In new phase, Microsoft is automatically updating more PCs to Windows 10 21H1

A week ago, on their Windows 10 21H1 status page Microsoft announced that they have started the process of automatically updated selected PCs to the new version of the process.

In the early stages, the roll-out is slow, as Microsoft probes the landscape for issues, and Microsoft explains that they are using this phase to train their machine learning model to sniff out combinations of hardware and settings likely to cause trouble.

Today the company updated their status, revealing that they are expanding the number of PCs which will be automatically updated.

They write:

We are now starting a new phase in our rollout. Using the machine learning training we have done so far, we are increasing the number of devices selected to update automatically to Windows 10, version 21H1 that are approaching end of servicing. We will continue to train our machine learning through all phases to deliver a smooth update experience.

Microsoft says they are targeting in particular PCs who are on old versions of Windows which are exiting support soon.

Microsoft notes that the update is still available to seekers, ie. those running Windows 10, version 20H2 and version 2004 who manually select “Check for updates” via Windows Update.

Windows 10 21H1 is a relatively minor update with the following features, designed to improve the safety and security of corporate data when working from home:

What’s new in Windows 10, version 21H1:

  • Windows Hello multi-camera support. For devices with a built-in camera and an external camera, Windows Hello would previously use the built-in camera to authenticate the user, while apps such as Microsoft Teams were set to use the external camera. In Windows 10, version 21H1, Windows Hello and Windows Hello for Business now default to the external camera when both built-in and external Windows Hello-capable cameras are present on the device. When multiple cameras are available on the same device, Windows Hello will prioritize as follows:
    • SecureBio camera
    • External FrameServer camera with IR + Color sensors
    • Internal FrameServer camera with IR + Color sensors
    • External camera with IR only sensor
    • Internal camera with IR only sensor
    • Sensor Data Service or other old cameras
  • Microsoft Defender Application Guard enhancements. With Windows 10, version 21H1, end users can now open files faster while Application Guard checks for possible security concerns.
  • Security updates. Windows 10, version 21H1 provides security updates for Windows App Platform and Frameworks, Windows Apps, Windows Input and Composition, Windows Office Media, Windows Fundamentals, Windows Cryptography, the Windows AI Platform, Windows Kernel, Windows Virtualization, Internet Explorer, and Windows Media.
  • Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service (GPSVC) updating performance improvements to support remote work scenarios. When an administrator would make changes to user or computer group membership, these changes would propagate slowly. Although the access token eventually updates, the changes would not be reflected in a troubleshooting scenario when the gpresult /r or gpresult /h commands were executed. This was especially experienced in remote work scenarios and has been addressed.
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