If you’ve stuck with Windows 11 22H2 since it was superseded, you might want to upgrade to 23H2 soon enough, as Microsoft has set a deadline for doing so, at least for those who want to get new (preview) features and fixes as early as possible.
As you likely realize, every version of Windows has an allotted period of time that full support is given and all updates are piped through, and the first stage of the cessation of that support has just been announced by Microsoft.
As Neowin noticed, we’ve been told by Microsoft that: “After February 27, 2024, there will no longer be optional, non-security preview releases for Windows 11, version 22H2. Only cumulative monthly security updates will continue for the supported editions of Windows 11, version 22H2.”
The preview (optional) releases are pushed out near to the end of every month, and come with new features which are still officially in testing, and early fixes for problems with Windows 11.
As Microsoft clarifies, after next February, those on Windows 11 22H2 will still get the monthly updates pushed out on Patch Tuesday (these land on the second Tuesday of every month).
Analysis: So, what’s the big deal here exactly?
This is an important development, and to illustrate why, let’s sketch out a quick example. Say you’ve been hit by a really nasty bug that torpedoes your printer (a not unfamiliar scenario) and you’re desperate for the fix, of course.
Now, the preview update for that month is released, and it has the cure – except you won’t be able to download and use it, because you won’t be offered the optional update. You would have to wait another two weeks (maybe a bit longer) to get the fix, when you’d clearly want it right there and then – as any risks of using a preview update pale in comparison to the problem you’re suffering from already.
Eventually, Microsoft will pull the plug on updates for Windows 11 22H2 entirely, at which point you’ll have to upgrade, or run a vulnerable PC (with no security updates). Indeed, Microsoft will force upgrades at this point to keep the user base safe. That’s what happened with Windows 11 21H2 last month, and the same will be the case come October 2024 for version 22H2.