While there are a few useful new features, it appears Microsoft is using this smaller update cycle to prepare for a larger Windows 10 UI update, reportedly codenamed Sun Valley, which will be part of Microsoft’s renewed focus on Windows 10 that executives mentioned last year. Wednesday at the Microsoft Build developer conference,, saying that the company is planning “one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade,” and that Microsoft plans to unveil the new version “very soon.”
We won’t know exactly what that update entails until it is formally revealed, but we’ve rounded up some rumors below.
Here’s what you need to know about Windows 10 version 21H1 and what it could mean for the future of the operating system.
What is Windows 10 version 21H1?
Windows 10 version 21H1 is Microsoft’s latest update to the operating system and was rolled out on May 18. It is also referred to as the Windows 10 May 2021 Update.
Typically, Microsoft will release a larger feature update in the spring and a smaller one in the fall. But version 21H1, although a spring update, is a smaller update rather than an overhaul.
What new features will the Windows 10 May 2021 Update include?
According to a February Microsoft blog post, new Windows 10 features include:
- Multiple camera support for Windows Hello, allowing users to select an external camera when using high-quality displays with integrated cameras.
- Improvements to Windows Defender Application Guard, including optimizing document opening scenarios.
- Improvements to updating the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service (GPSVC) to support remote work.
“The features we’re releasing in this update focus on the core experiences customers have told us they trust most at this time,” the post said. “That’s why we’ve optimized this release to support our customers’ most pressing needs.”
According to Digital Trends, the update also includes new icons, updated settings pages, and some tweaks to Cortana and the search box experience.
How can I download the Windows 10 May 2021 Update?
The May 2021 update began rolling out for select devices on May 18, starting with devices running Windows 10 version 2004 or later. Not all devices will be offered the update right away so try to be patient until it reaches yours. According to Microsoft’s blog post, there could also be some compatibility issues – if that happens, Microsoft has a precautionary measure and won’t offer you the update until the team is sure you’ll have a good update experience.
When the May 2021 update is available to you, you can download it from Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update, and click Check for updates. If available, you will see Feature update to Windows 10, version 21H1. Click Download and install.
This is the first time that an H1 feature update (first half of the calendar year) has been delivered using Microsoft’s service technology. That means it arrives the same way as monthly Windows 10 updates. It’s also the same way as theupdate has been released. If you are already using Windows 10 version 2004 or version 20H2, getting the latest update is a quick installation process.
What’s this bigger Windows 10 update that could come next?
During an earnings call in October 2020, Nadella said Microsoft is “doubling down” on Windows and PCs and will continue to innovate.
This could take the form of a major OS update to Windows 10 later this year, which, according to a report from Windows Central, would bring a major overhaul to the user interface design. The update, reportedly codenamed Sun Valley, could bring 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 may change.
Again, at the Microsoft Build conference on May 25, saying that the company is planning “one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade,” and that Microsoft plans to unveil the new version “very soon.”
Another factor: Microsoft said the Windows 10X operating system is designed for dual-screen devices such as theand the will not be on the market this year, as Microsoft originally intended. Instead, Microsoft will be building parts of that technology into other parts of Windows and company products, the May 18 blog post said.
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