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


Microsoft follows a biannual approach for releasing major Windows updates. The first one of these for the ongoing year, codenamed 21H1, will arrive in the first half, likely with a ton of 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

The Microsoft exec mentioned in his blog post that the Windows 10 21H1 update will focus on improving security, remote access and the overall experience of users based on their current remote work lifestyle. The biggest 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.

READ MORE: Windows 10 taskbar is getting a collapsible news and interests feed that won’t distract you

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 be able to install Windows 10 21H1 faster than usual 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 key changes

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

Windows Hello multicamera support to set the default as the external camera when both 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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