Windows 10 20H1 review (version 2004)

Windows 10 20H1 review (version 2004)

Overview of Windows 10 20H1 (version 2004) – a new feature update that will be available in spring 2020. Consider the latest features, major improvements and changes.

The release of Windows 10, version 2004 is expected in the spring of 2020, and the intended name is Windows 10 May 2020 Update. As expected, the RTM assembly may be signed as early as December.

Feature upgrades to Windows 10, version 2004 will receive much more improvements and new features than Windows 10 19H2 (version 1909). This article summarizes the latest Windows 10 features introduced in Windows Insider builds prior to Windows 10 build 19035 (20H1), released on December 4, 2019.

Managing Optional Updates

Windows Update automatically installs the majority of updates, but some of them are optional. Now in Windows 10 a new page will appear with a list of such optional updates.

The new page will contain driver updates, major feature updates (including 20H1) and monthly non-security updates (the so-called class “C” and “D” updates).

To access the list of optional updates, go to Settings > Update & Security > View Optional Updates. You can choose which updates you need to install yourself.

Windows Update will automatically install many updates for the hardware components, but in some cases it will not be possible to automatically install additional updates. Previously, users had to go to the Task Manager, select a specific component and start updating drivers. Now the list of optional driver updates is compiled in a single interface. On a new page, Microsoft added a description: If you have a specific problem, one of these drivers may help. Otherwise, drivers will be updated automatically.

Download from Cloud feature to reinstall Windows 10

Windows 10 received the function Download from the cloud, which can be used when restoring a computer to its original state. When you go to the menu Settings > Update and security > Restore and select the option Restore your computer to its original state, you can now select the Download from cloud option. Instead of reinstalling Windows 10 using files from the local system, Windows will automatically download the most current version of Windows 10 and install it on your computer.

This feature will save time on installing the necessary updates. Previously, you needed to create a separate installation media for Windows 10 or upgrade Windows 10 before resetting to factory settings.

Bandwidth Throttling for Windows Updates

The Settings app offers more bandwidth limits for downloading Windows 10 updates. In current versions of Windows 10, users can set a maximum limit as a percentage of the available bandwidth. In 20H1, absolute values ​​(Mbps) can be specified for more precise control. Previously, you could only configure this setting using Group Policies, but now you can do this directly in the Settings app.

You can limit the bandwidth on the Settings > Update and Security > Delivery Optimization > Advanced Settings page.

WSL 2 with full Linux kernel

The new Windows subsystem for Linux 2 is perhaps the most important change in Windows 10 20H1. WSL 2 has become much more powerful and functional than the first version. WSL 2 uses the real Linux kernel. This way you get a full Linux environment right in Windows 10.

Microsoft decided to prepare its own Linux kernel for WSL 2, which will receive updates through Windows Update. Users will be able to build their own Linux kernel and configure its use in the subsystem. WSL 2 does not require additional system configuration to work, everything will be the same as with the 1st generation WSL.

In WSL 2, Microsoft promises a “significant increase in file I / O performance” and “full system call compatibility”. This means that WSL2, unlike the original WSL, supports the launch of Docker containers.

In addition, Microsoft has added support for ARM64 devices. Now WSL can be run on computers with ARM architecture. The requirements for running WSL indicate that “your processor / firmware” must support virtualization. ”

More configuration options are now also available. For example, you can configure the default account for a Linux distribution in the /etc/wsl.conf file.

Faster Windows Search

In the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, the search in the Start menu has been improved. Microsoft took advantage of the old search indexing engine, which scans files in the background and creates a search database.

However, many insiders decided to turn off the indexing tool for three main reasons: the increased load on the processor and disk subsystem, general performance problems and the low value of the tool. Microsoft claims that the system will now be able to optimize the performance of the indexer by detecting peak loads. For example, the search index will not be updated when the game mode or power saving mode is turned on, when the “Improved battery” profile is set, and when the processor load exceeds 80%, the load on the disk subsystem will be above 70% or when the battery level will be below 50 %

Windows Search will run faster on developers’ PCs, because .git, .hg, .svn, .Nuget, and other development service folders will not be taken into account during indexing. These changes should have a positive effect on the speed of compilation and synchronization of code.

