Windows 10’s 20H2 update (for later in 2020) could be a minor affair that doesn’t introduce any major changes, just like the low-key upgrade Microsoft released in the second half of 2019.
We hasten to add that this hasn’t been confirmed by Microsoft yet, but it would appear to be the case due to the discovery of an ‘enablement’ switch in a recent preview build of Windows 10 May 2020 Update (the next big upgrade for the first half of 2020, which is due imminently).
Windows Latest spotted the presence of the switch, and Albacore (a well-known Windows leaker) flagged it up on Twitter (via Borncity.com). Furthermore, previous to this, there has been other chatter on the grapevine, and Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet, one of the most reliable Microsoft sources out there, has indicated that Windows 10 20H2 is likely to be a minor update.
The latest Windows 10 Version 2004 CU (.264) contains early hints towards the H2 update that’s in the works. If a package called Microsoft-Windows-20H2Enablement is present while installing the newest CU, Version 2009, Build 19042 is what you’ll be greeted with in winver. pic.twitter.com/co1CL22rQLMay 16, 2020
An enablement package is what turned Windows 10 May 2019 Update into the November 2019 Update, as the latter was just a minor release – essentially a service pack with some small tweaks and introductions, but no major new features at all.
Given that there’s an enablement package in the May 2020 Update (preview) now, it would logically make sense that this is there to serve the same function, and later in the year the 20H2 update will also be a low-key affair. Particularly given the previous rumors around this, as mentioned.
Essentially, what Microsoft is doing is preloading stuff for the next upgrade after the May 2020 Update, which can then be set live by flicking that enablement switch whenever the 20H2 rollout kicks off later this year.
While we can’t get too carried away about this right now – because this isn’t confirmation from Microsoft, or anything concrete – it does now seem very likely that 20H2 will be a minor upgrade, which further begs the question: is this going to be the way every year pans out, with a major update followed by a smaller one?
Remember that when the November 2019 Update was announced as a small upgrade, it was supposedly a one-off thing which happened because Microsoft needed to rejig its update schedule to better align with the launch of Windows 10X hardware – although the latter dual-screen devices aren’t coming out in 2020 now.
And come to think of it, maybe this is all still tied up in issues around getting Windows 10X (and related devices) right?
However, if Microsoft is mulling a permanent move to a pattern of just one major update coming per year, it would obviously need to be careful around that prospect being disappointing news for those who could perceive this as a slowdown in the development of new features for Windows 10.
All this remains speculation, of course, so we’ll just have to see firstly if 20H2 does turn out this way, and then perhaps Microsoft will address the issue of what the future looks like for Windows 10 upgrades down the line.