Windows 10 21H2 new features are coming to some Insiders

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Key notes

  • Windows Insiders in the Release Preview channel can check out new features, starting today.
  • Only some Insiders can even test this, and they will need to manually check for updates.
  • Microsoft announced an issue that will trigger on the Windows Update settings page.
  • This article also contains the full list of fixes and improvements for the 21H2 upgrade.
w10 insider

While all the major hype is about Windows 11 at this time, Microsoft is also working on a handful of new features for Windows 10 this fall too.

And starting today, Windows Insiders in the Release Preview channel can check out those new features for the first time.

New features for Windows 10 version 21H2

The Redmond company spoke about this new endeavour in a blog post, which got a bit confusing for some people.

Today we are releasing 21H2 Build 19044.1200 (KB5005101) to the Release Preview Channel,This update will be offered automatically for Windows Insiders already on Windows 10 version 21H2 in the Release Preview Channel. For Insiders not yet on Windows 10 version 21H2[,] this update is offered via our ‘seeker’ experience in Windows Update and ONLY to Insiders who were moved from the Beta Channel to the Release Preview Channel because their PC did not meet the hardware requirements for Windows 11.

To put all this in other words, only a limited subset of Insiders can even test this, and they will need to manually check for updates in Windows Update to get it.

If you remember, Microsoft announced Windows 10 version 21H2 in July and it revealed then that this release would include a handful of small new features.

Among the new additions were WPA3 H2E support for enhanced Wi-Fi security, simplified password deployments with Windows Hello for Business, and GPU compute for machine learning and other compute-intensive workflows in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). 

All of those features are ready for testing in the Insider Program. Assuming you meet the weird requirements in the quote above, that is.

Fixes and improvements for 21H1

Of course, the release notes for this new update also contain a hefty list of fixes, changes, and other improvements that were brought, as follows:

  • Adding WPA3 H2E standards support for enhanced Wi-Fi security
  • Windows Hello for Business introduces a new deployment method called cloud trust to support simplified passwordless deployments and achieve a deploy-to-run state within a few minutes
  • GPU compute support in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows (EFLOW) deployments for machine learning and other compute intensive workflows

It also includes the following improvements:

  • Fixed an issue that prevents users from tracking Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) activation failures.
  • Fixed a threading issue that might cause the Windows Remote Management (WinRM) service to stop working when it is under a high load.
  • Fixed an issue that causes the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) provider host process to stop working. This occurs because of an unhandled access violation that occurs when using the Desired State Configuration (DSC).
  • Fixed an issue that causes file migration between Distributed File System (DFS) paths that are stored on different volumes to fail. This issue occurs when you implement the migration using PowerShell scripts that use the Move-Item command.
  • Fixed an issue that prevents you from writing to a WMI repository after a low memory condition occurs.
  • Fixed an issue that resets the brightness for standard dynamic range (SDR) content on high-dynamic range (HDR) monitors. This occurs after you restart the system or reconnect to the system remotely.
  • Fixed an issue that might cause an external monitor to display a black screen after Hibernation. This issue might occur when the external monitor connects to a docking station using a certain hardware interface.
  • Fixed a memory leak that occurs when you use nested classes within VBScript.
  • Fixed an issue that prevents you from typing any words in the username box during the out-of-box experience (OOBE) process. This issue occurs when you use the Chinese Input Method Editor (IME).
  • Fixed an issue that causes applications that use a shim to stop working. This issue occurs on devices that do not have edgegdi.dll installed. The error message is, “The code execution cannot proceed because edgegdi.dll was not found”.
  • Fixed an issue that might prevent you from minimizing an application that uses unthemed windows.
  • Fixed an issue that might cause your device to stop working during a touch input gesture. This issue occurs if you bring more fingers into contact with the touchpad or screen during the middle of the gesture.
  • Fixed an issue with resizing images that might produce flickering and residual line artifacts.
  • Fixed an issue with copying and pasting a text box into Office 365 apps. The IME prevents you from inserting text into the text box.
  • Fixed an issue that prevents USB audio headsets from working on laptops that support USB audio offload. This issue occurs if you installed third-party audio drivers on the laptops.
  • Fixed an issue that prevents Code Integrity rules from working correctly when specifying Package Family Name rules in a Code Integrity policy. This issue occurs because of the incorrect handling of case-sensitive names.
  • Fixed an issue that prevents the ShellHWDetection service from starting on a Privileged Access Workstation (PAW) device and prevents you from managing BitLocker drive encryption.
  • Fixed an issue in Windows Defender Exploit Protection that prevents some Microsoft Office applications from working on machines that have certain processors.
  • Fixed an issue that causes the IME toolbar to appear even when the Remote App is closed.
  • Fixed an issue that might occur when you configure the policy, “Delete user profiles older than a specified number of days on system restart”. If a user has been signed in for longer than the time specified in the policy, the device might unexpectedly delete profiles at startup.
  • Fixed an issue with the Microsoft OneDrive sync setting “Always keep on this device”. The setting is unexpectedly reset to “Known folders only” after you install Windows updates.
  • Fixed an issue that provides the wrong Furigana result when a user cancels the Japanese reconversion.
  • Fixed a rare condition that prevents Bluetooth headsets from connecting using the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) for music playback and causes the headsets to only work for voice calls.
  • Qdded the “Target Product Version” policy. With this, administrators can specify the Windows product they want devices to migrate to or remain on (for example, Windows 10 or Windows 11).
  • Increased the default number of entries in the local security authority (LSA) Lookup Cache to improve lookup performance in high lookup volume scenarios.
  • Fixed an issue that might create duplicate built-in local accounts, such as administrator or guest account, during an in-place upgrade. This issue occurs if you previously renamed those accounts. As a result, the Local Users and Groups MMC snap-in (msc) appears blank with no accounts after the upgrade. This update removes the duplicate accounts from the local Security Account Manager (SAM) database on the affected machines. If the system detected and removed duplicate accounts, it logs a Directory-Services-SAM event, with ID 16986, in the System event log.
  • Fixed a stop error 0x1E in srv2!Smb2CheckAndInvalidateCCFFile.
  • Fixed an issue that might cause transfer validations to fail with the error, “HRESULT E_FAIL has been returned from a call to a COM component”. This issue occurs when you use Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012 as sources.
  • Fixed an issue that might cause a system to stop working after a deduplication filter detects damage in a reparse point. This issue occurs because of deduplication driver changes introduced in a previous update.
  • Fixed an issue with using the robocopy command with the backup option (/B) to fix data loss. This issue occurs when the source location contains tiered Azure File Sync files or tiered Cloud Files.
  • Stopped running queries against OneSettings APIs from the obsolete Storage Health feature.
  • Enabled over 1400 new mobile device management (MDM) policies. With them, you can configure policies that Group Policies also support. These new MDM policies include administrative template (ADMX) policies, such as App Compat, Event Forwarding, Servicing, and Task Scheduler. Starting in September 2021, you can use the Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM) Settings Catalog to configure these new MDM policies.

If you were also thinking about some of the known issues that will come with this update, rest assured that this list is not even close to the fixes one.

There is only one issue that Microsoft is aware of, and it involves the Windows Update settings page, which may hang after you download an optional update.

Close and reopen the Windows Update settings page if you encounter this.

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