Microsoft bucks history, pegs Windows 10 21H1 as ‘minor’ upgrade

Microsoft will release a spring update for Windows 10, contrary to earlier reports that claimed the company would omit a first-half refresh of the operating system.

In a Feb. 15 post to the WinHEC blog — a message center used to keep Microsoft’s hardware partners informed — the Redmond, Wash. developer said that the next upgrade, designated 21H1, will “follow the same [hardware compatibility] guidelines as 20H2,” referring to the feature upgrade released last October.

Last year, reports surfaced asserting that Microsoft would forgo a spring feature upgrade all together so that the slot could be dedicated to the launch of Windows 10X, the firm’s latest attempt to craft a lighter-weight OS that can compete with Google’s Chrome OS.

The WinHEC announcement put paid to such talk.

Microsoft’s revelation about 21H1 — Microsoft’s newest nomenclature using yy and H1 and H2 for first- and second-half of the year updates — also implied that it will be 2021’s “minor,” not its “major” upgrade, as in years past.

(In 2019 and 2020, Microsoft used a “major-minor” rhythm for Windows 10’s upgrades. Rather than two more-or-less equal updates in a year, each sporting a long list of new features and improved functionality, Microsoft issued a “major” release in the spring and a “minor” one in the fall. The former contained the usual bunch of new features while the latter was essentially a rerun of the spring’s refresh, albeit with a handful of new, inconsequential tools.)

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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