Microsoft will ship a 21H2 update for Windows 10 later this year

Microsoft will ship a 21H2 update for Windows 10 later this year

Just because Microsoft announced Windows 11 today doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the line for Windows 10 updates. Windows 11 is coming this holiday season, but as it turns out, so is Windows 10 version 21H2.

Indeed, there will be another Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) version of Windows 10 coming later this year. While this was confirmed, Microsoft didn’t detail what will be included in the Windows 10 21H2 update. All we know is that it’s going to have some updates to existing features, such as Universal Print and deployment features like Windows Autopilot.

The idea with Windows 10 21H2 is to give businesses a way to be supported while they start their migration to Windows 11. As we all know with businesses, update deployment can take a while.

This update is likely to be an enablement package, just like we saw from Windows 10 versions 20H2 and 21H2. That means that the features arrive through cumulative updates (which will be on versions going back to version 2004), and they’re turned off by default. The enablement package flips a switch to turn on those features, and it bumps up the build number by one.

This method makes it nice and easy on businesses. With a major build, such as with Windows 10 version 2004, new features can be disruptive. With an enablement package, businesses can rest easy knowing that it won’t mess anything up, and since it’s the fall update, it will be supported for 30 months instead of the 18 months of support that the spring update gets.

Interestingly, there’s no official word on if Windows 10 version 21H2 will be the last feature update for Windows 10. We do know that the OS will be supported until 2025, but this could be the final SAC release. If the intent was to continue on with feature updates, Microsoft probably would have said so by now.

However, it’s clear that Windows 10 won’t get a major feature update like we’ve seen in the past, so perhaps Microsoft will just keep releasing monthly patches for businesses until support ends.

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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.