Microsoft announced today that it has begun to roll out Windows 10 November 2021 Update, which upgrades Windows 10 to version 21H2. More importantly, the software giant also revealed that it is updating the Windows 10 servicing cadence to match that of Windows 11.
“We are [a] measured approach to the rollout of the November 2021 Update, as we have with previous releases, to help enable a smooth update,” Microsoft vice president John Cable notes in the announcement post. “We will be throttling up availability over the coming weeks to ensure a reliable download experience for all so the update may not be offered to you right away. In these cases, we will not offer the feature update until we are confident that you will have a good update experience.”
Windows 10 version 21H2 adds almost nothing in terms of new features or, as Microsoft describes it, this update is “scoped to focus on productivity, management, and security.” There’s not much to worry about here, however. This update adds some critical changes to the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) VPN APIs, support for Wi-Fi 6 with Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 Hash-to-Element protocol (WPA3 H2E), over 1,400 new mobile device management (MDM) policies, improvements to Universal Print, and support for automatically provisioning Azure Virtual Desktop-based (virtual) apps to a physical Windows 10 PC.
Of more interest is that new servicing cadence, since many had been speculating what Microsoft would do with Windows 10 after this release.
“We will transition to a new Windows 10 release cadence to align with the Windows 11 cadence, targeting annual feature update releases,” Mr. Cable reveals. “We are now renaming the servicing option for releases to the General Availability Channel starting with the November 2021 Update (replacing the previous “Semi-Annual Channel” term for the servicing option). [So] the next Windows 10 feature update is slated for the second half of 2022. [And] we will continue to support at least one version of Windows 10 through October 14, 2025.”
Windows 10 version 21H2 Home and Pro will receive 18 months of servicing and support, Microsoft adds, while Windows 10 version 21H2 Enterprise and Education editions will receive 30 months of servicing and support beginning today.