What now for Windows 10?

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So… clearly all the excitement recently has been around Windows 11. But it’s unclear what now happens around Windows 10: will it continue to receive new features (just not all the same ones as Windows 11), or is it now “security and bug-fix only” from this point onwards?

 

I downloaded the latest Windows 10 Dev ISOs (32-bit and 64-bit), with “Windows 10 Insider Preview (Dev Channel) – Build 21354” the version currently on-offer, to see where Windows 10 stands as-of now.

 

It’s interesting that many of the changes seen in Windows 11 exist as-of this Windows 10 release: the updated icons; Notepad and Paint now linked to the Microsoft Store; Power Automate Desktop and Windows Terminal come pre-installed; revisions to the Storage Sense feature; ability to set the date and time manually from the Settings app; the new “Screenshot borders” and “Screenshots and apps” options in the Privacy area of Settings; and how all the “Windows” folders (Accessories; Administrative Tools; PowerShell; System) have been removed and rolled-into one “Windows Tools” item.

 

So it makes me wonder… will such changes actually still appear in future Windows 10 releases or not?

 

The leaked-build of Windows 11 was version 10.0.21996.1, and the first official Insider Preview is 10.0.22000.51

For Windows 10, the final Fast Ring release was 10.0.19645.1; the latest Dev Channel is 10.0.21390.2025; and 10.0.19043.1052 is the current 20H2 update

Given for Windows 11, the build-numbers start much-higher, I wonder if that means there is room for Windows 10 to still grow?

 

However, when I tested both the 32-bit and 64-bit Win10 Dev images, the picture becomes unclear.

 

For my 64-bit Windows 10 Dev install, after I first connected the VM to the Internet and ran a Windows Update, one of the four updates it downloaded and installed was “Windows 11 Insider Preview 10.0.22000.51 (co_release)”. After it installed, and after a reboot, that VM was now on Windows 11.

 

However on the 32-bit Windows 10 Dev install, I was expecting the 21354.1 build to simply get updated to the latest 21390.2025 build — given that there is no 32-bit kernel versions of Windows 11, logically I’d expect a 32-bit Windows 10 Dev to only update to the latest Windows 10 release. However, the Windows Insider page in Settings advised the only channel supported is “Release Preview Channel”, which is build 19043.1082, only slightly-ahead of the current 19043.1052 stable for 20H2.

 

So that 32-bit install experience does make me wonder if everything in the “Dev” channel has simply been moved into Windows 11, and now won’t feature in Windows 10? (If you do a WINVER in Windows 11, it does refer to itself as “Version 21H2” — so does make me wonder if what was supposed to be 21H2 for Windows 10 has just been rebranded as Windows 11 instead).

 

It would be a bit disappointing if Windows 10 does now get relegated to “security and bug-fix only”, given during the “Get Windows 10” campaign it was clearly advertised as regularly being updated with new features…

Comments (1)

One response to “What now for Windows 10?”

  1. dftf

    Note: this Forum post was created before Paul wrote his similar-themed article, but there seems to be a delay at-present with Forum posts becoming public after submission. Also, because I received the "Shoot, we can't find the page you're looking for!" error after I click the "Create Post" button, I didn't even know it had successfully gone-through.


    One of the site admins really needs to resolve these currently issues...

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