Disk Type in Task Manager

The Task Manager now shows the type of disk – SSD and HDD. This change allows you to more easily distinguish between drives if the system has multiple drives of various types.

This information is displayed on the Performance tab: open the Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) and select Details.

Video core temperature in Task Manager

On the Performance tab of the Task Manager, another useful information appeared – the temperature of the GPU. If a compatible WDDM 2.4 driver is installed for your video card, then you will find the data from the temperature sensors on the Performance tab. Only discrete graphics cards are supported.

Microsoft recently introduced a number of improvements to the monitoring of the graphics subsystem in the Task Manager. Previously, information appeared about the load of each process on the video core, the total load, driver version, video memory consumption, as well as detailed information about the video card itself.

New tablet mode

Windows 10 has two types of display – the classic desktop mode and the tablet mode in the style of Windows 8, in which even the taskbar icons are hidden by default. Many users find it inconvenient to use the current implementation, so Microsoft introduces an updated tablet mode in 20H1.

New tablet mode

When you use a 2-in-1 hybrid device with a touch screen and the mouse and keyboard are not connected to it, the desktop will become easier to use. For example, the distance between the icons on the taskbar will increase, the Windows Explorer interface will switch to a layout optimized for touch screens, and users will be able to work with windows on the desktop.

Microsoft believes that this feature will not be a full replacement for the tablet mode. However, now when you turn off the keyboard, hybrid devices will no longer automatically switch to tablet mode. Instead, a new mode optimized for touch interaction will be activated. Thus, Microsoft abandons the classic tablet mode on 2-in-1 devices and simplifies the use of the traditional Windows desktop on the touch screen.

Frame Rate Counter (FPS) for Xbox Game Bar

The new Windows 10 gaming panel has already become more functional and more like a full-fledged gaming overlay. Gamers are available options for quick volume control, graphics performance and even support for Spotify. With the release of 20H1, the game panel will receive a frame rate counter (FPS) and an overlay of achievements.

Press Win + G to open the game panel directly from the game, and the FPS counter will appear on the screen. You no longer have to install third-party applications, such as FRAPS, or activate the built-in features of the game.

We use Windows without a password

Microsoft has added a new feature, Configure device operation without password, to the Settings> Accounts> Login Options page. It sounds very unusual and futuristic, but, in fact, this option allows you to configure authentication using a PIN code or biometric methods of the Windows Hello service, for example by fingerprint or face recognition.

Safe mode now works with PIN code. If Windows Hello is configured for PIN login, then you can use it for authorization after loading in safe mode. Previously, you had to enter the password for the account.

In Settings > Accounts > Login Options > Device Login Control > PIN for Windows Hello, set the login using the PIN. The next time you boot in Safe Mode, you can use the PIN code for authorization in the system instead of the account password.

Renaming Virtual Desktops

Windows 10 virtual desktops, available in the Task View interface (Windows + Tab or clicking on the same icon on the taskbar), now support more configuration options.

Now, instead of using the standard names Desktop 1 and Desktop 2, you can assign descriptive names to them. To rename, just click on the standard name and enter the name in the editable field.

Renaming Virtual Desktops

It is noteworthy that you can even use emoji in the names – for this you need to use the built-in emoji panel (Windows +.), Which works in almost all input fields in Windows 10.

Extended network status information

The Settings page > Network and Internet > Status received a new design. All available network interfaces are shown at the top of the page, such as Wi-Fi and Ethernet.

Microsoft claims that the new interface provides more information about the network connection of the device and combines data from several pages to give a clear overview of how you are connected to the Internet.

Windows also shows the consumed traffic for each network interface – you no longer need to collect this data on other pages of the Settings application.

Built-in IP Camera Support

Windows 10 received native support for IP cameras for broadcasting video on a local network. Previously, third-party applications were required for this task in Windows 10.

