Microsoft will delay the arrival of Windows 10 21H1 to June, an Edge browser developer has leaked. The release of Windows 10X and the addition of some of its features to the general release appear to be behind these changes.
The change in the Windows 10 development model towards a “Windows as a service” foresaw two major updates per year as a rolling release also used by GNU/Linux distributions. System bugs and a general lack of software quality confirmed that the company was unable to sustain this model.
Microsoft has been trying new strategies and cycles to address the issue and the situation has improved in recent releases. From the two annual major releases it has moved to just one, leaving the other as a “Service Pack” as a performance and stability improvement, but without adding new features.
Windows 10 21H1 is coming in June
The new service pack was until now released in the fall, but Microsoft could change cycles again with the 2021 updates. An Edge developer has cited a new security feature (Kernel Transaction Manager – KTM) for “the version of Windows to be released in June 2021”. It is believed that the quote refers to Windows 10 21H1 and if so it would be a delayed-release for what is aiming to be a minor update.
This follows another delay, that of Windows 10X which should have been released last year on foldable such as the Surface Neo, and which Microsoft will extend to other hardware such as entry-level laptops to slow down the huge momentum Chromebooks are gaining. Although desktop Windows will not be replaced in any case by Windows 10X it will use some of its functions.
And perhaps hence the delay of the feature update that would end up arriving in the fall with Windows 10 21H2 and not in the spring as planned. Much is expected from a project “revitalizing and modernizing the Windows desktop experience”, announced by product manager Panos Panay last year.
Expected Windows 10 21H1 features
Most relevant would be the revamp of the user interface, which would include at least:
- A redesigned start menu and activity center inspired by the work done in Windows 10X.
- The taskbar would also be redesigned with modern code, augmenting the use of the new WinUI layer to improve the Shell.
- The legacy File Explorer would be another improved component.
- Dark mode would be extended to more legacy Windows components.
- The improved interface would extend to the system’s tablet mode.
We won’t see these new features until fall because Windows 10 21H1 will be a minor update. We will confirm if Microsoft will ever report on the product cycle for Windows 10, so far erratic and without a defined strategy.