Despite Windows 10 having been released back in 2015, it has received a steady stream of updates since then.
Microsoft adds new features to its software twice a year, in addition to monthly security patches and the occasional bug fix. With the last update back in November 2019 we are due a new version, and the company has now confirmed that it is being readied for release.
With members of the Windows Insider Program set to try the software imminently, many of the new features have already been revealed to some extent. Here’s everything you need to know about the Windows 10 May 2020 update, known as 20H1.
When will the Windows 10 update be released?
Given the name, we can be almost certain that the update will be available at some point in May 2020.
Windows 10 updates now adhere to the regular monthly schedule of security updates, which are released on what is known as ‘Patch Tuesday’.
This usually refers to the second Tuesday of each month, making 12 May our best guess at this point.
Microsoft is yet to confirm a release date, but we’d be surprised to see it deviate far from this date.
Which devices will the Windows 10 update be available on?
If your PC or laptop is already running Windows 10, it’s highly likely that the May update will be available.
Microsoft is yet to confirm this, but assures on its website that ‘Windows 10 is designed to deliver updates for the supported lifetime of the device’.
The company would usually announce end of device support long ahead of a major release, so we’re not expecting compatibility to change when compared to the November 2019 update.
What new features will be in the Windows 10 update?
The 20H1 update will be modest by Microsoft’s standards, but there are still set to be a number of key upgrades to the user experience.
Microsoft’s virtual assistant has been lagging behind the likes of Google Assistant and Alexa in recent years, so it’s hoped this update will help close the gap.
Cortana was separated from search bar in the May 2019 update, but now it’s receiving
As is the case with the mobile app, Cortana will now be much more conversational. You’ll be able to type out commands in addition to using your voice too, while the window can be moved around your screen to fit in around your workflow.
Updated File Explorer
The File Explorer is also set for a long-overdue overhaul, although that’s not expected in the May update. Instead we’ll be getting a few noticeable changes. The corners of the window have been rounded and the search function has been improved.
Changes to tablet mode
With Microsoft’s own Surface line leading the way when it comes to 2-in-1 laptops, it’s perhaps understandable that Windows 10 will continue to tweak its tablet mode.
The update will make it less intrusive, no longer prompting you to switch to a tablet as soon as you disconnect a keyboard. Instead, it will deliver a more intuitive experience for touch, with more spaced out icons and a touch-friendly version of the File Explorer.
The return of PowerToys
This is one for the OG Windows fans. Power Toys was last seen in Windows 95, and allows users to streamline their working with a series of tools and keyboard shortcuts.
Big changes in future updates
While not expected in the May update, some big cosmetic changes look to be coming to Windows 10 in the near future.
The Start Menu has also been redesigned to look more slick and modern. Live tiles have been refined, while the arrangement of apps while adjust more efficiently according to how you use them. This is one area of the operating system which has received little attention since Windows 10 was launched in 2015, so it’s a welcome update.
Alongside this, Microsoft has revealed brand new icons for some of its most recognisable programs. Office apps, Outlook and Teams all have a clean, fresh new look. It has been important for Microsoft to modernise the look and feel of Windows 10 without losing its identity.
It’s hoped that number of other upgrades under the hood will ensure the next version of Windows 10 is much more stable. A number of bugs in recent months mean Microsoft has a point to prove, with more people relying on its software than ever before.