Windows 10 October 2021 or 21H21 Update is out for some in the Release Preview Channel: Brings enhanced Wi-Fi security, GPU Compute for WSL

Windows 10 21H2 October 2021 Cumulative Feature Update
Windows 21H2 update for those who do not qualify for Windows 11? Pic credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

The upcoming update for Windows 10 is not Windows 11. Microsoft will offer a big Cumulative Feature Update for the prevalent, mainstream Windows OS, called Windows 10 October 2021 or 21H2 Update.

The Windows 10 21H2 Cumulative Feature Update should officially arrive in October this year. Microsoft has released Windows 10 21H2 feature update (build 19044.1147) to some Windows 10 Insider Program participants.

Windows 10 version 21H2 is for those who are not eligible for Windows 11?

The 21H2 Update used to go by the codename Sun Valley. However, instead of a large Feature Update, Microsoft went ahead and launched Windows 11.

The upcoming Cumulative Feature Update for Windows 10 is certainly a big one. However, it focuses more on security, functionality, and under-the-hood optimizations.

The update should arrive in October, which is right around the time Windows 11 will become available. Incidentally, both will be available as “Seeker” Updates. In other words, Windows 10 OS users will have to manually hit “Check for updates” and select their desired update.

It is amply clear that there will be several capable computers that won’t get Windows 11. The 21H2 Update would obviously work for Windows 10 PC that will not be able to upgrade to Windows 11.

Microsoft is releasing 21H2 builds to select Windows Insiders. These include those who moved to the Release Preview channel from the Beta channel because their specific devices did not meet the hardware requirements for Windows 11.

Windows 10 October 2021 or 21H21 Update features:

Windows 10 version 21H2 will have features focused on productivity and security. Microsoft has prioritized customer needs based on ample feedback.

The build number for the 21H2 update is 19044.1147. Microsoft will roll out the same with the KB5004296 enablement package. It is as per the naming convention of the May 2021 Update and October 2020 Update.

One of the biggest additions in the upcoming Cumulative Feature Update for Windows 10 is WPA3 H2E standards to enhance wireless (Wi-Fi) connection security.

H2E or Hash-to-Element offers the following security benefits for wireless connectivity:

  • Protection against side-channel attacks
  • Reduces potential side-channel attack vectors.
  • General security improvements.

For Windows 10 Enterprise Edition, Microsoft is introducing support for simplified password-less deployment in Windows Hello for Business.

Besides enhanced Wi-Fi security, Microsoft is unlocking the power for the GPU for the Linux platform within Windows 10. The company is introducing support for GPU compute in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

By enabling ‘GPU compute’ in WSL, Windows OS users will be able to fully leverage their GPU when working within WSL. Developers keen on machine learning development and data science work should benefit the most. GPU compute in WSL will obviously require a capable DirectX 12-based GPU from Nvidia, AMD, or Intel.

Windows 10 WSL will also reportedly get support for the WSL install command. Simply put, Windows OS will offer the easier and faster update process that Linux users regularly use.

The 21H2 update should also include support for GUI apps to WSL. This will essentially allow running Linux and Windows apps alongside each other with a native app-like experience.

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