Windows 10 21H2: This is the consolation prize for Windows 11 losers

If you don’t get Windows 11, you have to stay with Windows 10 and automatically receive the autumn update 21H2.Technoeager reveals what’s inside.

Only a few days left until Windows 11 starts . But it is already clear: Many, if not most, Windows users will not be able to receive the major free update. Experts estimate that due to the restrictive system requirements, up to 50 percent of current Windows 10 devices will have to stay with the old system and will have Windows 10 version 21H2 from October 5th.

While the originally expected fireworks of innovations are reserved for Windows 11, the autumn update for Windows 10 does not bring any significant improvements. Our team reveals what those who are “left behind” can expect and how things will go on with Windows 10 at all.

End of support: Only four years of Windows 10 left

When Windows 10 appeared in 2015, it should actually be the last Windows and receive updates every six months. It was already clear then that Windows 10 also had an official expiry date. In the life cycle of Windows 10 on Oct. 14, 2025 is enshrined. So if you do not receive an update to Windows 11 due to the strict system requirements and do not circumvent the system requirements of the computer , you will receive updates for four years as things stand. After that, Windows 10 is over.

Since Microsoft only provides support for version 21H2 for 18 (Home and Pro version) or 30 months (Enterprise, Education), it is already clear that this cannot be the last function update for Windows 10. However, Microsoft has simultaneously the 21H2 updates a so-called LTSC version (Long-Term Servicing Channel) based on announced . Such long-term versions are usually offered in the corporate sector and receive five years of support. Even after the end of support for Windows 7 , Microsoft continued to provide affected corporate customers with updates – for a fee.

Windows 10 21HZ
Windows 10 21H2

21H2 comes at the same time as Windows 11

With the announcement of Windows 11 , Microsoft already revealed that Windows 10 will get a function update at all . Under the heading “Continued innovation in Windows 10”, the manufacturer referred to at least 1.3 billion active Windows 10 devices and promised to bring out the planned Windows 10 version 21H2 in addition to Windows 11.

Like the predecessors 20H2 and 21H1Version 21H2 (code name “Cobalt”) is based on Windows 10 version 2004 (Vibranium) and is installed using a cumulative update. The responsible “Enablement Package” is called KB5003791 and raises Windows 10 to version number 19044. Instead of new functions, all of which are reserved for Windows 11, the update hardly brings any improvements, at least for private users.

Since Microsoft has released the update as a release preview, it can be installed as an optional update with just a few clicks. You can read how to do this in the article Update has reached release preview status .

Confirmed changes in 21H2

Since Microsoft is setting off a veritable fireworks display with Windows 11, it has been clear for a long time: Windows 10 no longer makes big leaps. This is especially true for the expected redesign called “Sun Valley”, which is reserved for Windows 11. Nevertheless, Microsoft has confirmed minor innovations . An overview:

  • Windows Hello: As of version 21H2, external cameras are automatically used instead of the integrated camera as the standard device for face recognition with Windows Hello. Requirement: The camera supports Windows Hello.
  • Windows Defender Application Guard: The business version of Defender increases performance and security when opening office documents.
  • Hybrid work: Microsoft already promised improvements for corporate customers in an earlier announcement . There should be optimizations for hybrid work with functions such as “Universal Print” and new management functions such as “Windows Autopilot”. In a support document for Windows Autopilot , Microsoft revealed that version 21H2 supports TPM key attestation security technology .
  • WPA 3 H2E: With the publication of the first 21H2 test version , Microsoft announced improved WLAN security by supporting the WPA3-H2E standard in the Windows Insider Blog .

Windows 10 – what’s next?

After Windows 10 was released in 2015, PC users were prepared for two major updates per year. With the autumn 2019 update (version 1909) , however, Microsoft switched to delivering only one major function update in spring, while a small maintenance update followed in autumn. In 2021, the manufacturer turned the tables, only brought tiny improvements with Windows 10 21H1 “Iron” and actually wanted the major update of the year to follow with version 21H2 “Cobalt”.

But with the unveiling of Windows 11 it was clear that 21H2 would only be a mild breeze.The future path of Windows 10 is already mapped out: While the big innovations will be celebrated in Windows 11 in the future, the predecessor will remain on the “Vibranium” code base from spring 2020 and will probably only receive maintenance updates. After all: The Microsoft Store, which was turned inside out for Windows 11, should also appear for Windows 10 .

The Windows oldie probably benefits from films and series, more games and classic Win 32 applications. From 2022, the store will even deliver Android apps – whether this also applies to Windows 10 is questionable. With the new Microsoft Store, Windows 10 definitely retains the option to keep inbox apps such as Microsoft Photos and Movies & TV up to date. We have known for a long time that Microsoft is working on an Office redesign and with outlook,one is working on a new version of the Mail and Calendar app.

A second life insurance for Windows 10 is the tried and tested update technology with enablement packages, which – without changing the system base – even enables new Windows functions. Nevertheless, Windows 10 devices are ultimately on the sidelines and, if Microsoft does not extend the deadline, will probably no longer receive any updates after October 14, 2025. For owners of many millions of PCs, this is a clear incentive to bypass the Windows 11 system requirements .

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