Overview of Windows 10 November 2019 Update (version 1909). What's new

Review of Windows 10 November 2019 Update (version 1909). What’s new

Windows 10 19H2 (version 1909) or the November 2019 Update is a new feature update that will be available in November 2019. Consider the latest features, major improvements and changes.

The public release of the Windows 10 November 2019 Update, codenamed Windows 10 19H2, is expected today – November 12th. Microsoft considers Build 18363.418 to be the final build, which contains all the new features. Cumulative update KB4522355 (Build 18363.449), includes the latest fixes, and a new batch of patches will be released on November Tuesday of patches.

Upgrading features to Windows 10, version 1909 will be the most compact in size and fastest updating features of Windows 10 of all time. It is more reminiscent of the classic Windows service packs (Service Pack) – users of the May 2019 Update will be installed only a small activation package for new functions enablement package (KB4517245). Therefore, the update process itself will take no more than 10 minutes.

Simplified upgrade process

Microsoft spokesman John Cable explained that this update will be “a set of features to improve productivity, quality, and enterprise tools.” In other words, in Windows 10 (version 1909), you should expect bug fixes, performance optimizations, and a few new business features.

If you’re tired of major Windows 10 updates every six months, then 19H2 will be your perfect update. Installing 19H2 will be similar to installing standard cumulative updates, such as security patches, released on Patch Tuesday. The service pack to version 1909 will have a small size and a quick update process. You won’t even have to restart your computer or remove old Windows installations.

Computers running the May 2019 Update (also known as 19H1) will receive a small patch this fall (September or October) through Windows Update, which will quickly upgrade the system to 19H2.

Without a doubt, Microsoft wants to avoid repeating the situation with last year’s problematic October 2018 Update on the eve of the completion of the Windows 7 life cycle, which will occur on January 14, 2020.

Performance enhancements

The update will receive a large number of performance optimizations. The autonomy of some devices will improve, prediction of CPU resource allocation will be optimized, and handwriting delay will be reduced.

Microsoft reports that “general improvements have been made that affect the battery life and energy efficiency of PCs with specific processors.”

This update includes planning improvements for PCs with multi-core processors. Microsoft describes the changes as follows: “A CPU can have several“ preferred ”cores (logical processors of the highest scheduling class available). To increase productivity and reliability, a rotation policy has been introduced that distributes work more evenly between these preferred kernels. ”

Finally, for PCs with handwriting features, the delay is reduced for more responsive drawing. Windows 10 will allow OEMs to “reduce handwriting latency based on device hardware capabilities.” Prior to 19H2, Windows 10 systems with handwriting input devices “had a delay selected by the operating system for a typical hardware configuration.” It sounds unthinkable – Microsoft should have made these changes much earlier.

Support for alternative voice assistants

In current versions of Windows 10, only Cortana can work on the lock screen. Microsoft seems to be giving up on Cortana as a consumer product. In 19H2, Cortana will give way to other voice assistants on the lock screen – users will be able to use alternative assistants, for example Amazon Alexa and Yandex Alice.

This is a small feature that will work automatically after Amazon implements its support in Alexa. You can talk with your voice assistant and get answers directly on the Windows 10 lock screen.

As Microsoft notes: “This change allows third-party digital assistants to activate voice interaction on top of the lock screen.”

Creating taskbar events

If you are actively using the Calendar application in Windows 10, then Microsoft has prepared some nice improvements for you. Now you can quickly create calendar events right on the taskbar. To create a new event, simply select a date and start typing a description of the event in the text box. You can specify the task name, time and location.

Previously, the Calendar application already showed scheduled events in a pop-up window on the taskbar, but the events themselves needed to be created only in the application itself. In version 1909, any events created in a pop-up window will also be displayed in the Calendar application in Windows 10.

Notification settings improvements

Microsoft has focused on managing notifications in Windows 10. When configuring alerts, small images are now displayed that give a visual representation of what “notification banners” and “notifications in the notification center” look like.

Windows 10 allows you to turn off the sound when you receive a notification. This option will be available in Settings > System > Notifications and Actions. Previously, users could also turn off the sound for alerts, but this had to be done for each application that showed notifications.

On the Settings > System > Notifications and Actions page, by default, sorting will be selected by the time the message was received, and not by name. This setting will simplify the search for applications that send the most alerts.

Moreover, in Windows 10 (version 1909), you can configure notifications directly from the notification itself. Notification banners and notifications in the notification center will receive options for disabling notifications. The “Manage notifications” button will appear at the top of the notification center, which will allow you to immediately go to the “Notifications and Actions” page to configure notifications.

Universal Search in Explorer

This feature first appeared in Windows 10 20H1, but will become part of the Windows 10 update (version 1909).
Windows Explorer has enhanced search functionality. Now, when entering a query into the search bar, a drop-down menu appears with a list of suggested files, which also include files in OneDrive cloud storage, and not just on the local machine.

If you need to go deeper into non-indexed disk locations, then you can press Enter and go to traditional search results.

Other minor changes

Added the ability for Narrator and other accessibility tools to recognize the location of the FN key on the keyboard and read its active state (locked or unlocked).
Corporate Enhancements
Microsoft has announced improvements in business functions, but at the moment there are very few changes.

Windows containers require matching host and container versions. This condition restricts the use of scripts with mixed version containers. In Windows 10 (version 1909), 5 fixes will be added to fix this problem. Now on host systems it will be possible to run lower-level containers at the upper level to isolate the process.

Key-rolling or Key-rotation functions for safely rolling back passwords on MDM-controlled AAD devices will help prevent accidental password disclosure when users manually unlock a BitLocker drive.
Added new debugging capabilities for Intel processors. These changes are for equipment manufacturers only.

Added Windows Defender Credential Guard protection for ARM64 devices, for additional protection against credential theft in enterprises using ARM64 devices in their infrastructure.

Added the ability for organizations to supplement the Windows 10 policy in S-mode with a policy that allows traditional Win32 applications (for desktop computers) from Microsoft Intune.

Independent Application Improvements

Microsoft has made several changes to Windows 10 that are not part of major feature updates. For example, users of Android smartphones and Windows PCs can now use the Your Phone application with the new Calls feature, which allows you to make and receive phone calls on your computer using an Android smartphone.

The preliminary version of the Windows Terminal application received tabs, customizable background images, and other useful features. The application is available on the Microsoft Store. Windows Terminal (Preview) can work in Windows 10 May 2019 Update, so you do not need to install a feature update to start using it.

More new features in 20H1

The list of changes in Windows 10 (version 1909) seems very short, but really big changes are to be expected in the first update of the 2020 features – Windows 10 20H1. Version 2003 will receive the Download from the cloud function for reinstalling Windows 10, the updated Windows subsystem for Linux (WSL 2) with a full Linux kernel, Reputation-based protection, and PUP blocking in the Windows Security application and many other functions.