Microsoft releases ISOs for the Windows 10 November 2021 Update

Microsoft releases ISOs for the Windows 10 November 2021 Update

While Windows 11 was released earlier this month, it almost flies under the radar that Windows 10 is alive and well. In fact, it’s supported for another four years, so as expected, there’s a version 21H2 coming for the OS. Thanks to a blog post today, we now know that it will be called the Windows 10 November 2021 Update.

The big news is that it’s available for everyone in the Release Preview channel, and ISOs are available. It’s also confirmed that build 19044.1288 is likely going to be the final build, something that’s actually called RTM in another dimension.

Prior to this, the Windows 10 November 2021 Update, then only known as version 21H2, was only available to commercial users in the Release Preview ring, and people who were booted out of the Beta channel. The reason that some people were kicked out of the Beta channel is that when Windows 11 was announced, it had much higher system requirements than Windows 10, so when Windows 11 hit the Beta channel, a whole bunch of Windows Insiders were moved to the Release Preview channel. As a sort of consolation prize, they got to test out Windows 10 version 21H2.

Strangely, ISOs have been available for Windows Insiders for a while too. While you couldn’t test the update by enrolling your PC in the Release Preview channel, you could test it by clean installing an ISO. What’s new today is that there’s an ISO for build 19044.1288, the final build that should ship to non-Insiders that are still on Windows 10. The company also released new ISOs for the latest Dev channel build, build 22483.

As for what’s actually new, there’s not much. The Windows 10 November 2021 Update is really aimed more at businesses who might not be ready to upgrade to Windows 11 yet. If you’re a consumer and you want new features, Microsoft would rather you buy a new PC.

Here’s the full changelog:

  • 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

As you can see, it’s not much. The Windows 10 November 2021 Update comes in the form of an enablement package, as did Windows 10 versions 21H1 and 20H2. That means you’re still getting the same bits as Windows 10 version 2004. All four versions will get the exact same cumulative updates, but some features will be hidden depending on what version you’re on. That’s all the enablement package does; it enables features that are turned off on your system.

As for when the update will be released to everyone, Microsoft didn’t say, but thanks to the name, we’re betting on November. The first week would probably be the safest bet, since the second week is Patch Tuesday and that will change the build number.

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Rich Woods
Rich Woods

Managing Editor for XDA Computing. I've been covering tech from smartphones to PCs since 2013. If you see me at a trade show, come say hi and let me ask you weird questions about why you use the tech you use.