027[4]
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 2021 LTSCMainstream support until January 12, 2027[4]
Extended support until January 13, 2032[4]
Extended Security Updates (ESU) support until on January 9, 2035

Windows 10 was originally released following Microsoft's fixed lifecycle policy, receiving mainstream support for five years after its original release, followed by five years of extended support. However, starting in February 2018 this was switched to the modern lifecycle policy (excluding LTSC), with each build receiving 18 or 30 (only for H2 versions) months of support after release, depending on edition. Furthermore, Home edition does not support the deferral of feature updates and will thus often receive a new version of Windows 10 prior to the end of the 18-month support period.[9][3]

Microsoft's support lifecycle policy for the operating system notes that updates "are cumulative, with each update built upon all of the updates that preceded it", that "a device needs to install the latest update to remain supported", and that a device's ability to receive future updates will depend on hardware compatibility, driver availability, and whether the device is within the OEM's "support period"‍Template:Nsmdnsa new aspect not accounted for in lifecycle policies for previous versions.[10][11][12][13] This policy was first invoked in 2017 to block Intel Clover Trail devices from receiving the Creators Update, as Microsoft asserts that future updates "require additional hardware support to provide the best possible experience", and that Intel no longer provided support or drivers for the platform. Microsoft stated that these devices would no longer receive feature updates, but would still receive security updates through January 2023.[14]

Microsoft will continue to support at least one standard Windows 10 release until October 14, 2025.[15][16] On April 27, 2023, Microsoft announced that version 22H2 would be the last of Windows 10, meaning this version will extend beyond the normal 18/30 months of support.[17][18] While the company aimed to discontinue support for Windows 10 by October 2025, it announced an Extended Security Update (ESU) service in December 2023 for Windows 10 devices, until October 2028, for a yet to be announced annual pricing plan. Furthermore, unlike previous Windows ESU services, Windows 10 ESU will be available to individual consumers as well.[19][5][6]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Desktop Windows Version Market Share Worldwide". StatCounter Global Stats. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  2. "Which Windows Version is Right For You? (pdf)" (PDF). 30 January 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Lifecycle FAQ - Windows". Microsoft Learn. Retrieved 8 January 2024.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 "Windows 10 Lifecycle". Microsoft Learn. Microsoft. Retrieved 8 January 2024.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Cite error: The named reference ESU1 was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Cite error: The named reference ESU2 was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  7. Woods, Rich (14 January 2020). "Windows 10 Mobile is dead…again". Neowin. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  8. "Windows 10 IoT Core Services". Microsoft documentation. Microsoft. 9 December 2020. Retrieved 28 November 2021.
  9. "Windows 10 Client and Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel Lifecycle Policy update". Microsoft Learn. Retrieved 8 January 2024.
  10. "All editions of Windows 10 get 10 years of updates, support". Computerworld. IDG. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  11. Cite error: The named reference ars-winasaservice was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  12. "Microsoft swings security patch stick to keep customers up-to-date on Windows 10". Computerworld. IDG. 13 June 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  13. "Microsoft to provide free upgrades to Windows 10 for 2 to 4 years". Computerworld. IDG. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  14. Cite error: The named reference pcworld-clovertrail was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  15. Cite error: The named reference win10homeprolife was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  16. Cite error: The named reference win10enteredusaclife was used but no text was provided for refs named (see the help page).
  17. Leznek, Jason (27 April 2023). "Windows client roadmap update". Microsoft. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  18. Bowden, Zack (27 April 2023). "Windows 10 is finished — Microsoft confirms 'version 22H2' is the last". Windows Central. Retrieved 1 May 2023.
  19. "Microsoft ending support for Windows 10 could send 240 mln PCs to landfills - report". Reuters. 21 December 2023.