Windows 10 21H1 (2104): New Features Explained, Release Date

Windows 10 21H1 Features And Changes

Microsoft is actively working on the semi-annual update cadence, and the Redmond giant is done with the development of the Windows 10 2104 feature update. However, there will be some time before it gets into the hands of the general public.

So, let’s talk about the 21H1 release date and various features that will arrive on your device later this year.

When is Windows 10 2104 arriving on my PC?

Microsoft hasn’t announced an official release date for the 21H1 update. However, if we look at the past trends, the bi-annual feature update is expected to arrive in April, although it might get pushed to May as well.

If you want to try out the 21H1 update preview, you can refer to the steps mentioned here.

We will update this post when Microsoft discloses the exact release date for the update.

How is the 21H1 update different this time?

Every year, we are used to seeing a bigger feature update in the first half of the year, for example, Windows 10 May 2020 Update. But that won’t be the case this time, and 21H1 will arrive with a rather limited set of features.

Microsoft will compensate for the same by releasing a bigger 21H2 update in the second half, which is currently known as Sun Valley. It’s expected to bring some major changes that users are waiting for the last few years.

Windows 10 21H1 Features: What’s Inside The Latest Windows Update?

1. External webcam support for Windows Hello

Windows Hello is a preloaded security feature in Windows 10 that allows users to sign in using a pin, fingerprint recognition, or facial recognition.

Existing installations of Windows 10 only allow the internal camera to be set as default for Windows Hello. But with the latest 21H1 update, you can also set the external camera as the default device for Windows Hello.

This will help in case you sit at a distance from your machine and use a webcam to make video calls. Also, desktop users who can use an external webcam only would benefit from the new addon.

2. Better document load times

Microsoft has made some performance improvements to the Windows Defender Application Guard, which optimizes the load times for documents.

Application Guard is a security feature that uses hardware-based isolation to prevent attacks on users’ devices. For example, it works with Microsoft Office apps and opens untrusted files in an isolated Hyper-V container. The feature is available on Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.

3. Improvements to Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service

Redmond says it has given a performance update to the WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) Group Policy Service, which will improve remote work scenarios. For example, it has fixed a heap leak issue with the WMI service that comes up when security settings are applied to the WMI namespace permissions.

To recall, WMI comprises a set of extensions to the Windows Driver Model. It provides a Powershell sub-system that can be used to manage both local and remote Windows PCs and servers using VB scripts.

4. Fixes coming with Windows 10 2104

Apart from all these 21H1 features, Microsoft has made many bug fixes to the OS as well.

It has fixed a memory leak error IE11 when using the Chinese language pack, unexpected screens during Windows Out Of The Box Experience, and an issue that shows incorrect refresh rates for HDR displays.

The update also takes care of flickering video playback on certain law-latency displays, a stop error that shows on startup, and a rendering issue while opening games on certain hardware.

You can find the full list of changes in this blog post.

So, these are some features and changes that will form a part of the Windows 10 2104 update later this year. We’ll update this article as more information flows in, so make sure to check out this post later.

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