What you need to know
- The next Windows 10 feature update is now generally available.
- It features improvements and changes for enterprise and business customers.
- Windows 10 is joining Windows 11 in returning to just one feature update a year going forward.
Microsoft has today announced that the next update for Windows 10 is now generally available. Dubbed the "November 2021 Update," this release continues the trend if being a very minor OS update, designed primarily for enterprises in mind with productivity and business focused changes in mind.
The company highlights security, management, virtualization, and quality as the top pillars of focus for the November 2021 Update. The update features a "scoped" set of improvements in these areas, all designed for business and enterprise users.
Firstly, the November 2021 Update introduces changes to the UWP VPN APIs, including the ability to implement common web-based authentication schemes and reuse existing protocols. This update also introduces support for Wi-Fi 6 with Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 Hash-to-Element (WPA3 H2E) protocols, which provides better protection from Wi-Fi side channel attacks.
Additionally, Microsoft says it's bringing "security updates" to the following:
- Windows AI Platform
- Windows App Platform and Frameworks
- Windows Apps
- Windows Cryptography
- Windows Fundamentals
- Windows Input and Composition
- Windows Kernel
- Windows Media
- Windows Office Media
- Windows Virtualization
Regarding new management features, Microsoft highlights new Group Policy and mobile device management settings. The configuration settings catalog has been updated with over 1,400 settings that were previously not present for configuration via device management.
Microsoft also highlights virtualization improvements, and for those using Azure Virtual Desktops, you can now automatically provision apps to a Windows 10 desktop PC enabling them to run in a virtual environment just like local apps.
Additionally, Microsoft has also announced that it's aligning the Windows 10 update cadence with Windows 11, moving from two releases a year to just one in the second half of the year up until Windows 10 exits support in 2025. This means the next Windows 10 feature update will arrive next fall, and will include more minor changes and enhancements.
Finally, Microsoft has confirmed that Windows on ARM x64 app emulation is a Windows 11 exclusive feature, and will not be coming to Windows 10 in a future feature update. If you want access to x64 app emulation, you'll need to upgrade to Windows 11.
The Windows 10 November 2021 Update is beginning its rollout today for all users. Just like previous releases, this release will roll out in waves, so you may not see it offered to you right away.