Microsoft has historically released a new version of its Windows operating system roughly every few years, a tradition that goes all the way back to its first release in the mid 1980’s. That model has now changed with the release of Windows 10, which will be the last version number of the windows operating system.
Instead of making big changes in features, design and function of the operating system with a whole new version release every few years, Microsoft has decided to incrementally add feature changes to Windows 10 via a twice per year feature update, in what is being called Windows as a Service.
Microsoft is using this name because the term ‘servicing’ that many people associate with updating and patching Windows, is being extended as the channel through which the latest features will continually be brought to the operating system, much like a cloud based Software or Platform as a Service model.
However unlike a Software as a Service model where software is running in the cloud on a server as opposed to directly on your PC, Windows 10 will continue to be a full version of Windows as usual running directly on your computer.
The current schedule for these twice per year feature updates is in the spring around March or April, and the fall around September or October. Quality updates on the other hand, which are security and performance updates to make Windows more reliable, will be released on a monthly basis.
By making gradual changes to Windows over time rather than abrupt jumps every few years, users will hopefully acclimate and adapt little by little to an ever changing computing landscape at a steady, more comfortable pace.