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Windows 10 release cadence in flux as Microsoft tries to figure out suitable tempo

Gregg Keizer | March 10, 2016
Original aggressive schedule of three updates annually may simply not be what Microsoft can deliver, or what customers will accept, says analyst.

In the end, Windows 10's release schedule may be -- probably will be -- substantially different than the initial three-times-a-year plan. "There are lots of stakeholders, including Microsoft, other software vendors, hardware vendors and, of course, customers," said Kleynhans. "All of them have a say and a stake [in the release schedule]."

If Microsoft does go with a slower schedule, Kleynhans added, "It's because that's what the market has ended up telling Microsoft."

While there have been grumblings about Windows 10's faster release schedule -- primarily, but not exclusively, from enterprises -- Kleynhans was skeptical about exclusively attributing any go-slower decision to pushback from corporate clients.

"There are two very distinct camps emerging: Customers who say 'I can't see how I can possibly keep up,' and others who say, 'We think we can manage it,'" said Kleynhans. The second group, though, is getting larger by the month, and fewer of Gartner's clients are throwing up their hands in despair over a faster tempo.

Even so, few will cry over a less-ambitious Windows 10 schedule, if that's what results. "Most [enterprises] would appreciate having to deal with just one update at a time, rather than having multiple updates in place," said Kleynhans. "So I won't be surprised if, for the seeable future, customers only have to deal with one at a time."


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