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Microsoft's next Windows 10 20H2 release will be a minor update


About a month after Microsoft began shipping the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, the company announced Tuesday that it’s begun shipping the first builds on its next feature release: Windows 10 20H2.

Like the Windows 10 October 2019 Update, Microsoft describes Windows 10 20H2 as a “scoped” release, with a “set of features to improve performance and enhance quality.” It will also be delivered and installed like a monthly update, which implies that the installation process will be quick and painless. The underlying message here is that this Windows 10 20H2 feature release will be a minor one.

In a blog post, John Cable, Microsoft’s director of program management for Windows Servicing and Delivery, made clear that the 20H2 designation will be used for communicating with engineering and developer resources. It’s not quite clear why Microsoft did this, as the “20H1” designation was a common nickname for the May 2020 Update. It also sounds like “20H2” will be used instead of a versioning 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, there’s a bit of a surprise in store: The first builds of 20H2 are available for download on the company’s new Beta channel. (Microsoft has renamed the Windows Insider “rings,” now referred to as the Developer Channel (formerly the Fast ring), the Beta channel (the Slow ring) and the Release Preview channel, which has been left unchanged.)

microsoft windows 10 20h2 build Microsoft

If you’re already on the Windows Insider program, you’ll need to go to the Beta Channel and “seek” the 20H2 builds. You can do so by going to the Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and clicking the Check for updates button. If you don’t do this, your PC will will continue to remain 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 servicing technology (like the monthly update process),” Brandon LeBlanc, the senior program manager for the Windows Insider program, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. “Over time, more new features and improvements will be delivered through this process.”

The first Windows 10 20H2 build is Build 19042.330, LeBlanc wrote. While there are new features in the build, it will be the first 20H2 build to swap the “legacy” version of Microsoft Edge for the new version, based on Chromium.

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