Windows 10 Updates: Some Changes, But Don’t Worry

In previous blogs, we’ve explained how Windows 10 updates work. Typically, there are two feature updates, one in the Spring and one in the Fall with minor patch updates in-between. The feature updates are the big ones that introduce new features or changes to the operating system.

On June 16th, Microsoft announced the next feature update via blog post. In the same post, they also announced they would continue with their current update model going forward. The feature updates have been argued against by users who are in favor of one update per year. The updates have had a history of causing problems biannually. Still, Microsoft is sticking to it.

That doesn’t mean the updates are bad necessarily, however the roll-outs of these updates have needed some work. They have been the source of a variety of issues — some more baffling and/or impactful than others.

That said, something within Microsoft has changed between then and now: the End of Life of Windows 7. The update issues may have been the result of Microsoft stretching its developers between two active operating systems. Hopefully, the retirement of Win7 will result in a better focus on Windows 10 updates.

What else is changing in future Windows 10 updates? 

  • Microsoft is also changing the format of the update names. Previously, the format was yymm (example: 1909 for 2019’s September update). They’re now shifting to yyH1 and yyH2 to represent the year and the calendar half that the update takes place in. The Spring feature update adheres to the previous naming convention, 2004 for May 2020 while the fall update is titled 20H2 (2020, second half of the year). The change is for the sake of consistency as the releases provided to Windows Insiders are already named like this.
  • The feature updates will also take less time to install (at least for 20H2). 20H2 will install like a patch update rather than a hefty feature update, resulting in “a faster installation experience.”
  • Microsoft also promises 30 months of servicing with 20H2. This means that 20H2 support lasts 30 months after install for commercial customers. Explained on the servicing and support page on Microsoft, this timeframe “provide(s) additional flexibility for customers who need more time to test and deploy […] feature updates.”

(Image Source: iCLIPART)