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Microsoft Formally Announces Windows 10 21H1

Microsoft this week is formally announcing Windows 10 version 21H1 feature update. The first preview version is rolling out now to Insiders in the Beta Channel. This is the next version of Windows 10 that will be released later this Spring.

Windows 10 Version 20H1

Microsoft put out a blog post to officially announce the new version of the OS on Wednesday. In the announcement, John Cable, Vice President, Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery writes:

Today, we are introducing the next feature update to Windows 10, version 21H1. As people continue to rely on Windows more than ever to work, learn and have fun, we understand the importance of providing the best possible update experience to help people and organizations stay protected and productive. It is a responsibility we do not take lightly and why for the first time an H1 (first half of the calendar year) feature update release will be delivered in an optimized way using servicing technology, while continuing our semi-annual feature update cadence.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t going to be a major update with tons of new features. Most of the big new features are being saved for a more significant update with version 21H2. John Cable continues: “Windows 10, version 21H1 will have a scoped set of features improving security, remote access and quality. The features we are releasing in this update are focused on the core experiences that customers have told us they’re relying on most right now. So, we optimized this release to support our customers’ most pressing needs.”

21h1

The first 21H1 preview version (build 19043.844) being released to so-called “seekers” (actually going to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update) in the Beta Channel of the Insider program should expect the following in the build:

  • Windows Hello multi-camera support to allow users to choose an external camera priority when using high end displays with integrated cameras.
  • Windows Defender Application Guard performance improvements including optimizing document opening scenario times.
    • We fixed an issue that causes a one minute or more delay when you open a Microsoft Defender Application Guard (WDAG) Office document. This occurs when you try to open a file using a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path or Server Message Block (SMB) share link.
    • We improved Robocopy’s performance when copying files that total over 400 MB in size.
    • We fixed an issue that causes a WDAG container to use almost 1 GB of memory (working set) when the container is idle.
  • Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service (GPSVC) updating performance improvement to support remote work scenarios.
    • We fixed an issue that causes changes that the Active Directory (AD) administrator makes to user or computer group membership to propagate slowly. Although the access token eventually updates, these changes do not appear when the administrator uses gpresult /r or gpresult /h to create a report.

Regular non-Insiders should expect the official 21H1 build to be released this Spring. Similar to other major updates, it will be rolled out gradually. We’ll have more on this (including how to update) as broad deployment begins.

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