When Microsoft announced Windows 11 recently, it confirmed that Windows 10 users would not be abandoned. And now the company has officially announced Windows 10 21H2, a feature update for those who can’t have — or don’t want — Windows 11.
As development and attention has been focused on Windows 11, it should come as little surprise that there are no major new additions to Window 10 with this update, but it remains an important one. A key new arrival is GPU compute support in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), and if you’re eager to try it out right now, you may be able to do so.
Although full details of what Windows 10 21H2 (which may very well end up being called Windows 10 October 2021 Update) are not yet available, we do know at least some of what to expect. John Cable, Microsoft’s Vice President of Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery, has shared some details of the upcoming feature update saying that it will include “a scoped set of features focused on productivity and security, prioritized to meet our customers’ needs based on feedback”.
Just what does this mean? Cable gives three examples of the productivity-, management- and security-focused updates:
- Adding WPA3 H2E standards support for enhanced Wi-Fi security
- Windows Hello for Business supports simplified passwordless deployment models for achieving 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
If you want to try out the update ahead of its official release later in the year, you’ll need to be enrolled in the Windows Insider Program. Microsoft explains:
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.
Microsoft points out that anyone running Windows 10 version 2004 and above will experience a “fast installation experience” as Windows 10 21H2 will be delivered using the same servicing technology as for the monthly update process. The company also notes that Home and Pro users installing the feature update later in the year will enjoy 18 months of servicing, while for Enterprise and Education editions this is extended to 30 months.
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