Windows 10 21H1 Coming Soon, Here Are The New Features
Earlier this week, Microsoft officially announced the Windows 10 version 21H1 update and it’ll begin rolling out to consumers in the first half of this year. Like the October 2020 Update (20H2), this new update also comes with a minimal set of features, general improvements, and bug fixes.
Windows 10 version 21H1 is essentially based on version 2004 and version 20H2, and it’ll be delivered via an enablement package. It’s not a huge release and it does not bring a major overhaul to the operating system, but reports suggest that new features and UI improvements will be introduced later this year as part of ‘Sun Valley‘ update.
Microsoft says this update comes with quality improvements that should improve overall user experience. It’s also likely that existing features will be improved using ‘Windows Feature Experience Packs,’ which is a new way to update and improve the OS without major feature updates.
Windows 10 version 21H1 enablement package
Based on references spotted by BleepingComputer, Microsoft is slowly adding all the features/improvements to Windows 10 May 2020 Update and October 2020 Update via the monthly cumulative updates. This will allow Microsoft to deploy the 21H1 “enablement package,” which acts as a “master switch” that simply turns on dormant features, such as the new Windows Hello setting.
To get the update via enablement package, Microsoft says users should be running Windows 10 version 2004 or version 20H2 with the latest cumulative updates. Once you’ve installed the cumulative updates, you’ll be able to grab the feature update via Settings > Update & Security > ‘Download & install now“.
Here’s list of all new features/improvements included in this feature update.
Windows Hello multicamera support
Microsoft is introducing a new feature for Windows Hello Face that allow users to configure a multicamera setup for Windows 10’s biometic facial recognition.
With the new feature, you can now set an external camera as the default for Windows Hello, when there are both both an internal and external camera on the same device.
In this release, Windows Defender Application Guard is getting performance improvements, which should result in a noticeable speed increase when opening certain documents.
For enterprises, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service (GPSVC) is getting updated with performance improvement.
These changes have been designed to support remote work scenarios and Microsoft is also promising “best possible update experience” to help people and organizations stay protected and productive during the pandemic.
How to test the update now
The version 21H1 update is currently available to those in the Insider program, so the easiest and safest way to download and install the next feature update is to join the Windows Insider program and enroll in the Release Preview Channel.
If you’re a member of the Windows Insider Program (join it from Microsoft’s website), here’s how you can download and install version 21H1 right now:
- Open Start menu or Windows Search.
- Open Settings.
- Navigate to Update & Security > Windows Insider Program or simply search ‘Windows Insider program settings’ on Cortana to skip the navigation steps.
- Click Get Started on Windows Insider page.
- Link your Microsoft account (Email should be the one that you used earlier to sign up for Insider program).
- You can get into the Release Preview channel by selecting ‘Just fixes, apps, and drivers’ option. This option is also known as just ‘Release Preview’.
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