Microsoft’s overall rollout of the next feature update for Windows 10 continues to move closer to the goal line. On March 18, Microsoft officials announced that Windows 10 21H1 is now available for “pre-release commercial validation” by business users.
This testing phase precedes general availability and is intended for companies that want to quickly take advantage of new features and fixes in the next release. This only affects commercial devices, which Microsoft defines as a PC not running Windows 10 Home Edition; which is managed by an IT administrator (via Microsoft Endpoint Manager or a third-party MDM tool); or covered by a volume license key, CommercialID or joined to a domain.
As Microsoft previously announced, Windows 10 21H1 will be a minor update. For customers already on Windows 10 20H2, the latest Windows 10 feature update generally available, the next version 21H1 will look like a cumulative update that arrives via an activation package. For those of earlier versions, the 21H1 update will take a little longer and will be a little bigger.
Microsoft is now making Windows 10 21H1 available to businesses for testing through Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), and Azure Marketplace. It also makes version 21H1 available as a downloadable ISO. Users who rely on the Release Preview Insider Channel can go to the Windows Update Settings page and update directly from there.
More details are available via Microsoft’s blog on March 18 Microsoft officials haven’t said exactly when Windows 10 21H1 will be available to mainstream users, but it is expected this spring (around May 2021).
(Thanks to Michael Reinders for a tweet with the link to today’s blog post.)