We’ll never know what took so long, but Microsoft today formally announced Windows 10 version 21H1, and it released the first pre-release 21H1 build to the Beta channel of the Windows Insider program.

“Today, we are introducing the next feature update to Windows 10, version 21H1,” Microsoft’s John Cable writes in an announcement post that should have been published months ago. “For the first time[,] an H1 (first half of the calendar year) feature update release will be delivered in an optimized way using servicing technology, while continuing our semi-annual feature update cadence.”

In other words, Windows 10 version 21H1 is a very minor update, as we discussed the other day, or as Microsoft belabors it, this version “will have a scoped set of features improving security, remote access[,] and quality.”

New features will include multicamera support for Windows Hello and security-related performance improvements. And yeah, that’s it.

“Customers running either Windows 10 version 2004 or 20H2 who choose to update to the new release will have a fast installation experience because the update will install like a monthly update,” Cable continues. “For consumer or commercial users coming from versions of Windows 10 earlier than the May 2020 Update (version 2004), the process of updating to the new release will be the same as it has been and will work in a similar manner to previous Windows 10 feature updates, using the same tools and processes. As this Windows 10 release is targeted for the first half of 2021, all Windows 10 editions of version 21H1 will receive 18 months of servicing.”

Concurrent to this announcement, the Beta channel of the Windows Insider program has finally moved off of Windows 10 version 20H2, which was released several months ago, and onto 21H1, and it’s getting its first 21H1 build today.