Microsoft Rethinks Windows 11 Update Schedule

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has released the first major update to Windows 11. It also says it may issue new features every month, yet another change to its update strategy.

One year after Windows 11 first came out, the new update is formally called 22H2, though Microsoft has also simply called it the 2022 Update.

That reflects an initial theory that updates would be relatively infrequent. Older versions of Windows had new features added as and when they were ready, with a Service Pack bringing everything together every couple of years for users who didn't want to install frequent updates.

Windows 10 switched to having just a couple of major updates each year, leaving monthly updates more about fixing performance and security problems. Of course, that's when it appeared Windows 10 would be the final completely new version and would instead get updates indefinitely.

No Delays

In turn Windows 11 had looked like it would just get a single major update each year, hence the "2022 Update" terminology. However, Microsoft now says it will deliver new features whenever they are ready, a policy it dubs "continuous innovation." (Source:

That leaves future annual updates something of an anticlimax. Confusingly it won't be easy to simply hold off on getting new features until the annual update brings everything together, similar to the old Service Pack approach.

Instead new features will be delivered as part of the monthly security update. It appears only business users will have easy controls that let them get the security fixes without the new features. (Source:

Security Concerns

That's certainly a bold strategy from Microsoft considering the frequent vicious cycles with Windows 10 where a fix for one problem introduced new problems and users were often left having to roll back updates to find the least-bad mix of issues for their set-up. The Windows 11 approach definitely risks people having to choose between performance and security.

Windows 10 users who've been holding off on an upgrade can now switch directly to Windows 11 with the new update in place. However, the controversial system requirements are unchanged, many users with older systems are simply out of luck.

What's Your Opinion?

Is Microsoft right to change its update strategy? Would you rather get new features when they are ready or as part of a larger annual update? Should Microsoft keep new feature updates completely separate to bug and security fixes?

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LouisianaJoe's picture

My hardware does not run 11 so I will wait until it dies and then will buy a new PC that comes with 11. I expect that there are millions like me.

dhawks45_16272's picture

I totally agree with "I am stuck with 10". To have Microsoft promise that Windows 10 owners will never have to purchase another operating system and then blatantly make the new Windows 11 so that an older but powerful computer cannot install the new system is self serving beyond greed. I never thought that this computer that I built would outlast the operating system. So far Window 10 is working just great. Oh, I do have a Windows 11 Laptop. I really don't think it is much different than 10.