Microsoft has a big refresh for Windows 10 coming in with Sun Valley
Windows 10 20H2 has been rolling out to users and now speculations are rife about what's possibly coming next. Going by recent patterns, it's time for Windows 10 21H1, the Spring feature update followed by an “incremental” Fall update with the 21H2. However, as ZDNet points out, the arrival of Windows 10X is going to change the Windows landscape in 2021.
While Windows was “housed in the Azure organisation”, the engineering team followed the Azure semester development schedule where new features were clubbed in for January to June (H1) or June to December (H2). The June to December 2020 bucket is codenamed ‘Iron' and the upcoming January to June 2021 one is codenamed ‘Cobalt'.
Features that fall into any of these categories can roll out in any Windows 10 release and are not necessarily tied to the release when they are built. Also, Windows 10 updates during a particular semester that include features mostly are known by the codenames.
As per reports, Microsoft might choose to skip releasing the 21H1 Windows 10 feature update. Instead, they might bring in one feature update next year - the Cobalt update in the Fall of 21H2.
Earlier reports mentioned Microsoft's plans to release the first iteration of Windows 10X which was a simpler and more secure version of Windows 10 which the company originally wanted to debut on dual-screen devices. However, now they are planning to roll this out first on new single-screen PCs and 2-in-1s.
As per a Windows Central report, the 21H2 Cobalt Windows 10 feature update is going to be rather significant. It is reportedly going to be much bigger than the usual updates and will come with a user interface (UI) refresh across a number of Windows components and apps.
The UI refresh is codenamed ‘Sun Valley' and includes an overhaul to the Start Menu, Action Center and also some in-box/bundled Microsoft apps, according to Windows Central, which will be “an optional change”.
According to ZDNet's sources, the codename SunValley does exist and “Microsoft engineering has been describing the version of Windows 10 due next fall as ‘Windows 10++',”. So it is possible that “Sun Valley is the equivalent of the ‘++'” and that “these ++/Sun Valley changes also are likely to work their way into Windows 10X for single-screen devices by Spring 2022”.