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Microsoft's next Windows 10 update focus on refining remote work

Microsofts next Windows 10 update focus on refining remote work
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Microsoft's next Windows 10 update focus on refining remote work

Highlights

Windows 10, version 21H1 will have a scoped set of features improving security, remote access and quality.

Windows 10's next major update, version 21H1, will be delivered in the first half of 2021 and focuses on improving remote work scenarios. Microsoft traditionally offers two major Windows updates every year. While IT admins follow this approach, Microsoft looks to be reversing this style in 2021.

"Windows 10, version 21H1 will have a scoped set of features improving security, remote access and quality," shares John Cable, Microsoft's head of Windows Servicing and Delivery. "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." These improvements include:

Support for multiple Windows Hello cameras to set the default as an external camera when there are external and internal Windows Hello cameras.

Windows Defender Application Guard performance improvements, including optimization of document open scenario times.

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

The Windows camera changes mean that you will soon be able to connect an external Windows Hello camera and get benefits of face detection on a laptop that already has a built-in Windows Hello camera. Windows currently don't support this scenario well, and it means that cameras like Logitech's Brio don't work properly with devices like Microsoft's Surface range that also have Windows Hello cameras.

The other Microsoft enhancements for this 21H1 release are clearly designed for IT administrators to improve remote work support. This includes improved document open times for Microsoft's built-in antivirus software and performance improvements for Windows configuration and management.

This 21H1 update will also install very quickly, as will Windows monthly cumulative updates. Microsoft has begun testing this 21H1 update with beta testers today, and plans to make it available to all Windows 10 users "later in the first half of this calendar year."

Microsoft is also expected to deliver a larger Windows 10 update later in 2021. The company is planning a "sweeping visual rejuvenation of Windows," codenamed Sun Valley. Microsoft plans to detail its next big changes to Windows at a special event in the next few months.

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