Everything new in Windows 10’s next major update

Windows 10 blank desktop
Image Courtesy: Microsoft.com

The next big update ’20H1′ for Windows 10 has been finalized,
as we already know, but Microsoft is planning to test the
update for another few months before rolling it out to the
general public.

In November 2019, Microsoft said that Windows 10 20H1 will be
known as version 2004 when it is released to consumers. Windows
10 version 2004 is much bigger than Windows 10’s November 2019
update and it also comes with several nifty improvements.

In this article, we’ve discussed all the new features and major
improvements of Windows 10 20H1.

What’s new in Windows 10 20H1 (version 2004)

With the 20H1 update, Microsoft is addressing the rough areas
of the operating system. The update adds a Cloud Reset feature
and it also includes a new algorithm to reduce the disk usage
of Windows Search service.

It feels like a very smooth update with a collection of useful
improvements.

New Cortana experience

Movable Cortana in Windows 10

Though Microsoft may plan to remove Cortana from Microsoft
Launcher and also pull its mobile apps, Windows 10’s next major
update doubles down on the digital assistant with a drastically
improved conversational experience.

Microsoft’s new Cortana experience will be maintained by a
Windows Store app. In other words, Cortana is no longer tied to
Windows 10 releases and it can be finally updated from the app
store.

Cortana’s new design lets you interact with the digital
assistant with both texts and voice. It comes with new speech
and language models – making it faster than ever before.

Cortana also allows users to open apps, manage your reminders,
manage Microsoft To-Do, Alarms, and it also works with the
traditional “Hey Cortana” functionality.

Lastly, Cortana allows you to switch between the light and
dark-screen modes. As we noted above, Cortana will be managed
by a Windows Store app, so you can expect more improvements in
the coming months.

Reinstalling Windows is now easier than ever

Reset PC page

The 20H1 update introduces Cloud Download for reinstalling
Windows 10, a big upgrade for the “Reset This PC” feature,
which has been around since Windows 8.

With this feature, you can reset your PC like you just booted
it for the first time. Or you can also use it to clean Windows
system, restore settings, uninstall apps, and fix a problem
that you’re experiencing.

Microsoft keeps making ‘Reset this PC’ feature better and
better. Cloud Download is the latest addition.

When you click ‘Reset this PC’ option in the Settings app,
Windows 10 creates a fresh copy of Windows by assembling files,
but it can take more than 45 minutes and it may not always fix
a corrupted OS.

If you have a fast internet connection and at least 3GB of
bandwidth, you can use Cloud Download feature to reinstall
Windows 10 directly from Microsoft’s cloud rather than
assembling the local copies of files.

Microsoft says Cloud Download is a more reliable way of
reinstalling Windows and you can do it in a few clicks.

In Windows 10 20H1, the feature can be accessed
from Settings > Update & Security > Recovery >
Get Started.

Windows Subsystem for Linux 2

Windows 10 v2004 includes a new version of Windows Subsystem
for Linux that supports  ELF64 Linux binaries on Windows.

WSL 2 introduces real Linux kernel and it provides same user
experience as WSL 1 with advanced controls including a much
faster file system performance.

Windows Search Experience

Windows Search

Windows Search uses Windows Search Indexer to display accurate
search results. Windows Search Indexer, which runs in the
background and crawls your files to create an index of your
files, will be getting a big boost in the next major update.

Microsoft’s May 2019 Update fixed the unreliable Windows Search
experience with ‘Enhanced’ indexer option, but users were still
experiencing system performance issues.

Microsoft says
Windows 10’s 20H1 update includes a new algorithm that is
capable of detecting peak disk and CPU usage time so it can
stop the indexer.

For example, the indexer is stopped when power saving mode is
on, or when CPU is more than 80% and when disk usage is hitting
70%. When the indexer is stopped, Windows Search stops using
your disk and CPU, and it results in significantly improved
system stability.

Microsoft also plans to make Windows Search faster by excluding
the common developer folders or files found in certain
programs.

Task Manager

Task Manager

Windows Task Manager is getting two new features in this
release. It can now display your PC’s disk type—SSD or HDD, so
you can see what disk is in your laptop or computer.

Another feature is being introduced to let you monitor your GPU
temperature. If you have a dedicated graphics card, you can see
the GPU temperature in Task Manager’s performance tab.

Disk Cleanup

Windows 10 Disk Cleanup

Starting with 20H1, Disk Cleanup and Storage Sense will finally
not clean your Downloads folder.

Microsoft is removing Downloads folder from both Disk Cleanup
tool and Windows 10 Storage Settings app. The option is being
removed after some users said they accidentally deleted
all the files in your Downloads folder.

Control Over Restarting Apps

Windows 10 restart apps

When you boot your PC and sign-in, Windows 10 reopens many apps
automatically. In this release, there’s a new option within the
Settings app to disable the behaviour more easily.

You will find a new option to disable the feature
in Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options. Apps such
as Google Chrome and Spotify will not open automatically when
you start Windows 10.

The feature now includes both UWP apps (Microsoft Store apps)
and traditional desktop apps.

Conclusion

The update will ship with other improvements as well including

greater control over Windows Update and Microsoft Store
bandwidth usage.

According to Microsoft’s typical release schedule, Windows 10’s
20H1 (version 2004) update will begin rolling out to mainstream
users in April or May.

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