Please note that we've updated the Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord save file system which requires you to take certain steps in order for your save files to be compatible with e1.7.1 and any later updates. You can find the instructions here.
If the game isn't going to be indefinitely in EA, then that will probably be the case. They'll release a subjectively big content update during any steam sale or event for a jaw dropping 10% off, and that'll attract a new cycle of Bannerlord's buyers.
In my opinion that would seem like the reasonable and natural marketing move by any studio really.
No, there's no reason to think that at all. We can expect a continued trickle of updates every 3-10 weeks, at some point they'll just stop, have few hotfixes and then announce EA is ending, probably with a big self loving video about all the progress they've made, maybe another sale or something, who knows.. Any major update right before/during ending EA would really be bad for them because every update makes a bunch of bugs and it sometime takes month to sort them out. I mean just look at the know issues list, lots of that stuff has been there forever. Even though it's not game crashing the fact there's so much illustrates the slow rate of fixes in general. There's no reason to expect this to change anytime soon. There's no news of new management or new staff or anything else that would make me think a change in pace or ability to have bug-free updates is possible.
So sure, they COULD release a big fat update and end EA, but there absolutely no reason to think they will and it might be a disaster if they did. The last thing they should want is big spike of new/returning players installing the game and crashing and going "yep same old crap" fool me twice.