Windows 11 might be grabbing all the headlines, but Microsoft still has a feature update for Windows 10 planned for the autumn. Many people simply aren't going to be able to upgrade their PCs to Windows 11, thanks to the modern secure hardware requirements, so Windows 10 may remain as their OS for several years to come.
On Thursday, Microsoft released the first test version of Windows 10 21H2 to insiders. This is the second feature update for Windows 10 in 2021, and like the last few updates is rather minor in what it seems to add. The sparse new features list is probably due to any attractive new feature additions being squirreled away to apply to Windows 11. Officially there are just three new productivity, management, and security features on the way in Windows 10 21H2, as follows:
- 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
ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley says that the finished Windows 10 21H2, when it comes to general release, will be a minor update delivered without fanfare. When it arrives, it will "be delivered via an enablement pack that will make it feel almost like a Cumulative Update for anyone installing it on top of the most recent Windows 10 feature update," explains the veteran Microsoft tech reporter.
So, is Windows 10 21H2 going to be the last version of Windows 10, bar any necessary security updates and patches in the coming months / years? Microsoft states it will support Windows 10 users until 14th October 2025, but we are not certain if new features will be put on standstill once Windows 11 arrives. Microsoft says it will provide more info on Windows 10 21H2, and the next Windows 10 Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release (with five years of servicing promised) shortly.