The following two updates for Windows 10, the coming fall and the larger version this spring, illustrate Microsoft’s new plan. A normal major parts update appears with new features in the first half of the year and an update with patches in the second half of the year.
We have already completed the major 2019 update, namely the May 2019 Update (1903) and the smaller ‘service pack’ is expected to follow around September. Then we can look forward to the big new Windows version, which Microsoft started testing before 1903 with some adventurous Insiders and is now called 20H1 (first half of 2020). That is why we can already lift a tip of the veil.
First the upcoming update, which we also discussed yesterday. It has minimal new features – such as navigation preview in the start menu – and especially fixes and patches to improve Windows 10 1903. That makes it seem like a bundle, for example, the last time you saw Windows 7 SP1, which was released in 2011.
Minor improvements 1909
The September update is primarily a version with ‘quality improvements’ that focuses on companies such as stability improvement. Two potential features are interesting and that is, first of all, an option to place a third-party voice-assisted assistant on the lock screen. That used to be Cortana-only, but Alexa is now also integrated.
The second is a fix to lower the ink input latency. According to Microsoft, Windows determined what the latency of stylus input was based on a typical hardware configuration, instead of the capacity of the device itself. That has been fixed in the upcoming update and OEMs can now set this themselves.
What’s new in 20H1
The larger update this coming spring will contain really new features. There are still a lot of betas before the time comes, so it is possible that many other features will appear and some will disappear before the final version to be withheld until a later version – or even completely deleted.
The update that appeared this year, 1903, felt like it had very few new features compared to previous releases. For the time being (but we still have a long time to go) next year’s parts update doesn’t feel particularly surprising either. But it is possible that Microsoft will come up with much more at the time of 1909 and the software manufacturer will release more developers for 20H1.
That said, we already have an overview of upgrades and new additions. This is not an exhaustive list of course, but a preview in August 2019. We will update this article as we see more in beta builds. We start with an interesting one:
WSL 2 and Linux Terminal app
Microsoft publishes its own apps at a different pace and the new Terminal is therefore not specifically bound to a version of Windows 10. Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2) is an accelerated version of the WSL that was added for Insiders in June from Windows 10 Pro. It is on the roll for version 20H1. A separate improvement is that you can now access Linux files in Windows via the Explorer.
Support for Emoji 12 was already added to the May 2019 Update earlier this year, but is now fully supported after Unicode released the final version.
Your Phone with Android notifications
The Your Phone app is limited in terms of devices that can be paired – although almost all Microsoft Surface devices are supported – but a small number of phones can be paired to display notifications on your PC, including Samsungs Galaxy s10 series, Galaxy Notes 8 and 9, the OnePlus 6 and the OnePlus 6T.
Microsoft has already released some beautiful drawing apps (do you remember Fresh Paint?) But in general Windows Ink tools have been ignored for business use. But now a link is made to Microsoft Whiteboard software to do or cut a screen capture on your Windows device in full screen.
Instead of opening the Mail or Agenda apps, you can add an event from the bottom right, right next to the Notification Center. The + button that was added in the update earlier this year opens the Agenda directly in the New Event window, so it doesn’t save that much time either.