Introducing the next feature update to Windows 10: 21H2
While we are excited for the next generation of Windows with Windows 11, we are also focused on supporting the more than 1.3 billion monthly active devices on Windows 10. Today, we are introducing the next feature update to Windows 10: Windows 10, version 21H2. Windows continues to play an important role in people’s lives as they continue to work, learn and have fun in hybrid and remote environments. Our goal is to provide new features and functionality via a fast and reliable update experience to help keep people and organizations protected and productive. Version 21H2 will continue the recent feature update trend of being delivered in an optimized way using servicing technology. Today I will share details on scope, how we plan to service the release and next steps.
Updated features delivered in a fast, familiar way
Windows 10, version 21H2 will have a scoped set of features focused on productivity and security, prioritized to meet our customers’ needs based on feedback. New features focused on productivity, management and security include:
- Adding WPA3 H2E standards support for enhanced Wi-Fi security
- Windows Hello for Business introduces a new deployment method called cloud trust to support simplified passwordless deployments and achieve a deploy-to-run state within a few minutes
- GPU compute support in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows (EFLOW) deployments for machine learning and other compute intensive workflows
Given the continuation of increased PC engagement for remote and hybrid play, learning and work, we will deliver Windows 10, version 21H2 using servicing technology (like that used for the monthly update process). For consumer or commercial users with devices running version 2004 or later, the Windows 10, version 21H2 update will have a fast installation experience. As this Windows 10 release is targeted for the second half of 2021, Home and Pro editions of version 21H2 will receive 18 months of servicing, and Enterprise and Education editions will have 30 months of servicing. In addition, we will also launch the next version of the Windows 10 Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) based on version 21H2 at the same time, and it will have five years of servicing as announced in February. More information can be found in my recent Windows lifecycle and servicing update, and we’ll have more news on future updates at a later date.
Our launch approach for version 21H2 continues to fully leverage the Windows Insider Program to obtain user feedback and data insights on quality. Today we will begin releasing 21H2 builds to Windows Insiders who were moved to the Release Preview channel from the Beta channel because their specific devices did not meet the hardware requirements for Windows 11. This enables them to instead experience the latest innovations and enhancements in Windows 10 (note Insiders will not see new features noted in this blog right away, but in future Insider builds as they are ready). Broad availability of Windows 10, version 21H2 will begin later in the second half of this calendar year. We will provide more information on this release and the next Windows 10 LTSC release (including the next IoT Enterprise LTSC release) in the near term. You can always find the latest Windows servicing and update information on the Windows release health hub, now available in 10 languages. We look forward to hearing your feedback.
Editor’s note – July 21, 2021 – The bullet point on Windows Hello for Business was updated for clarity.