Windows 10, version 21H1 is now available through Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and Windows Update for Business, and can be downloaded today from Visual Studio Subscriptions, the Software Download Center (via Update Assistant or the Media Creation Tool), and the Volume Licensing Service Center. Today also marks the start of the 18-month servicing timeline for this H1 (first half of the calendar year) Semi-Annual Channel release.
Windows 10, version 21H1 (also referred to as the Windows 10 May 2021 Update) offers a scoped set of improvements in the areas of security, remote access, and quality to ensure that your organization and your end users stay protected and productive. Just as we did for devices updating from Windows 10, version 2004 to version 20H2, we will be delivering Windows 10, version 21H1 via an enablement package to devices running version 2004 or version 20H2—resulting in a fast installation experience for users of those devices. For those updating to Windows 10, version 21H1 from Windows 10, version 1909 and earlier, the process will be similar to previous updates.
Simply put, an enablement package is a great option for installing a scoped feature update like Windows 10, version 21H1 as it enables devices to update with a single restart, reducing downtime. This works because Windows 10, version 21H1 shares a common core operating system with an identical set of system files with versions 2004 and 20H2. As a result, the scoped set of features in version 21H1 were included in the May 2021 monthly quality updates for version 2004 and version 20H2, but were delivered in a disabled/dormant state. These features remain dormant until they are turned on with the Windows 10, version 21H1 enablement package—a small, quick to install “switch” that activates these features. Using an enablement package, installing the Windows 10, version 21H1 update should take approximately the same amount of time as a monthly quality update.
Note: If you are connected to WSUS and running Windows 10, version 2004 or version 20H2, but have not installed the May 2021 updates (or later), you will not see the version 21H1 enablement package offered to your device. Devices running version 2004 or version 20H2 connecting directly to Windows Update will be able to install the enablement package, but will also install the Latest Cumulative Update (LCU) at the same time (if needed), which may increase the overall installation time slightly.
To support the release of Windows 10, version 21H1, we have released updated versions of the following tools:
As Windows 10, version 21H1 shares a common core and an identical set of system files with version 2004 and 20H2, the following tools do not need to be updated to work with version 21H1:
To support Windows 10, version 21H1, we are updating the key resources you rely on to effectively manage and deploy updates in your organization, including:
As noted above, Windows 10, version 21H1 offers a scoped set of features focused on the core experiences that you rely on the most as you support both in person and remote workforces. Here are the highlights for commercial organizations:
Aside from Windows 10, version 21H1, we’ve been busy with other new, exciting features and solutions that you may have heard about! (Note that some of these may require additional licensing or services.) Check out the links for details:
With today’s release, you can begin targeted deployments of Windows 10, version 21H1 to validate that the apps, devices, and infrastructure used by your organization work as expected with the new features. If you will be updating devices used in remote or hybrid work scenarios, I recommend reading or revisiting Deploying a new version of Windows 10 in a remote world. For insight into our broader rollout strategy for this release, see John Cable's post, How to get the Windows 10 May 2021 Update.
If you need a refresher on Windows update fundamentals, see:
For step-by-step online learning to help you optimize your update strategy and deploy updates more quickly across your device estate, see:
To get an early peek at some of the new features before we release them, join the Windows Insider Program for Business! Insiders can test new deployment, management, and security features, and provide feedback before they become generally available. Learn about managing the installation of Windows 10 Insider builds across multiple devices and get started today!
And finally, make sure you join our monthly Windows Office Hours, where you can ask your deployment, servicing, and updating questions and get answers, support, and help from our broad team of experts. Submit questions live during the monthly one-hour event or post them in advance if that schedule does not work for your time zone. Our next event is Thursday, May 20, 2021 so add it to your calendar and join us!
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