back to article Microsoft slows Windows 10 release cadence to yearly. If they're all as dull as the November Update, this is fine

Microsoft has officially released the Windows 10 November 2021 Update, and revealed that the OS will henceforth only be upgraded once a year. Redmond has also made life hard for those who like to emulate x64 apps on Windows 10 for Arm. What a day. The November 2021 Windows 10 Update was unveiled in July 2021 and offers … not …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

    Given Windows 11 is all but trashed as a release, Microsoft should just bite the bullet and keep with Windows 10 as the hard baked long-term release, and use Windows 11 as the Fedora style cutting-edge release. People would then accept the bugs/menu inconsistencies in Windows 11, and Microsoft developers could really try 'out there' new features, before any of them hit the mainstream.

    For all the hatred, there are some good points in Windows 11, but it still feels an experimental release, not something that is meant to be RTM. But whatever the marketing reasons for this release, marketing really can't hide the artificial constraints placed on the hardware, that will inevitably condemn 1 billion PCs to an early grave, generating vast amounts of landfill crud and toxic waste, and for what exactly? A new crappy centralised start menu full of product placement/paid advertisements and incredulously, the inability of a novice, to intuitively find a way to delete a file in file explorer.

    (*Written on a machine running Windows 11).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

      "there are some good points in Windows 11"

      Not trolling here, I genuinely want to know what the good points (for the end user) of Windows 11 are. I cannot think of any reason to upgrade my personal Windows 10 machine to Windows 11 and work probably won't upgrade for several years.

      If you wanted to convince someone to upgrade what would you highlight as the worthy features?

      1. BrownishMonstr

        Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

        W11 is installed on my personal laptop, which is only used for gaming these days. I've yet to install it on my work laptop for various reasons, mostly I think it will affect my productivity.

        That said, I like the new context menu when you right-click on files, the Copy, Paste, Rename buttons are all on the first row, shown vertically. Unfortunately, the hot-keys no longer work and I don't think it shows any extra menus from other stuff installed.

        The UI of W11 is starting to look less "Windows-ey". It reminds me of using Linux Mint for the first time.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

          "Reminds me of Linux Mint"

          Especially the fatter 'Xbox' gaming style log-on font, and yet one thing I've always liked about Windows, over Linux Mint (about the only thing) were the default fonts.

        2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: Unfortunately, the hot-keys no longer work

          That is because the new generation of developers have never used them, so they don't understand how indispensable hotkeys are.

          This new generation does everything on the smartphone. When seated in front of a proper keybord+mouse environment, apparently they are lost and are desperately trying to recreate the smartphone interface.

          Unfortunately for us greybeards, we know full well that a good sequence of hotkeys goes ten times faster than the mouse can hope to follow.

          Seems like that knowledge is going to go the way of the dinosaurs.

      2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
        Gimp

        Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

        It's generally nicer.

        For a start, the Settings app is now almost usable. Not as usable as the old Control Panel, but better than Settings in Win10

        But the fact that it will obsolete many perfectly serviceable PCs makes it a non-starter here.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

          Agree, the Settings App.

          But that's it, and that GUI update should have been back ported to Windows 10 21H2, but that would mean actually finishing what they started in Windows 10 and Microsoft rarely do that.

          And speaking of Windows 10 21H2...

          Maybe it's OCD, but the machine I'm using is compatible with Windows 11 yet shows "(Red X) This PC doesn't meet the minimum system requirements to run Windows 11" in Windows Update and there is no way to turn it off.

          Plus this:

          "Get the details and see if there are things you can do in the PC Health Check app.".

          (Which was found in the start menu, installed by MS on the machine without my explicit permission)

          It's pretty clear, that this abusive relationship with Microsoft will never stop, until we turn ours backs on their ways, completely.

        2. Smirnov

          Re: But the fact that it will obsolete many perfectly serviceable PCs makes it a non-starter here.

          It doesn't really "obsolete" older PCs, keeping in mind that the current release of Windows 10 also no longer supports older PCs (I think the cut-off is currently Core gen 5 and older). "Not supported" obviously doesn't equal "doesn't work", just that MS will not help you if things go wrong (which they rarely do anyways, even for "supported" configurations).

          None of the computers I have Windows 11 installed are supported, although all have TPM (some have 1.2 others 2.0). During testing the only issue I found is that if you have an older intel iGPU then there are no DCH drivers and HVCI can't be enabled (it works on older PCs without intel GPU, though).

