While the most exciting stuff in the Windows world is happening around Windows 11, Microsoft is committed to supporting users on Windows 10. According to Microsoft, more than 1.3 billion monthly active devices are running Windows 10. Due to peculiar Windows 11 hardware requirements, not all Windows 10 users will get a chance to update to the next version of Windows. That means Microsoft needs to continue providing support in form of regular updates and patches for Windows 10. On its official Windows Blog, Microsoft announced the next feature update for Windows 10, 21H2.
If you are a regular user with a PC that cannot run Windows 11, do not get too excited about Windows 10 21H2. That is a relatively minor update with new features focused on business and developers. Here is the official changelog from Microsoft.
Whats' new in Windows 10 21H2
- Windows 10 21H2 brings support for WPA3 H2E standards for enhanced Wi-Fi security.
- Windows Hello for Business gets simplified passwordless deployment models for "achieving a deploy-to-run state" within a few minutes.
- GPU compute support n the WSL and Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows (EFLOW) deployments for machine learning and other compute-intensive workflows.
Users of Windows 10 versions 2004, 20H2, or 21H1 will be able to upgrade to the new version of the system as quickly as possible. The update will be installed as a regular monthly cumulative update. For users of earlier versions of Windows 10 (prior to the May 2020 Update), the upgrade process will look like installing a new full featured OS image.
Microsoft does not say when Windows 10 21H2 will be available. The company only says users can expect the next feature update to arrive in the second half of the 2021 calendar year. As of now, users in the Windows Insider program can download Windows 10 21H2 in the Release Preview channel.
Windows 10 21H2 will get 18 months of active support for Home and Pro editions. Enterprise and Education editions will receive 30 months of active support. Finally, Windows 10 21H2 marks a release of the next LTSC-version with five years of service. In case you missed it, Microsoft recently announced changes in servicing schedules for Windows 11. With the release of the next version of Windows, users will be getting 24 months of mainstream support with a single feature update per year.
It's worth noting that new features will appear in Windows Insider Preview builds as they become available. The full release of Windows 10 version 21H2 will take place in the second half of 2021. The company will publish additional information about the release and how to obtain it will closer to the release date.
Windows 10 version 21H2, Build 19044.1147, KB5004296
The first build of Windows 10 version 21H2 is already available on the Release Preview channel with KB5004296. However, it is out to those insiders whose devices does not meet the required minimum system requirements for Windows 11.
Build 19044.1147 does not include the new features described above, and only includes a large list of fixes, which you can check out here. The announced changes will be available in upcoming builds.
KB5004296 will appear on the Release Preview channel for insiders only after manually checking for updates in Windows Update. To get it, Insiders will need to go to Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update, click on Check for Updates, and the click on the prompt to download and install version 21H2.
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