Windows 10 May 2021 Update new features: What you need to know

Windows 10 May 2021 Update was announced earlier this year and
released to consumers on May 18, but it takes time to roll out
to all eligible PCs. Later this year, new Windows 10 devices
will start shipping with the new operating system pre-installed

As you may be aware, Microsoft has already confirmed that
this year’s first “feature upgrade” for Windows 10 is virtually
identical to the already available “October 2020 Update”.

Windows 10 version 21H1 and version 20H2/2004 share the same
servicing content. Users can install the same monthly
cumulative update package and you won’t notice any difference.
In short, it is a barely modified, fixed or improved version of
the last feature update.

Windows 10 May 2021 Update new features are aimed at businesses
and enterprise customers, and there’s nothing really changed
for consumers. However, if you use Windows Hello on your
personal computer with an external camera, Microsoft says it
has enabled support for multi-camera setup.

List of new features in Windows 10 May 2021 Update (version

  1. Ships with Chromium-powered default browser: Microsoft Edge
    legacy is no longer available.
  2. Ships without Adobe Flash Player.
  3. Windows Hello gets multi-camera support.
  4. Windows Defender Application Guard is now faster.
  5. To support remote work, Windows Management Instrumentation
    (WMI) Group Policy Service (GPSVC) has also received
    performance enhancements.

Chromium Edge in, legacy out

Windows 10’s default browser was originally based on EdgeHTML
(Microsoft’s own rendering engine). In January of last year,
Chromium-based Edge was officially released for Windows and
other platforms.

Microsoft said that it is designed to replace Edge Legacy which
was released way back in 2015.

Microsoft Edge migration

While Microsoft began shipping Windows 10 October 2020 Update
with Chromium Edge, the legacy browser was still accessible
like Internet Explorer. Enterprise customers were allowed to
run the two Edge browsers side-by-side and some even
uninstalled the Chromium version.

Now when users install the Windows 10 May 2021 Update (version
21H1), Edge Legacy based on EdgeHTML will be removed entirely
from the systems. If you don’t have Chromium Edge already, it
will be installed automatically.

The good news is that Microsoft won’t change your default
browser settings and your browsing data from old Edge will be
migrated automatically.

Adobe Flash Player is no longer pre-installed

Microsoft is slowly killing off Adobe Flash Player in all
older versions of the operating system. On older versions,
we’re seeing a phased approach where optional and monthly
updates arrive for users at intervals and Flash Player is
removed. Once the player has been uninstalled, users will not
be able to restore it.

Windows 10 May 2021 Update Flash Player

In Windows 10 May 2021 Update, otherwise known as version 21H1,
Adobe Flash Player is not pre-installed and users cannot play
flash content.

If you want to enable support for Flash Player again, you’ll
need to roll back the May 2021 Update and click on the pause
updates button to prevent its installation.

However, if you installed Flash Player manually, it won’t be
removed when you apply the May Update. You will have to remove
it manually.

Windows Hello gets multi-camera support

Windows 10 version 21H1 enables support for external Windows
Hello cameras when built-in camera support is already included.
This is particularly useful when you’ve large monitors or
multiple monitors with a built-in camera, but the quality is
not good enough for Windows Hello.

In Windows 10 version 21H1, users can connect their external
IR-equipped webcam and use it for Windows Hello authentication
while still using the built-in webcam for other work, such as
video conferencing.

In theory, any Windows Hello compatible camera is automatically
used for Windows Hello and it will be available for log-in even
after you reboot.

Windows Defender Application Guard is now faster

In the enterprise environment, Windows Defender Application
Guard advanced features are used to protect computers when web
content and documents are launched. This feature ensures that
the contents are in a secure hypervisor-backed environment and
it also acts as a thin virtual machine.

The problem with the security feature is that it is slower than
running apps normally. In isolation, performance issues with
apps are observed.

In version 21H1 of Windows 10, Microsoft is speeding things up
significantly and the company claims that users will notice
performance increment when they open documents and navigate
between pages in isolation.

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), which happens to be
another enterprise feature, is getting faster in the latest
update too.

What happened to the redesign and other features?

Windows 10 May 2021 Update is not the flagship feature update
of the year and it’s completely aimed at enterprise customers.

Bigger changes including
the new Action Center,
floating menu and brand new optional Start Menu are
expected to arrive with Windows 10 version 21H2 “Sun Valley
Update” in the fall.

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