          1. Snake Silver badge

            Re: Smirnov's 'It'll work' comments

            I don't understand the downvotes. I too have Win11 installed on a 'non-supported' machine and everything works as expected (I'll have to check HVCI to see if that is indeed [the only] issue I can find).

      3. 43300

        Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

        I've not yet found any usability advantages over W10, but plenty of irritations - e.g. the lack of ability to customise the start menu, the default centre alignment of the taskbar, and the hassle to change default programs.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

        Not trolling here, but people always say that about new Windows releases and by the time the next one comes up they have all inevitably jumped on the train of the Windows release they previously claimed to hate.

        Windows 11 is really just a minor cosmetic change, I don't like the new start menu as much as the old one but it's not by enough to overwhelm my love of the improve snap feature. Those are the only two features I care about either way. I don't really comprehend the illogical distrust of the new that happens every single Windows release, but I do see it every single time.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

          I remember when Windows 10 came out along with nearly coerced upgrades, and also unable to support Skype, without any warning. Skype is owned by MS! At that time Skype was a common tool used for remote work conferencing,etc. MS had no immediate plan to fix it. That kind of neglect is why it is best to wait a year before updating Windows.

          Fortunately I do not have to use Windows as a primary work environment anymore. Of course every OS has problems but in Linux land there are always workarounds - waiting for MS is not a bottleneck.

        2. Snake Silver badge

          Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

          For me Win11 seems a bit perkier than Win10, but otherwise you've hit it right on the head, lots of fear and distrust on every single Windows release. It might have started with WinME, but for sure was there with Win8 (it seemingly deserved it, however! :p)

      5. Dacarlo

        Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

        My personal use case is Nested VMs for Ryzen processors. MS has been dragging its feet for 5ish years on sorting that out on Windows 10 and only got as far as the Dev channel for some very limited support.

        Noted as working in - https://www.reddit.com/r/homelab/comments/ocs90j/nested_hyperv_windows_11_supported_on_amd_ryzen/

        Was happy to find enabling all the required bits in bios made my machine worthy of Windows 11 so no massive outlay for new parts!

    2. LDS Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

      Being sold to IBM?

      Jokes aside, Windows doesn't really need Linux-style backward compatibility - meaning nothing can be updated because otherwise something breaks.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

        "Windows doesn't really need Linux-style backward compatibility - meaning nothing can be updated because otherwise something breaks."

        They really do need it. Most of Microsoft's money comes from massive corporate clients who absolutely want to keep running the same application from years ago, on new hardware. For those paying customers, change is bad. For example Win11 is the first version of Windows that can't run 16-bit programs natively (because there's no 32-bit version).

        Not to mention, every time Microsoft try to bring Windows up to date, everyone complains (eg introducing a better driver system that won't BSoD all the time in Vista).

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "They really do need it."

          No. I'm working on a project where the customer's requirements included RedHat - I really hate to have to work with a system which is only using software from years ago. It's a never-ending battle to overcome issues that could easily be resolved using something more up to date, and avoid to reinvent wheels already implemented.

          It was fun when a lame VA told them "your Apache version is too old".

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

      They just need a simpler release cycle. Windows 10 has suffered from the combination of bug and feature releases. Windows 11 serves two purposes: an EOL for Windows 10 gets MS out of "lifetime" support for Windows 10; it means new features go only into Windows 11 and Windows 10 only gets bug fixes. This makes Windows 10 more attractive to many.

      As for release streams: FreeBSD has been the model to follow for decades: stable, current, and VCS, because sys admins know what they need.

    4. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

      I expect that Microsoft will get all the bugs fixed within 4-7 years, once that's done they will terminate Windows 11 and start releasing the first versions of Windows 12 - you users are just being used by the OS development team.

    5. Smirnov

      Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

      I would really hate it if I had to go back to the dog's dinner that is Windows 10, with it's half-baked two UIs for keyboard/mouse and touch, and the mess that is the settings.

      I can obviously speak only for myself but for me so far young Windows 11 has been a lot better than Windows 10 has ever been.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows 10 / Windows 11 should transition to the Red Hat / Fedora model of releases.

        Most dogs finish their dinner, not Microsoft. As soon as they see something new and shiny, they're off. If Windows 11 shows anything, it shows Windows 10 is a half finished mess in terms of the GUI.

