Windows 10 21H1

Windows10I keep getting questions from friends and customers about when the next release of Windows 10 (21H1) is going live. I am going to say it once more for the people in the cheap seats: While I do get internal communications at Microsoft, I do not share them… ever. I have never once broken my Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) – not as a Microsoft MVP, not as a contractor, not at a trainer.

Two weeks ago I received the newest bits on my corporate laptop, and it was exciting… until I realized that the new features in the latest version are very functional… but not quite as sexy as some of the ones some people are anticipating.

* DNS over HTTPS (DoH). Great, we can resolve DNS over an encrypted connection.

* Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a compatibility layer to run Linux executables natively on Windows 10. This will be exciting for some… not for me, but for some.

* Disk Management is now in the Settings window. This is great, but I am a big fan of using either diskpart.exe or PowerShell to manage my disks… and when I don’t, I still like the native Disk Management console.

* Better GPU control. This will be great for people with much more powerful GPUs than I have.

* Self-aggrandizing: Windows 10 will now tell you what new features and other improvements are in a given update. Cool…

* Architecture column added to Task Manager. We can now easily see which of our processes are running in 64-bit and which are 32-bit.

Okay, this is all great… but when is it coming out? That is a question I can only answer now. It is out. Or at least, it is starting to roll out. I discovered it during a client demo this morning (May 18) in my Windows Intune tenant. When configuring a Windows Feature Update deployment, I saw this:

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…and so I went into my own tenant, and there it was as well! I configured it, and then went to a PC that I manage. Presto:

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I booted up another PC that I manage, and opened the Windows Update screen, and it was in the process of updating already.

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If you open the Windows Update screen and do not get the option to upgrade, one of the following is happening:

  • Your computer has not been targeted yet; with over a billion computers running Windows 10 worldwide, it has to be rolled out in phases. Don’t worry, it will come. Or:
  • Your machine is managed by your organization, and your admins have not released the new version for distribution yet. Don’t worry, they will… but corporations have to do a lot more due diligence than individuals, and they may want to take a while testing it out for bugs, application compatibility, colour coordination, whatever. You will get it. Impatient? Go home and download it!

As a Visual Studio subscription holder, I am also able to download the .iso file now (I checked an hour ago and it was not there yet). So while I have not seen any public-facing announcements, today (May 18, 2021) is the day that Windows 10 21H1 is going live!

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