Microsoft releases Windows 10 21H1 as another minor OS refresh

Microsoft Tuesday issued Windows 10 21H1, officially the year’s first feature upgrade even though new functionality was largely absent because the company has abandoned its major-minor release cadence.

Only customers throwing caution to the wind as early adopters can immediately upgrade to 21H1, and then only if their computers meet Microsoft’s unspoken criteria. Alternately, IT administrators can deal out the refresh to workers’ devices using their preferred management tools.

“We are initially taking a measured seeker-based approach to the rollout of the May 2021 Update,” wrote John Cable, the Microsoft executive who leads the Windows servicing group, in a May 18 post to a company blog.

On PCs running Windows 10 Home and on those Windows 10 Pro machines not managed by IT, 21H1 will be installed only when the user chooses the “Download and install now” option. As Cable noted, of the eligible PCs — those running one of the last two versions, either 20H1 (also labeled 2004 at the time) or 20H2 — only a portion will be offered this week’s upgrade at the start. Microsoft has long used a scheme that only slowly expands the pool of potential recipients and will continue that practice this time.

“We are throttling availability up over the coming weeks to ensure a reliable download experience for all, so the update may not be offered to you right away,” Cable said.

In many cases, Microsoft will refuse to offer Windows 10 21H1 because the target machine has been tagged with an incompatibility of some kind. Often, those are linked to specific hardware configurations or problematic software. The Redmond, Wash. developer details these so-called “stoppers” — though Microsoft refers to them as “safeguard holds” — on its Windows release health website.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

Source link