  2. Franco Silver badge

    Makes sense to go yearly, no business that I've contracted for ever touches the March releases for obvious reasons and only uses the November releases after a suitable number of months have passed to ensure that it doesn't break anything.

    As for WIndows 11, well maybe when I'm feeling braver or bored it'll get installed in a VM. Maybe....

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it stable yet?

    I'm still on Win7 while waiting to see if MS can release an update that does _not_ screw the pooch. Because every time they do El Reg winds up with a comments thread full to bursting of folks either laughing at the idiocy, crying over the stupidity, or telling everyone to switch to *nix.

    Has Win10 finally stabilized enough to warrant an upgrade or should it be skipped as the bad egg & keep waiting to see if Win11 can do better?

    1. Geoff Campbell
      Windows

      Re: Is it stable yet?

      Windows 10 and 11 have both been supremely stable for me, across dozens of machines. Sometimes it is not wise to put too much faith in the volume of comments.

      GJC

    2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: Is it stable yet?

      Assuming drivers are supported yes, only issue I had was my nans Dell notebook computer had an out of support intel chipset, wouldn't update between releases (Although would if I used the media creation tool and upgraded via a usb stick) would try and install and then rollback. Annoyingly my old mans Dell notebook computer which was 5 years older, was fine except for the lack of cpu bottlenecking the machine. I replaced them all 2 Christmas' ago to give me less headaches.

    3. J27

      Re: Is it stable yet?

      If you're that risk averse, and I know this is a common joke, but I really mean this switch to Linux. You clearly dislike what Microsoft has been doing recently and Linux allows you to pick most of the interface independently of each other to get what you really want, whatever that might be.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Stop

        I really would like you penguinistas to realize one thing : we don't use Windows because we want to.

        If the tools I needed were available on any Linux distro, I would have already changed.

        So let's drop that thread, okay ?

        We know Linux exists. We'll switch as soon as it is damned possible.

        In the meantime, we have to work.

        1. Geoff Campbell
          Windows

          Um, I do. I *like* Windows.

          OK, part of that is 34 years of familiarity, but it has rarely done anything too nasty to me, and I don't have to justify my choice if, say, a report I write can't be opened on a customer's machine. Partly because it's never happened, but mostly because saying "I'm using the latest version of MS Office on Windows" closes down any "your system isn't standard" accusations.

          I have plenty of experience of Linux on desktop and server (there are a couple of Linux machines and probably half a dozen VMs within arm-reach of me now) and also of OSX/MacOS/whatever it's called this week, and they're all good. But none of them are as good as Windows, for me and my usage.

          No doubt this will receive plenty of downvotes. Odd, isn't it?

          GJC

    4. diguz

      Re: Is it stable yet?

      if you're still using windows 7 clearly you don't care about security, so why not go back to XP? Seriously, if you REALLY dislike the windows interface, just like someone suggested earlier, just switch to linux...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To update an old quote:

    The software required windows 10 or better...

    ...so I installed Linux

    8->

    1. FuzzyTheBear
      Holmes

      I pity the folks who are still stuck in Windows for corporate reasons.

      Everytime i had to use it i was missing the feel i got from linux running and humming on my metal.

      there's always this high pitched whine in my mind that says " danger " over the years with windows i had so much bugs , lost work , got spyware , malware etc .. this " tension " and fears just went bye bye. Oh i check every now and then the status of the machine .. always all clear .. nothing to see .. so i keep linux even if there's games that can't run .. i prefer to go without a game .. than be on the defensive all the time.

      1. Nebbie
        Unhappy

        Gamers as far as I know are stuck with having to use Windows & that is a great shame!

        I too I pity the folks who are still stuck in Windows for corporate reasons.

        I would like to point out that there are an enormous amount of people that like to play their games. I have an enormous amount of games on various sites & I would dearly love to change to Linux or another system other than Windows. Unfortunately most of the dev´s use Windows as their platform. So we are stuck with using Windows & I personally do not like being made to use something when I do not wish to. I also have no wish to lose thousands of Euros spent over the past 30 years, so I am stuck with Windows for the time being. I am now 71 & I wonder if I shall ever see a really good workable alternative system on which to play my games.

        Yes being retired gives one plenty of time to spend my time doing so. Also being Disabled means I spend more time at home than I would like.

        Windows has been a thorn in my side since 3.1 & it still is.

