Back in January, we bid Windows 7 a fond farewell. Microsoft ended support for perhaps the most popular operating system ever. It marked the end of security patches or updates for the general public.

As a result, the end of 2019 and early 2020 marked a mass migration to Windows 10. Moving to Windows 10 insured you kept your system safe and secure. Or did it? Depending on when you started using Windows 10 and update choices, this information could affect your system security.

 Windows 10 Lifecycle

With Windows 10, Microsoft shifted to a semi-annual release cycle. So far, that means a major update is released every spring, and a minor update follows in the fall. Microsoft considers each one a different version of Windows and will support each version for 18 months. Some exceptions apply to Enterprise and Education editions.

Windows 10 1809 End of Life

Microsoft released Windows 1809 in the second half of 2018. Originally, end-of-life was slated for May 12, 2020. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft graciously eased the minds of IT staff everywhere. They opted to delay ending support for Windows 10 1809 several times.

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced they will not delay the end any further.

“On November 10, 2020, the Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, and IoT Core editions of Windows 10, version 1809 will reach end of service. After that date, devices running these editions will no longer receive monthly security and quality updates containing protections from the latest security threats.”

Windows 10 1903 End of Life

While initially delaying the end of support for 1809, Microsoft opted not to delay ending support for Windows 10 1903. Support for 1903 will end less than a month after it ends for 1809. On December 8, 2020, the minimum supported version of Windows 10 will be version 1909.

Check Your Windows Version

Windows 10 1809 wreaked havoc on user systems upon initial release. This prompted many people to roll their systems back, so it’s possible that you’re still using an old version. If you don’t know, follow the steps below to check.

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Go to System
  3. Select About (near the bottom)
  4. Look for Windows Specifications

Here, you’ll find your Windows version (Home, Pro, etc.) listed with the current version.

Windows 10 Version Location

You can find end-of-life dates for every version on the Windows 10 Lifecycle page. In general, Microsoft will only support each version of Windows 10 for 18 months. For now, you must update any Windows 10 version prior to at least version 1909, but you’ll have to update again in May. Regardless, not updating puts your system at risk of compromise.

Updating Windows 10 always poses some risk on its own. Microsoft’s update process can lead to an unexpected adventure in data recovery. You don’t have to go it alone. We here at Pit Crew can assist with preparing, deploying, and protecting any Windows devices in your organization. From Server to Surface, we’ll help you avoid pitfalls and downtime. Just request a consultation to get started.

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