Windows 10 version 21H2 starts rolling out today, future updates to come once a year

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Microsoft is starting to roll out Windows 10 version 21H2 today, which can now be installed by select users running Windows 10 version 2004 or newer. As with every new Windows release, Microsoft will be throttling up availability to ensure a reliable download experience for everyone, so only select Windows 10 PCs will see the 21H2 update in Windows Update for now.

Windows 10 version 21H2, also known as the "November 2021 Update” has been in testing with Windows Insiders for a couple of months now, and it's a minor update that only brings the following 3 new features:

  • 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.

The release of Windows 10 version 21H2 also marks the beginning of a new servicing cadence for Windows 10 updates: Going forward, Windows 10 will receive major updates once a year instead of every six months, and the next Windows 10 feature update will be released in the second half of 2022. This change is the result of Microsoft wanting to align the release cycle of Windows 10 and its new Windows 11 OS, which will also receive new updates once a year.

As a result of this new release cycle for Windows 10, Microsoft is replacing its existing Semi-Annual release channel with a new "General Availability Channel." Windows 10 version 21H2 will get 18 months of support for Home and Pro users, while Enterprise and Education users will get 30 months of support. "We will continue to support at least one version of Windows 10 through October 14, 2025,” Microsoft reiterated today.

If your PC is already running Windows 10 version 2004 or later, you can check today is Windows 10 version 21H2 is available by going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update) and selecting "Check for updates.” If your PC is eligible, you may also see the option to upgrade to Windows 11, the latest version of Windows that was released last month. Microsoft actually said today that it decided to accelerate the rollout of Windows 11 on eligible PCs "based on the positive rollout update experience and user feedback we have seen to date."

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