        That is life though & until someone comes up with a decent alternative we are stuck with Windows for the time being. Like it not. About 13 years ago I had installed Linux on my 2nd Rig & spent a year trying to get used to it. I realize that there have been vast improvements in/on Linux but as long as I & a great deal of other Gamers can not play their games on Linux, well you know....................

        When anyone here in this Forum knows of another alternative I would be very grateful for the tip.

        A wish all here a great weekend & stay safe & healthy.

        Greeting from Germany.

        Neb´.

  5. karlkarl Silver badge

    So if they can slow the Windows 10 updates and "still remain secure", why was it such a messy update treadmill for the last few years?

    Does this also mean Windows 10 will get real updates? If anyone has been looking at what updates Microsoft has emitted for Windows 10 over the last few years it is shocking how trivial and pointless 99% of these updates were. I get the feeling that Windows, lacking a proper package manager is really starting to show its age.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      I always have the feeling the majority of updates and upgrades are less about improvement and more about feeling the need to look as though they are doing something.

      Fixing the unbroken is a part MS mentality.

    2. J27

      They're slowing the bi-yearly feature updates to once yearly. No one said anything about security updates.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    {Facepalm} 'Get Windows 11' nags in Windows 10 21H2, have started.

    It's started, Windows Update in Windows 10 21H2, shows an inline dialog box, to install the compatibility checker for Windows 11, in the list of updates available after updating to Windows 10 21H2.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: {Facepalm} 'Get Windows 11' nags in Windows 10 21H2, have started.

      Yup.

      And, once again, Internet to the rescue :

      Disable Windows 11 Upgrade Using DisableOSUpgrade Registry Key

      1. Type regedit in RUN or Start search box and press Enter. It’ll open Registry Editor.

      2. Now go to following key:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

      3. Create a new key under Windows key and set its name as WindowsUpdate. If the key is already present, skip to next step.

      4. Now in right-side pane, create a new DWORD DisableOSUpgrade and set its value to 1

  7. Dave 15 Silver badge

    They can want

    But after suffering years and years of ever slower to respond, ever more hungry for ram and processor I gave up on windows totally when my last windows machine broke (power chip broke and now it wont charge or run on power supply - it was one of those pathetic badly designed lenovo boxes). Now my computers are all linux, different flavours but all linux. Life is faster, simpler and cheaper.

  8. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Windows 10 will henceforth only be upgraded once a year

    Presumably because they've moved the vast majority of their developers onto the new task of fixing the myriad bugs and problems in Windows 11.

    The message seems to be "upgrade now - because we've forgotten about the last one already".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Upgraded once a year but you'll be nagged 365 days a year to install Windows 11.

      "Get Windows 11" because if you don't, we'll force daily nags on you until you do.

      That seems to be the crux of the new announcement.

      1. Alumoi Silver badge

        Re: Upgraded once a year but you'll be nagged 365 days a year to install Windows 11.

        Were you expecting something else?

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Upgraded once a year but you'll be nagged 365 days a year to install Windows 11.

          It is exactly as expected, I had a blocker for the WX nagging.

          Currently, I get a nag bar for Edge every time I open my hotmail account and an 11 nag on the log in page on start up.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10 will henceforth only be upgraded once a year

      Probably because they've got rid of the marketing droids.

      From a technical delivery viewpoint it never made sense to move away from the service pack release model proven by 2K/XP/2K3. However, marketeers didn't like not having something 'new' to shout about.

      The pressure to move to W11 is all about lock-in to their walled garden and subscription service model. Once locked in (to subscriptions), the majority of feature updates become a cost with no obvious impact on the revenue stream - so why release them...

    3. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10 will henceforth only be upgraded once a year

      We will transition to a new Windows 10 release cadence [...] targeting annual feature update releases"

      So, user surveillance telemetry has shown that it takes a full year for most people to forget how to restore their default browser, PDF reader, etc.?

  9. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    My Money and the Rejects of Redmond

    Since the Rejects of Redmond insist on minimum hardware performance that none of my current boxes have for Bloatware 11 I think I will take the hint and not bother. All my boxes (except the Mac) run current versions of Linux (Mint or Manjaro) without any problems and I have no real need for Bloatware at home this reinforces the hint.

    Also, Apple releases a once-a-year update of the OS without changing the GUI. Updating versions does cause me anguish trying to locate a command because benighted moron decide to be cute unlike versions of Bloatware.

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