Windows 10 21H2, the bashful one, arrives


If I didn’t know better, I’d say Windows 10 21H2 is bashful.

Since being announced in July it’s been overshadowed by its upstart replacement, Windows 11 21H2. Finally, however, Windows 10 21H2 is out.

That doesn’t mean I recommend users install it immediately. I prefer a more measured approach and want to wait a bit to ensure my vendors are ready for it. That makes this a good time to review your hardware to ensure you don’t have machines on older platforms that are nearly out of support. So let’s review what’s still supported, how long it will be supported, and which version of Windows you should be planning to move to.

Of the released and supported versions of Windows 10 currently supported for Home and Professional users, 21H1 is now officially considered to be in broad deployment (as of Nov. 3) and will be supported until Dec. 13, 2022 for both Windows 10 Home and Professional. Windows 10 20H2 is supported until May 10, 2022. And last but not least, Windows 10 2004 is the version I urge you to upgrade to as soon as possible; it drops out of support in less than a month: Dec. 14. Windows 10 2004 will receive its last update on that date. To remain protected, you’ll need to ensure that your Windows 10 setup is upgraded to 20H2 or 21H1 after that date. (Microsoft has indicated it “will continue to support at least one Windows 10 Semi-Annual Channel until Oct. 14, 2025.”)

Windows 10 Enterprise and Education versions have a slight divergence in support timelines. Though Windows 10 2004 aligns with Home and Professional (and loses support on Dec. 14), Windows 10 1909, which is actually older, is still supported until May 10, 2022. Windows 10 20H2 is supported until May 9, 2023, a full year after its Home and Professional counterparts, and Windows 10 21H1 is supported until  Dec. 13, 2022 — matching its Home and Professional counterparts.

Why the differing dates? Because the Spring releases of Enterprise and Education have a much longer life cycle support than do the Home and Professional versions.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.





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