moderated Re: Clarification win10 21h2 and wn11.


 

Hi,

They are not the same thing. The story is a bit more complicated than that (I thought I wrote an explanation similar to the below one on a different list a while ago, but looks like I may need to revisit that one in the future):

The goal of Windows 10 series was to unify all sorts of device classes under the same operating system concept. This is why, over the last few years, different kinds of devices such as PC’s, smartphones, Xbox, Surface Hub, HoloLens, servers, IoT (Internet of Things) and many others were advertised as running on Windows 10. Apart from smartphones (Windows 10 Mobile is a flop), other device categories were more successful.

In 2019, Microsoft announced Windows 10 X, a version of Windows 10 designed for foldable devices. Since these devices were mainly targeted at schools, it was supposed to be more secure than other Windows 10 flavors. But things didn’t work out that way: difficulty with justifying the concept (foldables versus laptops), along with the COVID-19 pandemic and changed expectations of enterprises (remote workplace and security) led to evaporation of Windows 10 X in 2021. But not all was lost: several components that were supposed to become Windows 10 X such as the new user interface was recycled into Windows 11. At least this should explain why folks were skeptical of Windows 11 when it launched, especially because of updated system requirements and the revamped user interface.

As for Windows 10 Version 21H2, it is based on Version 2004 (last year) with backports from older Windows 11 code, or rather, from what is considered old Windows 10 Insider Preview builds. For almost two years, Windows Insiders on the dev channel were testing builds that were not tied to stable releases. This was done to prepare now scrapped Windows 10 X and to look for features that can be backported to older releases. In fact, Windows 10 Version 20H2 includes features that were tested by Insiders throughout early 2020 such as switching between Edge tabs by pressing Alt+Tab. Version 21H1 includes internal changes designed for enterprises, while 21H2 includes Linux GPU Compute support in Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) which was a change introduced months ago in Insider Preview builds. All these features are built on top of Windows 10 Version 2004 (build 19041) with flags indicating which features should be active on a given “feature update” – in a way, everyone running Version 2004/20H2/21H1 with September 1, 2021 optional cumulative update is running what could be described as Version 21H2 (build 19044) although new features are locked until an enablement package is released in a few weeks.

As much as Windows 10/11 Version 21H2 are different, they are distant cousins. Both report themselves as Windows NT 10.0 (for programmers), started out their lives as Windows 10, and will run programs (including screen readers) happily (including 32-bit programs on 64-bit Windows) although updates are required from programs to improve support for Windows 11.

Hope this clarifies a lot.

Cheers,

Joseph

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Randy Barnett
Sent: Sunday, September 5, 2021 9:41 PM
To: jfw-users@groups.io; main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Clarification win10 21h2 and wn11.

 



While we are excited for the next generation of Windows with Windows 11, we are     also focused on supporting the more than 1.3 billion monthly active devices on Windows 10. Today, we are introducing the next feature update to Windows 10: Windows 10, version 21H2. Windows continues to play an important role in people’s lives as they continue to work, learn and have fun in hybrid and remote environments. Our goal is to provide new features and functionality via a fast and reliable update experience to help keep people and organizations protected and productive. Version 21H2 will continue the recent feature update trend of being delivered in an optimized way using servicing technology. Today I will share details on scope, how we plan to service the release and next steps.

Updated features delivered in a fast, familiar way

Windows 10, version 21H2 will have a scoped set of features focused on productivity and security, prioritized to meet our customers’ needs based on feedback. New features focused on productivity, management and security include:

  • Adding WPA3 H2E standards support for enhanced Wi-Fi security
  • Windows Hello for Business introduces a new deployment method called cloud trust to support simplified passwordless deployments and achieve a deploy-to-run state within a few minutes
  • GPU compute support in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows (EFLOW) deployments for machine learning and other compute intensive workflows

Given the continuation of increased PC engagement for remote and hybrid play, learning and work, we will deliver Windows 10, version 21H2 using servicing technology (like that used for the monthly update process). For consumer or commercial users with devices running version 2004 or later, the Windows 10, version 21H2 update will have a fast installation experience. As this Windows 10 release is targeted for the second half of 2021, Home and Pro editions of version 21H2 will receive 18 months of servicing, and Enterprise and Education editions will have 30 months of servicing. In addition, we will also launch the next version of the Windows 10 Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) based on version 21H2 at the same time, and it will have five years of servicing as announced in February. More information can be found in my recent Windows lifecycle and servicing update, and we’ll have more news on future updates at a later date.

Next steps

Our launch approach for version 21H2 continues to fully leverage the Windows Insider Program to obtain user feedback and data insights on quality. Today we will begin releasing 21H2 builds to Windows Insiders who were moved to the Release Preview channel from the Beta channel because their specific devices did not meet the hardware requirements for Windows 11. This enables them to instead experience the latest innovations and enhancements in Windows 10 (note Insiders will not see new features noted in this blog right away, but in future Insider builds as they are ready). Broad availability of Windows 10, version 21H2 will begin later in the second half of this calendar year. We will provide more information on this release and the next Windows 10 LTSC release (including the next IoT Enterprise LTSC release) in the near term. You can always find the latest Windows servicing and update information on the Windows release health hub, now available in 10 languages.

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