To add a network camera, go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth or other devices > Add Bluetooth or another device. If a supported camera is detected on the local network, Windows 10 will automatically add it to the system.

After installation, you can use the built-in Camera application (or other camera applications) to access the IP camera. Currently announced support for cameras standard ONVIF Profile S.

Control over restarting applications at login

Windows 10 automatically opens many applications after rebooting the PC. Now there is a new option to Restart applications, which will quickly turn off this behavior.

This option is on the Settings > Accounts > Login Options page. Previously, it was hidden and combined with the option Use my login information to automatically complete the device settings and open my applications after a restart or update. Now these are two separate settings.

Download folder excluded from Disk Cleanup

Microsoft removed the download folder from the classic Disk Cleanup application. This option was added in the October 2018 Update. Opponents of the innovation claimed that the probability of accidentally deleting all the files in the download folder was very high. This was especially true for inexperienced users who might not even suspect that this option was added to the application.

In the 2004 version, we will no longer see the download folder in the Disk Cleanup utility. The application can still be used to empty the trash, delete temporary files, old Windows installations and other unnecessary files, but not downloads.

You can delete downloads using the Device memory function in the Settings application. Press the Windows + I keyboard shortcut and go to System > Device Storage. Under the system drive, go to the Temporary files section. Wait for the scan of the occupied space to complete, and select Downloads from the list.

The process can also be automated using the Memory Control feature. To do this, go to Settings > System > Device memory > Configure memory control > Temporary files and choose when to delete files automatically from the Downloads folder if they have not been used for a certain time.

Updated banner in the application Settings

Microsoft has been experimenting with the banner in the Settings app for some time, and the experiment continues in 20H1. A new banner in the upper area of ​​the Settings application’s home page contains a profile image, a profile name and a link to manage your Microsoft account. There are also quick access links to OneDrive storage and Windows 10 update service settings.

Bluetooth pairing enhancement

Microsoft decided to improve the pairing process for Bluetooth devices by introducing the Swift Pair technology, which replaced the Quick Pair.

With the release of the April 2018 Update, a new behavior was implemented: if there is a Bluetooth device in pairing mode near the PC, then Windows 10 displays a message asking you to pair it. In 20H1, the entire pairing process can be performed using notifications, without having to go to the Settings application. By the way, the number of notifications is reduced by one unit. There is also a Deny button if you do not want to pair. If possible, the notification will show information about the name and type of the paired device.

The Swift Pair will only work with supported devices, such as Microsoft Surface mice and keyboards, but in the future the company plans to expand device support, making the Bluetooth pairing process more comfortable for more PC users.

Text cursor indicator

Windows 10 20H1 adds the ability to change the size and color of the text cursor, which helps to see the current input position.

To configure, go to Settings > Accessibility > Text cursor. Here you can choose the size and absolutely any color of the cursor.

Also, if desired, you can adjust the color and size of a normal mouse cursor. This feature was introduced in the May 2019 Update.

Dragging objects with eye movements

Windows 10 supports Eye Control with specialized eye tracking devices. This feature for people with disabilities allows you to control your computer with eye movements. In 20H1, this feature has received improvements. Now supported by dragging objects with eye movements.

Language settings improvements

The Settings > Time and Language > Language page has a new, easy to use and understand layout. For example, it now shows which languages ​​are selected by default for the Windows interface, applications and websites, as well as region settings, speech recognition and keyboard.

The SwiftKey predictive text input system in Windows 10 received extended support for 39 different languages, including Azerbaijani, Armenian, Georgian, Kazakh, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Ukrainian and Uzbek. This means that more accurate hints and auto-correction will be available for these languages. Predictive input enhancements will work even if input prediction is enabled for hardware keyboards.

Finally, dictation mode (Windows H when entering text) now supports 12 additional languages.

Microsoft also paid much attention to East Asian editors input methods (IME). Introduced the new Japanese IME and significantly improved Chinese IME and Korean IME.

