What is Windows 11 or Windows 10 LTSC?
A year after the launch of Windows 10, that is, in 2016, a new edition of Windows 10 appeared, the LTSB. This edition, a subversion of the “Enterprise”, stood out for offering users a Windows free of bloatware and feature updates. A system that could be as is, receiving only maintenance and security updates, for 10 years. This LTSB used the Windows 10 Kernel 1607.
Three years later, in 2019, Microsoft released a new edition, the LTSC. This new edition is based on the Kernel of version 1809 of the operating system, so it included all the news that had been released to date.
Both the first LTSB and the first Windows 10 LTSC They have 10 years of support, so they will continue to receive updates until 2026 and 2029 respectively.
The last LTSC version of Windows 10 arrived at the end of 2021. This is based on the Kernel of version 21H2 of the operating system, and its main change is that, instead of having 10 years of support, it has been reduced to 5 years. Support from the previous LTSC, and from the LTSB, will not change.
For now Windows 11 LTSC It is not yet available, as the system has not yet been fully debugged to guarantee proper operation for 5 years. However, the first extended support edition of this Windows will not be long in coming.
As we have already explained, the main feature of these editions of Windows is their support. Microsoft offers users a life cycle of 5 years (60 months) instead of the classic 18 months of Windows 10, or the 24 months of Windows 11. Thanks to this, users can install this special edition of Windows and forget full of updates, new versions and problems that may appear. Unlike normal editions, LTSC do not receive new featuresInstead, all patches are for maintenance and for correcting malfunctions and security.
In addition to these features, we can also find other advantages when using this special edition, such as:
- They do not integrate Microsoft bloatware (neither Edge, nor Cortana, nor modern apps, nor games).
- Compatible with all software.
- They do not receive new versions every 6 months. Throughout its life cycle we use the same version.
- They are “lighter and more stable” over time. Although, rather, this is a placebo effect for its users.
Otherwise, these editions are the same as the others, since they share the same kernel as Home, Pro or any other business edition.
How to get a password and activate it
This is one of the most controversial and complicated points. These Extended Support Editions are intended for business use only. Furthermore, the LTSC is a subversion of Windows Enterprise. And the Enterprise edition licenses are not sold the same as the Home and Pro edition licenses.
Keys for Windows Enterprise editions are more expensive than home and personal editions. And they must be purchased directly from Microsoft in volume form (that is, purchasing many licenses at once to activate many computers).
There are many websites of keys for Windows that sell us very cheap LTSC licenses. Do they work? Probably yes. But we are not respecting Microsoft’s license terms, and even if we have our PC activated with one of these licenses, that does not mean that our Windows is legal. Any LTSC license purchased individually outside of Microsoft and used on a home PC will be, in Microsoft’s eyes, illegal.
Reasons not to use an LTSC
Although there are users who defend these editions with blood, there are actually many reasons why we should not use them. The first of them, as we have explained, is that it is an edition mainly focused on companies. Licenses are much more expensive than those of the Home and Pro editions, and must be purchased from Microsoft (proving that we are companies) as volume licenses. Any use outside the company is illegal, even if we do not have the watermark on the desktop.
Another reason why we should not use these editions is that we will be losing functionalities and features designed by Microsoft for users. For example, we will not be able to use the Microsoft Store, the UWP applications will not be available for our PC, nor will we have the “game mode” or the “Game Bar” or many other functions. It is true that, by eliminating all this, it gives the feeling that we have a cleaner or purer Windows, but at what price?
Updates can also be a problem. By using these editions we will stop receiving new functions and features every 6 months. And, in addition, one of its main attractions has been lost, since from the next LTSC it will go from 10 years of support to only 5 (the same as Ubuntu’s LTS). There is not so much difference …
And finally, we must bear in mind that we lose the ability to change edition. Windows 10 Home users can upgrade to Pro simply by changing the license, without formatting. The Enterprise and Education editions allow you to do the same and move to the Pro edition quickly. But, if we use an LTSC, there will be no going back, and the only way to change the edition will be to completely format the PC. And the license, of course, will not help us for other editions.
Is there an Office LTS?
Like Windows, Microsoft also offers companies to use a Office LTSC, but only as of the 2021 edition of the suite. This edition of the office suite offers companies the same features as Windows, its main attraction being the support of 5 years of maintenance support, without new versions or new features.
The Office 2021 LTSC release coincides with the Windows 11 LTSC release. So the life cycles of both versions will be identical.