New Windows 10 previews arrive for versions 21H2 and 21H1

Microsoft has released two new Windows 10 preview builds from the 21H2 and 21H1 branches, fixing numerous issues.

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Microsoft has released Windows 10 previews for version 21H1 and the newer version 21H2 ahead of September's Patch Tuesday security update.

The new Windows 10 21H2 preview, which should be generally available in October, brings no surprises but does deliver promised features, including GPU support Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows (EFLOW) deployments for machine learning. It moves 21H2 to build number 19044.1200.

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The 21H1 preview, meanwhile, bumps the build number to 19043.1200 and is for Insiders on the Release Preview Channel.

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The 21H2 update will be offered automatically to Windows Insiders on 21H2 Release Preview Channel. For other Insiders not on 21H2 yet, it can be manually installed via Microsoft's 'seeker' experience in Windows Update. However, this option is only available to Insiders who were moved from the Beta Channel to the Release Preview Channel because their PC did not meet new hardware requirements for Windows 11. 

Windows 11 hardware requirements included a 1GHz CPU with at least two cores, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and TPM 2.0 support.  

Other key 21H2 updates in this preview include WPA3 H2E standards support for enhanced Wi-Fi security, and an improvement to Windows Hello for Business that uses 'cloud trust' deployment to support passwordless login and achieve a 'deploy-to-run state' within a few minutes. 

There are dozens more fixes that address issues affecting both 21H1 and 21H2. These include fixes for issues with Windows Remote Management, Windows Management Instrumentation, and path failures when using Distributed File System (DFS) that are stored on different volumes.

The updates also fix an issue that gives external monitors connected to a docking station a black screen after Hibernation. 

There are also fixes for recurring Windows 10 issues around touchscreen and touchpad input gestures. This one was happening when users touched the screen or pad with more fingers in the middle of a gesture. 

Previously, copying and pasting a text box into Office 365 apps didn't let users insert text into the text box. 

Microsoft fixed a bug that prevented USB headphones from working on laptops that support USB audio offload. This issue was due to third-party audio drivers, according to Microsoft. 

There was also a bug in Windows Defender Exploit Protection that prevented some Office apps from working on machines. It's fixed now and only affected PCs with certain processors.   

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A potentially annoying glitch was found in Microsoft OneDrive sync setting 'Always keep on this device', which incorrectly reset to 'Known folders only' after installing Windows updates.

Microsoft also added the 'Target Product Version' policy so that admins can specify whether they want devices to migrate to Windows 11 or remain on Windows 10.

The company also enabled over 1,400 new mobile device management (MDM) policies. Admins can configure policies that Group Policies also support. The new MDM policies include administrative template (ADMX) policies, such as App Compat, Event Forwarding, Servicing, and Task Scheduler. From September, admins can use the Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM) Settings Catalog to configure the new MDM policies.