Windows 10 21H1 is almost here, released to enterprise for testing

The Windows 10 21H1 update is now available for testing by enterprise customers before general availability through the Windows Insider Program for Business.

Microsoft started rolling out a preview of the Windows 10 21H1 feature update to Windows Insiders in the Beta channel last month. The first 21H1 preview, Windows 10 build 20150, was released to Insiders on the Dev (Fast) channel in June 2020.

Devices enrolled in the Insider program for enterprises can now get Windows 10, version 21H1 via all standard channels, including Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Azure Marketplace, or by downloading the ISO file.

Windows 10 21H1 is released as an “enablement package” to devices currently running Windows 10 2004 or 20H2. This allows turning on features lying dormant in the previous versions for a speedy update process requiring a minimal install and very little bandwidth.

“Customers running either Windows 10, version 2004 or version 20H2 who choose to update to the new release will have a fast installation experience because the update will install like a monthly update.” Microsoft’s John Cable said.

It also implies that future Windows 10 20H2 cumulative updates will also apply to Windows 10 21H1 since they share the same codebase with insignificant differences.

Windows 10 21H1 update
Windows 10 21H1 update (Microsoft)

“If you are managing updates with WSUS, you have the option of taking a full feature update to 21H1 or testing out the enablement package path if your devices are currently running 2004 or 20H2,” Microsoft said today.

“As with any other validation done on pre-release updates published to WSUS, you will need to first ensure that you have synced the ‘Windows Insider Preview’ category.”

Windows 10 21H1 will come with no hardware requirement changes compared to 20H2, and drivers compatible with Windows 10 2004 systems will be digitally signed for 21H1 using the same signature properties.

Microsoft said that the Windows 10 21H1 release is targeted for the first half of 2021, with all versions receiving 18 months of servicing.

Some of the new features added to Windows 10 21H1 include Windows Hello multi-camera support, Windows Defender Application Guard improvements, and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service (GPSVC) performance improvements.