[German]Microsoft has released the feature update for Windows 10 November 2021 Update (21H2) on 11/16/2021. In addition, the ISO installation media and an installation image are also available in the Media Creation Tool. It is only a minor feature update, which brings only a few new features. Here is a brief overview.
Windows 10 21H2 released
John Cable announced the release of the new Windows 10 November 2021 Update (21H2) on the Windows Blog in the post How to get the Windows 10 November 2021 Update. The November 2021 update is initially available to users with select devices running Windows 10 version 2004 or later.
Those who want to install the feature update to new version go to Windows Update settings (Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update) and select Check for updates. Eligible devices may also be offered the option to select the Windows 11 upgrade. When the update is displayed, users can select Download and Install to initiate the upgrade. Once the download is complete and the feature update is ready to install, Windows will notify the user to choose the most convenient time to complete the installation and restart your device.
Small feature update from version 2004
The feature update to Windows 10 21H2 will be unlocked on machines from version 2004 onwards by an enablement update provided by Windows Update, as the relevant data has already been distributed by Windows Update. I had explained details about this in the blog post Windows 10 May 2021 Update (21H1) released (May 18, 2021) for earlier Windows 10 versions. This is still valid for version 21H2.
Slow rollout planned
German blog reader Ralf states in this comment that he got offered the feature update. According to the release health dashboard, the new Windows 10 version 21H2 has build 19044.1288. Windows 10 21H2 will get support until June 23, 2023 in the Home and Pro versions, while Windows 10 21H2 Enterprise, Education and IoT Enterprise will get support until June 11, 2024 with new security updates. .
Microsoft plans to initially throttle the availability of the new version in the coming weeks to ensure a reliable download. Therefore, the update might not be offered to every user immediately.
Only a few new features
For Windows 10 version 21H2, Microsoft has focused on improving the productivity and security of the operating system. The changes are therefore very limited. The new features that focus on productivity, management and security include:
- Adding support for the WPA3 H2E standard for improved Wi-Fi security.
- Windows Hello for Business introduces a new provisioning method called Cloud Trust to support simplified passwordless provisioning and achieve provisioning status within minutes.
- Support for GPU computing in Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows (EFLOW) for machine learning and other compute-intensive workflows.
However, this was already announced by Microsoft in this post on July 15, 2021. In the Know Issues section of the Windows 10 21H2 status page, there is currently only a note about possible printing errors when printing on the network. However, this is already known as a problem from the previously available Windows 10 versions and has been addressed here in the blog.
ISO files and MCT installation image
Currently, it seems that Microsoft has not yet released ISO files with the installation images in the VLSC and for Visual Studio subscribers. According to this blog post, it may take a day for the images to be distributed in the VLSC. Currently, blogs state that the ISO is available for download, but link to the Windows Insider Preview ISO.
And also the Media Creation Tool (MCT), with which you can create an installation image and then make an installation medium on a USB stick, seems to be updated only in the coming hours. Here, it is recommended to check the Windows 10 download page to see what download options are offered.
The colleagues from deskmodder.de give the temporary downloads of the ISO files here. If you want to get the ISO file, you can do so via the Adguard page. There you can select the download options and the temporary download links from the Microsoft servers are regenerated each time. I've introduced that within the blog post Tip: Download Windows- and Office ISO images using Adguard.
Annual Windows 10 feature updates
In summer of 2020, I had hinted in the blog post Windows 10: Is Microsoft planning yearly feature updates? that yearly feature updates may be coming. Microsoft has confirmed exactly that in the blog post How to get the Windows 10 November 2021 Update. It states there:
We'll be moving to a new Windows 10 release rhythm that aligns with the Windows 11 rhythm and aims for annual feature updates. We are now renaming the maintenance option for releases, starting with the November 2021 update, to "General Availability Channel." This replaces the previous term "Semi-Annual Channel" for the maintenance option.
The next Windows 10 feature update is scheduled for the second half of 2022. Microsoft will continue to support at least one version of Windows 10 until October 14, 2025. After all, that's when support for most Windows 10 versions ends (see Will Windows 10 end on October 14, 2025? A bit …). In the second half (H2) of the calendar year, Home and Pro editions of the November 2021 update will receive 18 months of service and support, while Enterprise and Education editions will receive 30 months of service and support starting today.
Enterprises should start with deployments
In the article How to get the Windows 10 November 2021 Update, Microsoft recommends commercial organizations begin targeted deployments. The purpose is to verify that applications, devices and infrastructure work as expected with the new version. Windows 10 version 21H2 is now available through Windows Server Update Services (including Configuration Manager), Windows Update for Business and the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).
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