OS lifecycle support

Last updated: May 13, 2024

MWS regularly updates the Windows versions on your computer, read on to find out more.

The Managed Workstation Service is designed to work optimally with Microsoft’s Windows 10 Enterprise operating system. We use five categories[1] to define our support for a given version of Windows:

  • Emerging: newest release which we are preparing to support; services/support may be subject to consulting rates.
  • Baseline: fully supported and preferred for new computers and upgrades/rebuilds.
  • Containment: fully supported for existing computers. Actively upgrading computers to Baseline.
  • Retirement: Scheduled for end-of-life; actively upgrading computers to Baseline.
  • Unsupported: Not supported by MWS and may not be used on a MWS-managed computer.

More from Microsoft: detailed release information on Windows 10.

For information support for Mac OS X, please see Mac support from Managed Workstation.

Microsoft releases feature updates to Windows 10 twice a year, supporting each update either 18 months or 30 months. In order to keep pace with Microsoft’s rapid cadence while ensuring we can provide a reliable and stable environment, we will update all computers we manage at a steady pace.

When a new update is released, it will be initially supported as Emerging.  Once testing has been completed, we will move the new update to Baseline, the version in Baseline into Containment, and the version in Containment into Retirement. When the new version moves into Baseline, it will be the preferred version for new computers and any computers that need to be rebuilt. When a version moves into Retirement, we do upgrade computers to a version we still support. And at all times, we will provide a method for customers to upgrade to the Baseline version at their convenience. Windows 10 versions generally have a total MWS support lifetime of 15 months after release, from Emerging until Retirement. Computers running an OS in Unsupported that join Managed Workstation will receive an immediate upgrade to the current Baseline version.

An operating system’s place in the lifecycle determines what support is available from the Managed Workstation Service, as detailed in the table below.

Emerging Baseline Containment Retirement
OS build image 1 +
OS troubleshooting 1 + + 3
Automated patching mechanism 2 + + +
Patch troubleshooting support 1 + + +
High risk OS security vulnerability mitigation 1 + + +
Basic data collection (inventory, logons, version, etc.) 2 + + +
Access management 2 + +  +
Configuration management 2 + + +
Software deployment 2 + + +
Anti-Virus software management 2 + + +

+ – Fully supported
1 – May be purchased at consulting rates.
2 – Available “as-is” provided it works with our standard toolset.  Troubleshooting or other support may be available at consulting rates.
3 – We will upgrade or rebuild a computer to a Baseline OS.  If an upgrade or rebuild can’t be done for some reason, support is available at consulting rates.

[1] The UW Enterprise Architecture (EA) program promotes using specific terms to communicate technology lifecycle states, and we use their terminology in describing our support practices and lifecycle process.</p