[German]Microsoft announced overnight that Windows 10 version 21H1 is now available to commercial customers. These can use the new Windows 10 version to test (validate) features in enterprise environments before the operating system is released for general availability.
I came across this information on Twitter last night. The announcement was made in the tech community in the post Windows 10, version 21H1 for commercial pre-release validation. So the early deployment of the feature upgrade is to give company administrators the opportunity to extensively test Windows 10 version 21H1 on existing hardware and with the software they use.
Microsoft considers a device to be a commercial device if it is not running Windows 10 Home edition, is managed by an IT administrator (either through Microsoft Endpoint Manager or a third-party MDM tool), or if the device has a volume license key or CommercialID or is connected to a domain.
Deployment via WU, WSUS, Azure and as ISO
Windows 10 version 21H1 is deployed to this circle via all standard channels. This includes Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and Azure Marketplace. Interested parties can also download an ISO file (this ISO had already been released last week as Insider Preview, but I had not reported it here on the blog).
If updates are managed directly through Windows Update and devices are enrolled in the Release Preview Channel of the Insider Preview program for validation purposes, you can go to the Windows 10 settings page and then to the Windows Update page to download and install Windows 10, version 21H1 as a feature update (see screenshot above).
Delivery as an enablement update
Microsoft had already announced that it would also deliver version 21H1 as a minor update to devices that have Windows 10 version 2004 or version 20H2 installed. These devices will receive an enablement update (as an activation package), which will then unlock the features in question. This is because they have already been rolled out via updates on the operating systems mentioned above. Only machines with older Windows 10 versions will get a full feature update. I had already addressed this some time ago in the blog post The New Windows is coming; Windows 10 21H1 already rolled out?
If updates are managed with WSUS, there is an option to perform a full feature update to 21H1 or to test the Enablement Update (only with devices currently running Windows 10 version 2004 or 20H2. Microsoft's post provides guidance on what to consider.
To test this new Windows 10 version in a virtual machine, the Windows 10 Preview is available for download from the Azure Marketplace or as a Windows 10 version 21H1 ISO.
Windows 10 21H1 officially announced, testing started with Insider in Beta channel
Windows 10 2004/20H2: Preview Update KB4601382 (Feb. 24, 2021)
The New Windows is coming; Windows 10 21H1 already rolled out?
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new 21H1 preview ISOs with build 19043.928 are out as recently reported by Deskmodder: