Windows 10 2004 just hit a major milestone

Microsoft tells enterprise customers it's safe to broadly deploy Windows 10 2004 and Windows 10 1909.

Developer sitting at laptop computer

Windows 10 version 2004 is now ready for deployment.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Microsoft has Windows 10 version 2004 to the next phase of rollout, declaring it "ready for broad deployment", six months after it was released.  

The shift in status means that this version of Windows 10, which Microsoft released in May 2020, is ready for everyone to install. Previously, Windows 10 users on earlier versions had to 'seek' the update by choosing to check for updates in Windows Update. 

As of February 3, 2021, Microsoft says: "Windows 10, version 2004 is designated for broad deployment. The recommended servicing status is Semi-Annual Channel."

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In the enterprise, moving to broad deployment means customers can accelerate the deployment of this version of Windows 10. 

Microsoft has also updated the status of Windows 10 version 1909 to "ready for broad deployment for all users via Windows Update" and the recommend servicing status for the enterprise is the also Semi-Annual Channel. 

But for consumers, Microsoft offered a reminder that support ends for Windows 10 1909 on May 11, 2021. In other words, consumers should move to Windows 10 2004 or 20H2. Version 1909 was released in November, 2019. Only in November was Microsoft force-upgrading Windows 10 1903 PCs up to version 1909.  

"On May 11, 2021, the Home, Pro, Pro Education, Pro for Workstations editions of Windows 10 version 1909 and all editions of Windows Server, version 1909 will reach end of service," Microsoft notes on its update health dashboard. Customers with Education and Enterprise editions of Windows 10 1909 have until May 11, 2022 before this version reaches end of service, Microsoft notes.

It's still not clear whether Microsoft will release its usual "spring" Windows 10 feature update, which would be known as Windows 10 21H1. There are signs, however, that it is planning a major major UI overhaul for the Windows 10 21H2 update, scheduled for a "fall" release. 

There's no change in the status of Windows 10 20H2, which remains available to seekers. Microsoft has been gradually making it available to more machines after verifying there are no compatibility issues.  

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Separately, Microsoft has been working on a faster update process for its feature updates. The move from Windows 10 2004 to 20H2 (version 2009) was made faster via an enablement package. Both versions were basically the same and the enablement package enabled new features that were present already. Microsoft used the same package for the upgrade from Windows 10 1903 to 1909.     

Lately, Microsoft has been testing another approach using the Windows Feature Experience Pack with people in the Windows Insiders Beta Channel. It's intended to allow Microsoft to deliver feature improvements outside of major Windows 10 feature updates.