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:


…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:


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


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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