If you have a Windows 10 PC and are still using version 21H2, Microsoft will be forced to upgrade you to the latest long-term servicing channel release of the operating system, or LTSC. This move is being pushed because the OS will reach end of support in October 2025, meaning that any updates beyond that date will be at Microsoft’s discretion and won’t come with the same level of security fixes and new features.
Microsoft has been updating Windows 10 regularly since its release in 2015, with two major feature updates each year. These updates have specific versions and marketing names (like Creators Update or November update) and deliver changes like new apps, significant interface tweaks, and more. These releases have also come with different price plans, with the cheapest plan being free and the most expensive coming in at $140 per year.
When you bought your PC, you probably opted for one of these pricing schemes and you may have been told to expect an annual upgrade fee. It’s a good idea to stay up to date with these updates because they protect your device from cyber threats, improve performance, and add features that make it compatible with new hardware. But if you’re reluctant to upgrade because of the cost or time constraints, you should know that your computer could be vulnerable to attacks and that it will soon stop getting security updates.
As of April 9, 2021, the most recent version of Windows 10 is 22H2. To check which version you’re running, go to Start and type winver, then press Enter. You should be able to see your Windows version number, which starts with 10. In addition to the aforementioned version numbers, you’ll be able to see other important information about your operating system.
In the past, Microsoft has released extensions for older versions of Windows to give you extra years of updates, but these are no longer available. The only option is to upgrade to the newest version of the operating system to receive continuous technical support and security fixes, which isn’t a bad thing. If you want to stay on the most current version of the operating system, you should consider buying a new device or subscribing to software like Microsoft 365 that includes all major products.
As for the future of Windows, Microsoft recently confirmed that it will no longer be releasing an X-like operating system designed for dual-screen devices and will instead prioritize Windows 11 on single-screen laptops. While some users may be disappointed by this move, it’s understandable given that the company is moving to a yearly release cycle for Windows 11 and will likely focus on delivering more updates in a shorter amount of time. This will make the operating system more responsive to changes in the computing world and provide a better experience overall for its users.