Windows 10 20H1 release date, news and features

Windows 10 20H1 is the first major Windows 10 update of 2020, and it should be coming soon, promising to bring loads of new features to Microsoft's popular operating system.

We still don't have an exact date for Windows 10 20H1, also known as  Windows 10 version 2004, but we've already got some details on the new features coming. 

Builds of Windows 10 20H1 have been available to Fast Ring Insider testers since early 2019, and that's made plenty of information available. 

We're going to lay out all of the most exciting, interesting, and generally useful features that are coming up in Windows 10 20H1 within – you guessed it – the first half of 2020, along with any news and rumors we've found.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Windows 10 20H1 is next major version of Windows
  • When is it out? Windows 10 20H1 is expected in the first half of 2020
  • How much does it cost? Windows 10 20H1 will be free for all users

Windows 10 20H1 release date

We're still not too sure when the Windows 10 20H1 release date will be, though the name '20H1' means we'll be getting it in the first half of 2020.

In the past, major Windows 10 updates that are released in the first half of the year are usually released in April, such as the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, though last year we saw the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, due to delays.

So, the smart money would be on an April or May 2020 release, but Microsoft could always surprise us.

Windows 10 20H1 name

At the moment this major Windows 10 update is going by a few names: Windows 10 20H1 and Windows 10 build 2004, neither of which will be the final name.

Microsoft may stick with its naming convention of previous Windows 10 updates and name it after the time it's released, for example Windows 10 April 2020 update, or Windows 10 Spring 2020 update – although that latter name might be confusing to people living in the Southern Hemisphere.

Of course Microsoft could change tack again. Perhaps it will name the update after the kind of features it's introducing, like the Windows 10 Creators Update, which was released in 2017.

Windows 10 20H1 features

Regardless of the release date and name, the Windows 10 20H1 update will likely bring a load of new features to Windows 10 – certainly more than the relatively low-key Windows 10 November 2019 Update, anyway.

So, here are all the new Windows 10 20H1 features that we know of.

Windows 10 20H1 brings a new look

We've seen more than one hint that Version 20H1 could be making a move toward a more rounded design instead of the sharp angles seen currently in Windows 10. This would extend from windows and buttons to sliders and pop-up dialog boxes.

This would work to provide some more consistency between the desktop user interface and apps, as well as aligning it more with modern web and app style. This change isn't certain though, but has been hinted at more than once.

Windows 10 20H1 brings new virtual desktop names

When you make virtual desktops in Windows 10 right now, they get rather unhelpful, numbered names: Desktop 1, Desktop 2, etc.

Version 20H1 should introduce the option to create custom names for each virtual desktop. So, if you use virtual desktops to separate work and play or various projects, you can make sure each is clearly labeled for which project each is dedicated to.

And, as Windows Central notes, the custom virtual desktops can be saved so they aren't reset after each reboot.

Windows 10 20H1 brings commitment to Windows Hello

Many computers are now built with fingerprint scanners or advanced cameras that provide facial recognition to work with Windows Hello. This lets you sign on without a password, but Windows still requires a password for the account even if you don't have to use it to sign on every time. 

The 20H1 update may include an option to make your device password-less, letting it exclusively rely on Windows Hello for signing into your Microsoft account, Windows Central reports.

Windows 10 20H1 will improve Cortana

It seems like Microsoft isn't giving up on Cortana, its voice assistant, any time soon, and Windows 10 20H1 will bring improvements, with a better conversational experience that will make it feel more natural to 'chat' with Cortana.

Cortana will also have its own app, rather than being built into Windows 10, so we can expect more regular updates in the future – rather than having to wait for Microsoft to release major Windows updates.

Windows 10 20H1 makes it easier to reset Windows 10

Another welcome addition is that Windows 10 20H1 will make it easier to reset Windows 10 to how it was when you first installed it, or when you first bought your device.

It include the Cloud Download feature, reinstalling Windows 10 from an updated version that's held online, and should make resetting or reinstalling Windows 10 even easier.

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