Microsoft plans to upgrade more of its PCs to Windows 10 21H2

by Don Sharpe
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  • Microsoft has announced that it will be automatically upgrading more PCs to Windows 10 version 21H2.
  • Microsoft's Windows 10 version 10.21H2 was released in November 2021, the first version of the operating system to align with Windows 11's annual feature update cycle rather than the bi-annual cycle.
  • They commonly begin upgrading older versions of Windows 10 a few months before those versions reach their end-of-life dates.
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Because version 20H2 of Windows 10 is nearly at the end of its service life, Microsoft has extended its rollout to PCs on version 20H2.

Microsoft has been following a gradual rollout strategy for Windows 10 that starts at a slow pace, speeds up after several months, and then slows again as the update approaches its final phase.

Compatibility issues

This release timing helps avoid early compatibility hiccups on different hardware and drivers and then nudges machines on older versions of Windows 10 over to the current release. 

As of January 20, Microsoft’s Machine-learning algorithms began automatically upgrading devices running Windows 10 version 20H2 to the next version of the operating system, 21H2.

Version 20H2, aka the October 2021 Update, reaches the end of life on May 10, 2022. It no longer receives security updates after that date.

Microsoft typically begins the process of upgrading older versions of Windows 10 a few months before those versions reach their end-of-life dates.

“We also started the first phase in our rollout for machine learning (ML) training, targeting devices on Windows 10, version 20H2 that are approaching the end of servicing to update automatically to Windows 10, version 21H2,” according to Microsoft’s update on its health dashboard. 

Smooth update transitions

“We will continue to train our machine learning model through all phases to intelligently roll out new versions of Windows 10, and deliver a smooth update experience.”

The following editions of Windows 10 will reach the end of support on May 10: Home, Pro, Pro for Education, and Windows for Workstations.

Upgrades to the Windows operating system begin one week after Microsoft releases out-of-band updates to address several bugs that shipped with the January 2022 Patch Tuesday security updates for Windows 11, Windows 10, and earlier versions.

Microsoft released Windows 10 21H2 in November 2021, which was the first version of Windows 10 to align with Windows 11’s annual feature update cycle rather than the bi-annual cycle.

Because these editions are intended for short-term use, Microsoft will provide updates and security patches for Windows 10 Home and Pro editions for 18 months, while it will support Enterprise and Education editions for 30 months, just like Windows 11.00.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft upgrading PCs to Windows 10 21H2? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.