The time is coming to update your PC: the Microsoft released a preview of the new Windows 10 20H2 for companies, indicating that this version of the operating system is almost ready for the general public. This is more of a service pack than a major update, but it brings interesting news like a simplified Start menu and changes to Alt + Tab, in addition to the Chromium-based Edge.
As noted by Bleeping Computer, Microsoft made version 20H2 – also known as 2009 – available for testing through the WSUS (Windows Server Update Service). This allows companies to prepare for the upgrade by testing their programs and devices to ensure that nothing (or almost nothing) will break.
If you are in a hurry and want the Windows 10 20H2 right now, just sign up for the Windows Insider program with your Microsoft account and enter the Beta channel (formerly known as slow mode or Slow Ring). You can also download an ISO file to install.
What does this successor to the May 2020 Update hold for us? Check out the details below:
Start menu with simplified design
The Start menu was a little different: the icons now have a translucent background in one color (with the exception of some dynamic blocks), following the system’s light or dark mode. Before, each block could have a different color – black, gray, white – regardless of its settings.
The idea is to simplify the design and give more prominence to the icons themselves, which have been updated with shadows and 3D effects to move away from the flat aesthetic inherited from Windows 8.
“This design creates a beautiful stage for your applications, especially the Fluent Design for Office and Microsoft Edge icons, as well as the redesigned icons for integrated applications like Calculator, Email and Calendar,” explains Brandon LeBlanc, Windows Insider program manager.
Alt + Tab multitasking changes
The popular Alt + Tab shortcut usually switches between different windows, but this behavior has been changed in this Windows update: when you press the key combination, the system will switch between each open Microsoft Edge tab.
Of course, if you don’t like it, you can turn it off following the path Settings> System> Multitasking. There, you can disable this feature completely, or even choose whether Alt + Tab shows only your last three or five Edge tabs.
Easy access to website tabs pinned to the taskbar
Speaking of Microsoft Edge, there is another integration between the browser and Windows 10 20H2.
Suppose you have pinned the Tecnoblog on the taskbar and opened several news and tutorials from our website in different Edge windows. By hovering your mouse over this icon, you will be able to view all open TB tabs to switch between them.
“When clicking on a website pinned to the taskbar, you will see all open tabs for that website in any of the Microsoft Edge windows, just as you would expect for any application with multiple windows open, ”says LeBlanc.
Microsoft Edge Chromium by default
The next Windows 10 update brings several new features to the Edge because the Chromium-based version is installed by default; it replaces the old Edge that served as a successor to Internet Explorer.
Customized taskbar for new users
Users who create a new account on Windows 10 20H2 may encounter a different combination of icons on the taskbar. This experience will be personalized: for example, if your login is associated with Xbox Live, the system will fix the Xbox app icon. If the person linked an Android phone to the account, the Your Phone app will be set to integrate it with the PC.
“We will monitor the performance of these individual standards, monitoring diagnostic data and user feedback to assess public reception,” says LeBlanc. “Using this information, we will adjust the standard layouts to minimize confusion and perception of bloatware.”
Improvements in notifications
Windows notifications will receive two small but very welcome changes. The first is the inclusion of the corresponding application icon: that way, it is easier to know which program triggered the warning.
Another novelty is the X button to dismiss notifications. Currently, there is only the right arrow option that stores the alert in the Action Center, instead of deleting it.
Have more: the Focus Assistant will no longer issue a notification to let you know that Windows has silenced notifications, which makes sense. The system can be configured to enter an automatic do not disturb mode when you are playing, using a full-screen app or mirroring the screen on the TV.
The slow death of the Control Panel
Microsoft is, very slowly, migrating the resources of the old Control Panel to a more modern interface. This Windows 10 update is an additional effort in this regard: the links that would open the System page in the Control Panel will now point to the Settings> System> About path.
There, you’ll also have a button to copy the device’s specifications, including the processor model and installed RAM capacity. There will still be a shortcut to the Control Panel’s System page, however.
In addition, it will be possible to change your monitor’s refresh rate without going to a legacy interface: just follow the path Settings> System> Video> Advanced screen settings and choose the Hz rate.
The shortcut to tablet mode in the Action Center will be removed from PCs without a touchscreen, to prevent users from getting stuck in this simplified touch interface. In addition, there are improvements for IT professionals using MDM (mobile device management) in companies. And, of course, here we have a series of security fixes on several components of the system.
There is not so much news and this is the idea for Windows 10 20H2: it was designed to “offer a focused set of features to improve performance and quality”, as explained by Microsoft. It is reserving new resources for the first half of 2021 (21H1) update.
There is still no date set for Windows 10 20H2 to be released to users in general.