November 16 Microsoft started spreading the next major semi-annual update of Windows 10 21H2 (build number 19044), and also coordinated the development schedules of the “dozen” and the current Windows 11 – now both versions of the OS will receive major functional updates once a year. The next update for Windows 10 will be released in the second half of 2022.
In 2019, Microsoft switched to a new scheme: the main functional update in the spring and a more modest one with an emphasis on stability and reliability in the fall. The newest Windows 10 November 2021 update was the last one according to the old scheme. It, like the previous autumn updates, is minor, like a Service Pack.
The main innovation of 21H2 is support for Linux GUI applications
(GUI) in Windows 10. With the addition of a full Linux kernel to Windows 10, version 2004, this is the next major enhancement to the Windows Subsystem for Linux Compatibility Layer (WSL). The functionality is implemented without the need for X11 forwarding and is addressed to developers who can now “natively” run GUI editors, tools and utilities for developing and testing Linux applications under Windows. Testing it back in April.
Other enhancements include WPA3 H2E support for enhanced Wi-Fi security and a simplified Windows Hello for Business password-less authentication method.
Mainstream support for Windows 10, which was released on July 29, 2015, will last until at least October 14, 2025 after which there will be several more years of extended technical support. That is, before the end of the main support period, the “ten” will receive two more, or even three updates. But given the fact that Windows 11 is now a priority, it is clearly not worth counting on significant functional and visual changes in Windows 10, which in April crossed the milestone of 1.3 billion active devices worldwide. By the way, StatCounter data indicatethat as of October, Windows 10’s global market share was 81.44%. At the time, Windows 10 took over 2.5 years to bypass Windows 7 in prevalence.
How quickly Windows 11 can become the most popular version of Microsoft’s OS is anyone’s guess. But Microsoft is doing everything it can to speed up the distribution of the new OS. Actually, simultaneously with the announcement of 21H2, the company announced the acceleration of the deployment of the Windows 11 update – it became available on devices with suitable system requirements with a version of Windows 10 at least 2004. We would venture to assume that in the foreseeable future Microsoft will be just as active (read: intrusive) to push users to the transition to Windows 11, as was the case with a couple of Windows 7 and Windows 10. Actually, this has already begun with the termination of support for x64 emulation in Windows 10 for laptops and PCs based on ARM processors – for this you will have to upgrade to Windows 11 on Arm …