Tech

When the dust settles with Windows 11, Microsoft is gearing up for Windows 10 21H2.

Big picture: Windows 11 is here, but not everyone can or should upgrade to the new operating system. For people who decide to stay on Windows 10 until the end of support in 2025, Microsoft has promised to only service them with regular monthly updates. The latest major update – Windows 10 21H2 – will begin rolling out to users next month, and while it won’t bring any major changes, it could be the last feature update for Windows 10 users.

Despite the stringent system requirements and all the bugs and performance issues, Windows 11 is not your typical Microsoft OS release. First, many people cannot upgrade their machines to it unless they bypass Microsoft’s compatibility checks. Then you have all the visual and quality of life changes, some of which improve the user experience and others reduce it by locking the taskbar in place, aligning the taskbar icons to the center by default, hiding the old context menu behind the new design, and more. …

Many PC users have never even heard of Windows 11, despite the fact that Microsoft placed great emphasis on making it the next generation of Windows. However, there are currently over 1.3 billion Windows 10 users who will likely take time to upgrade to the new operating system.

The good news is that Microsoft has pledged to support Windows 10 with patches and security updates through October 2025, giving consumers and businesses plenty of time to prepare for the transition. Meanwhile, the Redmond-based company prepares to launch Windows 10 21H2 (also known as Windows 10 November 2021 Update) to the general public. In fact, you can download final build (19044.1288) now as an ISO and perform a fresh install or in-place upgrade.

At the time of writing, you can also get the 21H2 update if you are an Insider registered with the release preview channel. Those of you with systems that are not officially supported by Windows 11 will be able to participate in the Windows 10 Insider Program going forward and automatically receive new service updates as they become available for public testing.

Windows 10 21H2 is a simple update with very few new features. Think of it as a cumulative update rather than a functional update, which also means it will be faster to install than the latter type. Notable changes include support for WPA3 Hash-to-Element (H2E) standards for better Wi-Fi security, support for GPU computing in Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), and Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows (EFLOW). The original plan was to support passwordless deployment methods through Windows Hello for Business, but this feature will appear in a later update for those using 21H2.

Microsoft hasn’t said if it plans to offer more feature updates every two years for Windows 10, but it also didn’t say it will leave Windows 10 behind. This will be the last officially supported version of Windows for many PCs made prior to 2018, and while you can bypass the System Requirements Check to install Windows 11, you won’t be eligible for further updates, making the offer difficult for most. people.

The only thing that can be said for sure right now is that Microsoft will fix any bugs and security issues with the usual maintenance intervals they’ve used for years. Some industry reviewers have suggested that Windows 11 features may have been released as an update to Windows 10 users, but that was never part of the plan. Microsoft has said it will bring features like DirectStorage to Windows 10, but it’s not clear yet if people buying PCs with hybrid CPU architectures like Alder lake get full support if they choose Windows 10 over Windows 11.

Otherwise, Windows 10 version 21H2 follows the same support path as previous versions, meaning Windows 10 Home and Pro users will receive 18 months of support, and Enterprise and Education users will receive 30 months. The new update will begin rolling out next month in a phased release to ensure that any pop-up issues are detected before it gets a chance to see widespread adoption.


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