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Windows 10’s next big update is reportedly in testing – but don’t expect it any time soon

Windows 10
(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft has begun work on the major Windows 10 update due to land in the second half of 2021 – and the first update of next year will be a minor one, according to the latest from the grapevine.

This rumor comes courtesy of Windows Latest, which claims that internal testing has already begun on the H2 2021 update codenamed ‘Cobalt’, with build 21264 now being run through its paces by Microsoft staff.

Obviously take that with a healthy helping of skepticism. The other assertion is that Microsoft is doing things the other way round in 2021 in terms of not having a major update (H1) followed by a minor update (H2), as has been the case for the last two years.

Apparently the plan for 2021 is that the spring update (H1) will be a minor affair, not introducing much in the way of changes, whereas all the big features and juicy stuff will arrive with the second upgrade of the year.

Two in a row?

That does lead to a rather odd situation where we’ve just had a minor update in the form of Windows 10 October 2020 Update, and the next upgrade is going to be a minor one, meaning there will be two of these in a row. But this does make some sense given what we’ve seen with test builds in recent times.

Effectively, progress on Windows 10 could be slowing for the moment, then, but there are some major changes expected for H2 to make up for this.

That includes a big overhaul for the interface which we’ve been hearing a lot about in recent times, codenamed Sun Valley, which will bring an entirely fresh and more modern look to the Windows 10 desktop.

Another intriguing possibility is that Project Latte may also turn up with the H2 2021 update, bringing support for Android apps under Windows 10, no less.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).