Microsoft has confirmed that its latest Windows 10 update, version 21H1, will arrive in the spring of this year, first in a tech community post on February 15 and in a more formal post on the company’s blog on February 17th. This follows Microsoft’s usual pattern of releasing two major Windows 10 updates per year, with this one after the last. (If you are using Windows 7, you can still do this to get the latest updates.)
While we can expect some useful new features to arrive this spring, it seems likely that Microsoft will use this smaller update cycle to prepare for a larger Windows 10 user interface update, codenamed Sun Valley, which will be part of Microsoft’s renewed focus on Windows 10 that executives mentioned last year. We won’t know exactly what that means until a bigger update is confirmed, but below we’ve picked up some rumors.
This is what we know about Windows 10 version 21H1 so far and what it could mean for the future of the operating system.
What is 21H1 version of Windows 10?
Windows 10 version 21H1 will be Microsoft’s latest update to the operating system, which will arrive sometime this spring. These updates are often called April or May updates.
Typically, Microsoft releases a larger feature update in the spring and a smaller one in the fall. But the 21H1 version also looks like a smaller update than a revision.
What new features will the new update include?
According to the Microsoft blog post, the new features of Windows 10 will include:
- Multi-camera support for Windows Hello, which allows users to choose an external camera when using high-end screens with built-in cameras.
- Improvements to Windows Defender Application Guard, including optimization of document opening scenario schedules.
- Improvements in the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service (WMI) update to support remote work.
“The features we post in this update focus on the basic experiences that customers have told us they depend on the most right now,” the message said. “Therefore, we have optimized this version to support the most urgent needs of our customers.”
According to Digital Trends, the update will also include new icons, updated configuration pages and some changes to Cortana and the search box experience.
When can I download the new update?
Microsoft said the Windows 10 21H1 update will be available in the first half of the year. A Windows Central report says it will arrive in May, although Microsoft has not confirmed it.
In March, Microsoft began releasing a 21H1 version for Windows Insiders in the Beta program. Future versions of Windows Insider Preview will be offered to new features when they are ready.
When the update is generally available, it will be the first time that an H1 feature update (first half of the calendar year) will be delivered using Microsoft maintenance technology. This means that it will arrive in the same way that the monthly updates of Windows 10 do. It is also in the same way thatthe update was released. If you are already running Windows 10 version 2004 or version 20H2, it will be a quick installation process to get the new update.
When it is usually available in the spring, you can download the 21H1 version by going to Settings> Update and Security> Windows Updateand clicking Check for updates. If available, you will see Feature update in Windows 10, version 21H1. Click on Download and install it.
What is this biggest Windows 10 update that could come?
In an October 2020 revenue call, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Microsoft is “duplicating” itself on Windows and PC and will continue to innovate.
According to a Windows Central report, this could take the form of a major operating system update for Windows 10 later this year that would bring a major design update to the user interface. The update, codenamed Sun Valley, could provide a redesigned start menu, Action Center and File Explorer, with a more modern look and new features. Sun Valley is expected to be released around the 2021 holiday season, Windows Central says, but that could change.
Another factor: Microsoft has said that its Windows 10X operating system is designed for dual – screen devices like theand the , is .
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