Three months ago, I took on the role of leading Windows and Devices. What excited me about this was the opportunity to bring together our incredible teams to work on a product that a billion people all over the world rely on every day to work, learn, create and have fun. Since taking on the role, the world has changed in a way that many of us are still adjusting to. I am adapting to working from home, collaborating with our teams remotely and having my four children learning from home.
From hitting the milestone of 1 billion Windows 10 monthly active devices to announcing the May 2020 Update that is coming soon, I feel a tremendous sense of pride and gratitude to see the team’s relentlessness and growth mindset culture at work to push forward supporting our customers and each other.
As a team we have been spending a lot of time with our customers, OEM partners and teams inside and outside of the company listening and learning. The feedback we are hearing is energizing, and if one thing is clear it is that Windows plays a critical role in helping people navigate the times we are in. Customers are using Windows PCs to stay productive, connect and learn in this time. In fact, over 4 trillion minutes are being spent on Windows 10 a month, a 75% increase year on year.
As the world and people’s routines are changing, it is important that we focus on meeting our customers where they are now and helping them get to where they want to be in the future.
Shipping the Windows 10 May 2020 Update
A great step the team is taking to meet customers where they are is with the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, coming free, as always, to every Windows 10 PC starting this month.
In this update, we are going to make some things easier and faster for our customers like introducing a more streamlined way to pair Bluetooth devices in Windows. With my full house, I am thrilled to have anything that makes connecting my family’s devices easier, like my noise cancelling headphones to focus while working from home. We are bringing practical improvements in the bigger things, like an improved tablet experience when you detach your 2-in-1’s keyboard, allowing you to keep the familiarity of your desktop while at the same time optimizing for touch*. As always, we are continuing our focus on empowering everyone with Windows, and with the May 2020 Update we are bringing “drag and drop” to those who use our Eye Control functionality**. We are even bringing in some fun, like making more kaomoji available directly in the Windows emoji keyboard. ☜(ﾟヮﾟ☜)
For those of you who are Windows Insiders, you have gotten to try many of these new features even sooner. Thank you for helping us shape the future of Windows. If you are not a Windows Insider yet, we invite you to join us.
Accelerating innovation in Windows 10
The May 2020 Update is just the first step though. As a team, we are committed to delivering meaningful innovation in ways that matter most to the billion people around the world relying on Windows right now. That is why, in this holiday and the next, we are going to accelerate innovation in Windows 10 to ensure that Windows devices are the best way to work, learn and play. We are going to make important improvements in every one of those areas.
With that increased focus comes a shift in priorities for Windows too. The world is a very different place than it was last October when we shared our vision for a new category of dual-screen Windows devices. As we continue to put customers’ needs at the forefront, we need to focus on meeting customers where they are now. Our customers are leveraging the power of the cloud more than ever, and we believe the time is right to lean into this acceleration in a different way.
With Windows 10X, we designed for flexibility, and that flexibility has enabled us to pivot our focus toward single-screen Windows 10X devices that leverage the power of the cloud to help our customers work, learn and play in new ways. These single-screen devices will be the first expression of Windows 10X that we deliver to our customers, and we will continue to look for the right moment, in conjunction with our OEM partners, to bring dual-screen devices to market.
Invitation to Build
At Build later this month, the team will share the next steps we are taking to empower the Windows developer community even further. We are going to share how we will reduce complexity for developers by making it easier than ever to build for all 1 billion Windows 10 devices, all at once. We will share how we will enable developers to build applications that seamlessly enable cloud-powered virtualization. Most importantly, even though we will not be in the same room this year, we are going to connect as a Windows community to look to the future together.
We invite you to join us there from May 19-21 for this 48-hour digital experience. Registration is now open, at no cost, to learn new skills, solve problems and build together.
We have an incredible opportunity and responsibility in front of us to build more seamless experiences across software and hardware for our customers around the world. I am pumped for what the team has in store. So much more is coming; this is just the beginning.
* Coming in a future servicing update to the Windows 10 May 2020 Update in early summer
** Additional peripheral devices required
Editor’s note – May 4, 2020 – The post above was updated to clarify that the improved tablet experience is expected to come in a future servicing update in early summer.