Windows 10’s next update could pop up earlier in 2021 – but you might be disappointed

Windows 10
(Image credit: Future)

Windows 10’s H1 2021 update could be in the last stages of finalization ahead of its launch in the first half of next year – but as we’ve already heard, you probably shouldn’t get too excited about this one.

That’s because the H1 2021 update will only be a minor upgrade, according to the rumor mill, much like the October 2020 Update was – and if this happens, it would be an unprecedented move for Microsoft in terms of rolling out a minor affair twice in a row (normally, the first update of the year ushers in major changes).

Nevertheless, according to sources who’ve been tapped by Windows Latest, this will be a minor upgrade, and Microsoft is about to finalize the RTM build. Indeed, the RTM release may have already been finalized, the tech site notes.

Not imminent

That doesn’t mean to say if this is true, that we can expect the H1 2021 update imminently. At almost exactly this time last year, what was eventually to be the May 2020 Update was hitting the final build stage, and that didn’t emerge until, well, May 2020 – five months later.

However, that was a major update, and if this one is indeed a small ‘switch-flicking’ affair, in the style of the October 2020 Update (and November 2019 Update), it’s unlikely to be held in as extended a testing process. So perhaps we could see it earlier in the year, perhaps even in March – but ultimately all this is guesswork right now.

As you might expect, if the H1 2021 update is indeed a minor upgrade, the second update of 2021 will be a big one – and will supposedly incorporate a full revamp of the desktop interface codenamed Sun Valley.

So it could be a long time before we see any major changes coming to Windows 10, but then again, Microsoft is currently developing Feature Experience Packs, a new way of pushing fresh features to the OS without having to wait for the biannual updates – and that scheme of things is likely to come into play next year we’d imagine.

In fact, this potential rejigging of the schedule of biannual updates, and putting out two minor ones in a row, could be the reason that Feature Experience Packs are now being developed and tested.

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).