Windows Holographic 21H1 update brings major new features to HoloLens

JC Torres - May 11, 2021, 9:14pm CDT
Windows Holographic 21H1 update brings major new features to HoloLens

Windows 10’s first major feature update of the year is already being prepared for rollout but it seems that the HoloLens 2 is getting dibs on its own major update before PCs. In fact, this update might be even more feature-packed than Windows 10’s May 2021 update itself. Windows Holographic version 21H1 is now available for download and it finally brings Microsoft’s better version of its Edge web browser, the one based on Google Chromium, of course.

Microsoft has been pushing its Chromium-based Edge rather aggressively wherever it can, replacing the old edgeHTML version as if it never existed. It isn’t just on PCs, of course, and even its mixed reality platform is getting the new Microsoft Edge web browser. And it isn’t just about having a shiny, modern web browser either.

The new Edge also enables WebXR experiences that the older web engine couldn’t support. Perhaps more importantly, it also allows PWAs or Progressive Web Apps to be installed alongside proper Windows apps from the Microsoft Store. Microsoft has also been pushing these web apps hard in an attempt to fill in the gaps left by its UWP platform.

Windows Holographic version 21H1 also pushes some changes to the operating system’s settings UI. One very notable change is the power menu that now behaves and looks more similar to the ones you see in Windows 10 on desktops. That includes the orange dots that indicate an update will occur when you restart or shut down the device.

The upgrade also makes handling multiple users less painful, now showing a list of users on the login screen to save you from typing user names over and over again. For devices in Kiosk mode, visitors can also be automatically logged in, though that default behavior can also be turned off by the device administrator. Windows Holographic 21H1 is available for the HoloLens 2 and also marks the end of support for the old version 1903 from two years ago.


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