Microsoft details the next major Windows 10 update arriving in first half of 2021

by Jeremy

Microsoft follows a biannual approach for releasing significant Windows updates. The first one of these for the ongoing year, codenamed 21H1, will arrive in the first half, likely with many new features and some visual tweaks in tow. Today, Microsoft’s VP of Program Management for Windows Servicing and Delivery, John Cable, has announced that the Windows 10 21H1 update will start rolling out in the first half of 2021.

The installation experience for Windows 10 21H1 will be faster, akin to a monthly update

In his blog post, the Microsoft exec mentioned that the Windows 10 21H1 update would improve security, remote access, and users’ overall experience based on their current isolated work lifestyle. The most significant change is that you’ll be able to use an external webcam (provided it has been certified) for Windows Hello authentication on machines that already have an in-built camera for Windows Hello login.

What this means is devices such as Microsoft’s own Surface family will let you connect an external webcam that will pull the double duty of Windows Hello sign-in as well as your day-to-day video calls. Notably, those running the current build (Windows 10 20H2) will install Windows 10 21H1 faster than regular feature updates and more like a monthly update.

Windows 10 21H1 update is now rolling out in Beta and Release Preview channels

Things in the Insider channel are a tad quick, though, as the 21H1 Build 19043.844 (KB4601382) of Windows 10 has already been released in the Beta and Release Preview channel. You can find more details about the bug fixes and improvements that arrive with the Windows 1o 21H1 update in the official release post here.

Windows 10 21H1 fundamental changes

Following are the fundamental changes arriving with the 21H1 update highlighted in the blog post:

Windows Hello multicamera supports setting the default as the external camera when external and internal Windows Hello cameras are present.

Windows Defender Application Guard performance improvements, including optimizing document opening scenario times.

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service (GPSVC) updating performance improvement to support remote work scenarios.

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