Windows 10 receives two major feature updates every year so users can enjoy game-changing features and get the latest security patches. The 20H1 update is slated for full release in spring this year, but Windows 10 Insiders can already download and install the preview build to give it a test run and help Microsoft by reporting any bugs. Below, we cover some of the most important new features.
#1. More control over updates
One of the more controversial characteristics of Windows 10 is that it provides far less control over updates than its predecessors. The main reason for this is increased security and better support. However, many business users prefer to avoid installing major feature updates, since they can cause disruption.
While critical security updates are mandatory and unavoidable, so long as the device connects to the internet, 20H1 provides more control over optional feature updates. Although all updates will be installed by default, you can still defer major feature updates and avoid installing some optional updates altogether.
#2. Improved Cortana experience
When Windows 10 was first introduced, Cortana was hailed as one of the operating system’s central features, but it failed to garner much popularity. After all, most computer users are still accustomed to controlling their machines with a keyboard and mouse, rather than with voice recognition.
In an effort to make Cortana more accessible and useful for desktop users, in particular, 20H1 will introduce a new chat-based user interface to allow users to type queries rather than say them out loud. The voice assistant is also being updated. But whether the shift toward making Cortana more productivity-oriented will really take off remains to be seen.
#3. Windows Subsystem for Linux
For many years, Microsoft has steered clear of accommodating Linux users, despite the free and open-source software being the industry leader in server operating systems and internet-connected smart devices. The increasing proliferation of Linux has necessitated a substantial shift in thinking with the release of the new Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).
WSL provides a full-featured Linux environment in Windows 10, and the Linux kernel will also be updated through Windows Update. This is an extremely important development for a lot of businesses that use Linux-based technologies like Docker, which wouldn’t run on the original version of WSL.
#4. Faster Windows search
With storage devices only getting bigger and the amount of data growing, faster search has become a necessity for improving productivity. The Windows search indexer was developed to scan files and folders in the background to create a search database. However, many users have complained about excessive disk and CPU usage being an unsatisfactory trade-off.
That’s set to change with 20H1 with an improved search function that uses a new algorithm for scanning and indexing relevant files only. After all, most of the data on your computer isn’t of any interest to the end user, instead including program and operating system dependencies. The new search indexer will also detect peak usage times and stop running when certain criteria are met, such as CPU and disk usage, and battery power levels.
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