New Cortana app (as chat)

Microsoft is going to introduce a new Cortana application with chat chat mechanics. Users will now be able to print Cortana requests instead of voice communication. The history of interaction with the assistant will be available in the chat window. You can view Cortana answers by opening the application from the taskbar.

New Cortana app (as chat)

In addition to the new design, Microsoft announces an upgrade of the speech and language models, as well as a significant performance improvement of the voice assistant. The new Cortana will support both the light and dark themes of Windows 10.

Reputation-based protection and PUP blocking

Protecting Windows 10 from potentially unwanted applications, malicious and suspicious files and websites, received a separate reputation-based protection page in the Windows 10 Security app.

On the new settings page, settings are grouped that allow you to enable or disable individual components of reputation-based protection: Scan applications and files, SmartScreen for Microsoft Edge, SmartScreen for applications from the Microsoft Store, as well as the new option Block potentially unwanted applications, which allows enable or disable protection against potentially unwanted programs (PUP) in Microsoft Defender.

Calls in the application Your phone

The Your Phone application now allows you to make and receive calls from smartphones on Android 7.0 and higher.

Microsoft is testing this functionality in insider builds of 20H1, but promises to add this feature to Windows 10 systems starting with the May 2019 Update (version 1903). Thus, you will receive this function even if you do not upgrade to version 2004.

Explorer Online Search

Windows Explorer has enhanced search capabilities. Now when you enter a query in the search bar, a drop-down menu is displayed containing not only local files, but also files in your OneDrive account.

You can go to the advanced search by pressing Enter. In this case, it will search even in non-indexed locations.

Other changes

Like other Windows 10 updates, the 20H1 comes with a number of minor improvements and fixes:

New DirectX 12 features: Windows 10 Update 2004 contains new DirectX 12 features, such as DirectX Raytracing Tier 1.1, DirectX Mesh Shader, DirectX Sampler Feedback (Texture Streaming, Texture-Space Shading) and others that are undergoing preliminary testing for developers . Game developers will be able to take advantage of the new features to improve the gaming experience for their users.

Setting the cursor speed in the Settings application. The mouse cursor speed settings, previously available only in the Control Panel, are now located in the Settings > Devices > Mouse menu.

Improved account image customization. Windows 10 makes it easy to install a profile picture in Windows 10, which is also used by various Microsoft services. Go to the menu Settings > Accounts > Your details to set the picture of the account. After adjusting the image, the changes will be quickly applied both on the local computer and in Microsoft services, provided that you are logged in to your Microsoft account.
Improvements to the Additional Features page. The Additional Components page in the Options> Applications> Applications and Features menu has received a new interface. You can select and set several functions at a time, as well as search for individual components and apply sorting in various ways. You can view the installation date of each component and the status of each function in the upper area of ​​the page.
New Wi-Fi alerts. Microsoft has changed the display of wireless networks in the Wi-Fi list. The system will no longer display the warning “Other people can see the information that you send over the network” when connecting to open networks, because it can be misleading to users. Now, secure networks will have a new icon, which will serve as a guideline for connection security.

Accessibility improvements. Microsoft has improved some features for people with disabilities. For example, Narrator supports a new command to pronounce a common summary of a web page (Caps Lock + S).

Install MSIX files without including installing applications from other sources. System administrators will no longer need to enable support for Sideloading applications in the Settings application or in the Group Policy Editor to install MSIX files. Now after signing the MSIX files, they can be installed as a regular application. Organizations will be able to disable this behavior in Group Policy settings.

Optimize memory consumption with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) 2. Previously, the memory of a WSL 2 virtual machine (VM) was increased to meet the needs of your workflow, but it did not shrink when it was no longer needed. With this update, now memory that is no longer used in the Linux virtual machine will be freed back to the main Windows system.

New kaomoji. In Windows 10, version 1903, the Win + keyboard shortcut was updated. / Win + ,, so that you can use not only Emoji (emoji), but also Kaomoji (kaomoji) and special characters. In Windows 10 (version 2004), Microsoft updated the kaomoji list with several more popular kaomoji.

We will update the article as new information becomes available.