By Delia / Last update May 31, 2023

Windows 10 November 2021 Update

Microsoft has announced that it will continue to support Windows 10 until October 14, 2025, at the same time as it announced Windows 11 in June 2021, but it has not released detailed information about future feature updates for Windows 10.

On November 16, 2021 (US time), the official release of the latest feature update, Windows 10 November 2021 Update (version 21H2, build 19044), was announced along with the release of the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) version of Windows 10.

windows 10 21h2

Starting with Windows 10 version 21H2, the release cycle will be changed to "once a year" (Annual Channel) to align with the Windows 11 release cycle. This means that version 22H1 will not be available in the first half of 2022, but will be followed by version 22H2 in the second half of 2022, and the next feature update for Windows 11 will be available at the same time.

The service period for quality updates will remain basically the same as before: 18 months for Home and Pro editions, and 30 months for Enterprise and Education editions (since it is an H2 release). For your information, Windows 11 is 24 months for the Home and Pro editions, and 36 months for the Enterprise and Education editions.

The easing of the speed to an annual release cycle may be good news for IT administrators. It was also clarified that there will be one feature update release per year for the foreseeable future until the support expires on October 14, 2025. Considering the support period of 18 months on the shorter side, it is likely that at most two more feature updates will follow, the next version in late 2023, 23H2, and the one after that in late 2024, 24H2.

Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2021

At the same time as Windows 10 version 21H2, Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2021, the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC), has also been released.

windows 10 enterprise ltsc 2021

The LTSC version is intended for special devices and applications (e.g., medical equipment and manufacturing machine control) that require a desktop environment in an environment without Internet or cloud connectivity.

Until now, the LTSC version has been available at the same time and with the same OS build base as the Windows Server LTSC, but this LTSC version is based on the same build base as Windows 10 version 21H2 (build 19044), which is the latest version of Windows Server 2022 (build 20238) and Windows 11 (build 22000).

In addition, the service period has been drastically shortened from "10 years" (5 years mainstream + 5 years extended support) to "5 years" (until January 12, 2027) for mainstream support only (10 years for IoT Enterprise LTSC 2021 as before). With this change, the lifecycle will end two years earlier than the previous Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019 (until January 9, 2029). Please be aware that some companies are using the LTSC version as a general-purpose client OS that Microsoft does not expect.