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Windows 10 Update: Sun Valley release date and features are as close as we’ll get to Windows 11

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  • Release date: October/November 2021
  • Update name: Windows 10 21H2
  • Codename: Sun Valley
  • New, softer design
  • New animations
  • Windows 10X Action Center
  • New Disk Management settings screen
  • Per-app multiple GPU management
  • Improved audio device settings

The big Microsoft Windows 10 update for 2021 is potentially as close as we’re going to get to an actual Windows 11 OS. Having already confirmed that Windows 10 is “the last version of Windows,” with Microsoft’s operating system moving to a service model with twice yearly updates, there is going to be no Windows 11.

But the team is looking to completely refresh the look, feel, and usability of Windows 10 to make it seem like more than just a bunch of little bug-fixing patches. The first of 2021’s updates, codenamed Sun Valley, is not going to be as big a behind-the-scenes change as the new Windows 10X release, but it will still be bringing some design elements from the newer PC OS.

Microsoft Windows 10 background

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 10X? Don’t worry, it’s not something we need concern ourselves with overmuch as it’s not designed for gaming PCs, and won’t be an operating system you can buy and download on its own. Win10X is aimed at enterprise and education notebooks, and is a more stripped back setup, initially launching without support for a whole lot of legacy stuff, such as Win32 support. Hence, it’s only coming on new machines.

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