At the recently concluded Microsoft Build 2021 developer conference, the team at Microsoft Windows has announced that the next version of Windows 10 will be released in a couple of weeks this year. This new build will be codenamed as 21H2 Sun Valley update for Windows 10. As per rumours going around the tech circle and Microsoft CPO, Panos Panay was calling Windows 10 21H2 as the “next generation of Windows” we can assume it to be Windows 11.
Let’s find in detail what we can expect in this new build, the features we can expect and when it will be released in this post.
Long back in 2019, Microsoft stopped releasing a new version of Windows and started pushing new features in the current version of Windows 10 and releasing it as a major release two times in a year. Following a similar line this year, Microsoft released Windows 10 21H1, which comes with a few new and refreshed features, and the next build of Windows 10 21H2 KB21390 is slated to launch in October 2021.
Microsoft CEO has also confirmed that Windows 10 21H2 could be the next Windows 11 and Windows 10 21H1 is just a prerequisite for devices to accept Windows 11 update once announced for everyone by the end of this year. An event is already planned on June 24 at 11 am EST via Microsoft Event will be Livestream here: https://t.co/kSQYIDZSyi
Features of Windows 10 Sun Valley 21H2 ( or Windows 11):
When compared with all previous Windows update, this update will be different and will add in new features and provide more control to the user. Let’s talk about few features we have are aware of below:
Refreshed Windows UI:
Windows 10 21H2 sought to offer a cleaner and user-friendly interface. The icons on windows explorer come with clean and bright looking icons, as shown below. It is expected Microsoft will roll out more such updates to offer different shades of icons that users can select based on personal preferences.
Brand new Action Center:
The boring and cluttered Action Center in the current Windows version is refreshed with white background and controls in blue. This new Action Center offers a one-stop hub to control almost which is currently running on the PC. Be it toggling music player, enabling location, do not disturb or not everything can be managed swiftly. The notification in Action Center is stacked vertically, which can be removed by hitting the clear all option.
Modern Interface in Microsoft Store:
Until now, there was no option for developers to upload their custom build apps in Windows Store. This issue is sorted out in Windows 10 21H2 Sun Valley update. Developers can now log into Store and upload the zipped file of their app and connect it with other applications available in Microsoft Store for further testing or usage.
Power Usage Display:
The power and sleep settings are now refreshed, and it offers battery usage for the last 24 hours, seven days and the exact time slot during which it was used most. This option can be used to understand laptop power requirement and for further planning.
AAC and auto profile selector in Bluetooth Audio Improvement
The AAC codec for audio file offers the best audio quality when listened to over wired or wireless device. This format is the successor of MP3, and Apple widely uses it in its iTunes. Support for AAC file format was missing in the previous build of Windows, which is now taken care of in the Windows 10 21H2 build.
The second audio improvement we can notice in Windows 11 is the profile selector, which most Windows users have encountered. In an earlier build, users had to select the audio profile explicitly to listen to audio, and there was no auto profile selector option.
This issue is now addressed in Sun Valley build. As soon as a new Bluetooth audio device is connected to Windows PC, the system software will automatically select an auto profile based on a connected Bluetooth device.
Gesture UI improvement in Tablet and Touch devices:
Most people have used non-touch-based Windows and had expected similar features for their requirement, which Microsoft provided. But in the case of those few touch-based Windows users, they have so far been neglected. Small features like minimizing application windows using touch were missing, which has now been added. The keyword designed for touch devices has multiple bugs, which Microsoft finally addresses.
Option to remove built-in apps:
You must have noticed many applications that come pre-installed within Windows OS and don’t offer an option to remove or uninstall if one wants to. Finally, this issue has been addressed this time in the 21H2 release were in you can uninstall the built application by simply right-clicking and selecting uninstall option as shown below:
Fix app glitch on external devices
When a PC or laptop display is extended using an external monitor connected over DisplayPort, there are times when the system icon has drastically increased to the size of the display. It requires a restart or connection reset to fix this bug.
This issue is also finally addressed by Microsoft in the upcoming Windows 11 release.
How to Update Windows 10 to Windows 10 21H1 and 21H2:
This step involves two-part, and we will be addressing both of them one at a time. Let’s talk about updating the current Windows 10 build to the prerequisite build of 21H1 to install the final build Windows 11, a.k.a 21H2.
- Go to start -> search for “Windows Update”-> enter
- Once you land on the Windows Update window, search for Windows Update
- You should see something like Windows 10 21H1 (KB5004476) under the optional quality update category
- Click on Download and Install and wait for the update to download and install
- It may ask you to restart the computer for the new changes to update; please do that
- Once the system is updated, the PC should now be running on Windows 10 21H1 with few new changes you may notice here and there. For example, the Current Temperature in the taskbar
Having a PC running on Windows 10 21H1 is a prerequisite to install 21H2 in the upcoming months. (Most probably in Oct 2021).
Please be informed the 21H2 build is not available for the public, and for now, it is available for early adopters like a beta tester, developer etc.
We got a chance to install Windows 10 Insider Preview build 10.0.21390.1010, as shown below, which we noticed in this version.
- Fluidic Windows design
- Colourful icon and option to change Colors
- Lightweight in term of mouse pointer navigation
- Uninstall built in-app option and many more
- A new set of Windows 11 wallpapers
Who needs Windows 11?
Microsoft is trying to bridge the gap between Windows and other OS available in the market, making it more compatible with devices running in different OS, such as Android and Apple.
Similarly, they push to make the Windows user experience as smooth as possible and thus improve product usability among the masses.
Many such options are still Microsoft is using since Windows 95 and is still there which is finally taken care of. Therefore, people who are using Windows 10 and are looking for something new and interesting like New Action Center, refreshed taskbar should try Windows 11.
What to expect in Windows 10 21H2 Sun Valley?
As end-users, we have many expectations from Microsoft that they may fulfil to improve our productivity and system usage.
Microsoft will release Windows 11 or 21H2 as a free download, and all Windows 10 users can upgrade to the newest build. Hence once Windows 10 21H2 release date is officially announced (we expect on June 24 2021), we can download and experience what we have in store.
The Windows 11 ISO file for 32 or 64 bits won’t be available immediately. Still, once the build is publicly launched, users can download directly from the Microsoft portal and upgrade their machine if the update via Windows update fails.
Windows 10 21H2, a.k.a Windows 11, will bring in massive changes for end-user, and one should defiantly try to upgrade and see. Do let us know what you feel about this new Windows release, and will you update your PC to the newest build? Do let us know in the comment section below.