Microsoft’s next version of Windows 10 20H2 will be a small update

About a month after Microsoft began shipping the Windows 10 May 2020 update, the company announced on Tuesday that it would start shipping the first builds for its next feature release: Windows 10 20H2.

Like the Windows 10 update from October 2019, Microsoft describes Windows 10 20H2 as an “area-specific” version with a “set of functions to improve performance and quality”. It also ships and installs like a monthly update, which means the installation process is quick and painless. The underlying message is that this feature release of Windows 10 20H2 will be a minor one.

In one blog entry, John Cable, Microsoft’s Director of Program Management for Windows Servicing and Delivery, made it clear that the 20H2 designation is used for communication with engineering and developer resources. Why Microsoft did this is not entirely clear, as the designation “20H1” was a common nickname for the May 2020 update. It also sounds like “20H2” is being used in place of a version number. From a consumer perspective, Microsoft will continue to use a “friendly name” like the “May 2020 Update” in its consumer communications, Cable added.

If you’re a Windows 10 insider, a little surprise awaits: the first builds of 20H2 are available for download on the company’s new beta channel. (Microsoft has renamed the Windows Insider “rings” now known as the Developer Channel (formerly the Fast Ring), Beta Channel (Slow Ring), and the Release Preview Channel, which has been left unchanged.)

Microsoft

If you’re already on the Windows Insider Program, you’ll need to go to the Beta Channel and “find” the 20H2 builds. You can do this by going to Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update and click on Check for updates Button. If you don’t, your PC will still stay on the current Windows 10 20H1 feature track.

“Once an Insider updates their PC to 20H2, they will continue to automatically receive new 20H2 updates through Windows Update using our maintenance technology (such as the monthly update process),” wrote Brandon LeBlanc, senior program manager for the Windows Insider program blog entry on Tuesday. “Over time, this process will provide additional new features and improvements.”

The first build of Windows 10 20H2 is build 19042.330, LeBlanc wrote. Although the build contains new functions, it will be the first 20H2 build to swap the “old” version of Microsoft Edge for the new version based on Chromium.

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