Along with the announcement of Microsoft Officer LTSC, the Redmond giant also announced changes with Windows 10 Client LTSC version that serves the same purpose. However, the major catch is that the cycle is changed to a 5-year lifecycle from the 10-year cycle.
Windows 10 Client LTSC will change to a 5-year lifecycle
Today we are announcing that the next version of Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC will be released in the second half (H2) of calendar year 2021. Windows 10 Client LTSC will change to a 5-year lifecycle, aligning with the changes to the next perpetual version of Office. This change addresses the needs of the same regulated and restricted scenarios and devices. Note that Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC is maintaining the 10-year support lifecycle; this change is only being announced for Office LTSC and Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC.
The reason to change the lifecycle is based on customer feedback. 10 years is a very long cycle. The pace at which the technology is advancing will be stuck on decade-old technology unless manually updated or connected to the internet.
However, this does not change the lifecycle of the LTSC (Long Term Servicing Channel) versions that have been previously released. The impact will be from the next scheduled release in the second half of the 2021 calendar year. If you are in a business where the computers should not connect to the internet and be manually updated, then this version of Windows will work great for you.
That said, if you still want 10-year support, it would be better to switch to the Semi-Annual Channel releases of Windows, where it is more appropriate. Microsoft also recommends that if you need 10-year support for IoT, it is still available. If you are using fixed devices such as kiosks and point-of-sale devices, it is recommended to move to Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC.
Microsoft’s decision might get mixed reactions because there are scenarios where companies might be happy with old tech. After all, it works. There are companies where hardware doesn’t change for a long time, and there is no need to update the OS every five years as there will be a change in development. However, Microsoft might have a long-term view here, keeping in mind the security.