Windows 10 is finally set to get its first major update of the year, but the much awaited 21H1 update appears to be one of the smallest one in terms of new features. Microsoft has finally given it a non-technical name, which is now called the Windows 10 May 2021 update – fairly unimaginatively so. Along with this, the company has confirmed the list of new features that the update will bring to the table for users, and the latter is an expected but disappointingly slim list this time. The low number of features is such that the biggest, headlining feature of the Windows 10 21H1 update is support for external cameras in unlocking PCs.
The full list of key new features that users will get to see in some way include the ability to integrate external webcams for Windows Hello, even when an internal webcam is present. This expands the scope of face unlock for Windows 10 laptop users. The second major update brings performance improvements to Windows Defender Application Guard, which optimises the amount of time that the tool takes to scan documents – hence making the native performance of the operating system more seamless. There is also a finer performance update that improves the overall stability and latency of synchronisation in cases of remote operations.
Finally, Microsoft has also introduced a ‘news and interests’ widget on the Windows 10 taskbar, for users to more intuitively access various content offerings through Microsoft’s services. The latter is likely geared to increase traffic to Microsoft Bing content services, which distinctly ranks behind Google’s curated content offerings. The latter, interestingly, also comes to older versions of Windows 10 operating systems, which means that users who are only eligible for service and security updates can also get the new features.
This, though, is about it, and Microsoft has clearly reserved the main features for the second feature update of the year with 21H2. The retaining of settings and options in line with what was already existent means that Windows 10 users will not face any major change of usage patterns – a small win once one counts the lack of new features making the Windows 10 May 2021 update a largely lacklustre one.