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June 16, 2020

What’s next for Windows 10 updates

We continue to improve Windows 10, accelerating innovation with investments in quality, new features, and the overall update experience that are all designed to keep you protected and productive. Today, I am excited to introduce our next feature update, Windows 10, version 20H2, which is targeted for release later in the second half of this year, and provide an overview of our plans for this next release. Windows 10, version 20H2 will be delivered in an optimized way for anyone running the Windows 10 May 2020 Update (also referred to as Windows 10, version 2004). In this post, I’ll provide information about our servicing approach for this release and details on how we are simplifying the naming of Windows versions moving forward.

Quick to install and includes the new, improved Microsoft Edge

Windows 10, version 20H2 will offer a scoped set of features to improve performance and enhance quality. It will also be the first version of Windows 10 to include the new Microsoft Edge, based on Chromium.

We continue to learn and adjust the delivery and overall experience of the Windows Updates based on customer feedback. As a result, we will again deliver Windows 10, version 20H2 using servicing technology (like that used for the monthly update process) for customers running the May 2020 Update who choose to update to the new release. Simply put, anyone running the May 2020 Update and updating to Windows 10, version 20H2 will have a faster installation experience because the update will install like a monthly update.

For consumer or commercial users coming from versions of Windows 10 earlier than the May 2020 Update (version 2004), the process of updating to the new release will be the same as it has been and will work in a similar manner to previous Windows 10 feature updates, using the same tools and processes. As this Windows 10 release is targeted for the second half of 2020, commercial customers using Windows 10 Enterprise and Education editions of version 20H2 will continue to enjoy 30 months of servicing.

With this release, we will also simplify our approach to numerical versions for Windows and move to a format that represents the half of the calendar year in which the release becomes available in retail and commercial channels. Windows 10, version 20H2 is, therefore, “20H2” because it will be released in the second half of the 2020 calendar year. This is a familiar approach for our Windows Insiders and is designed to provide consistency in our version names across releases for our commercial customers and partners. (Note: We will continue to use a friendly name, such as the May 2020 Update, in consumer communications.)

Next steps

We continue to employ a multilayered approach to the development and launch of feature updates that includes fully leveraging the Windows Insider Program to obtain user feedback and data insights on quality. We will begin releasing 20H2 builds to Windows Insiders in the Slow ring today to those Insiders who seek to opt in and new features will be offered in future Windows Insider Preview builds as they are ready.  Broad availability of Windows 10, version 20H2 will begin later this calendar year and we will provide more information as we get closer to the launch of this next update. We look forward to hearing your feedback.