At long last, Microsoft has finally shared some news about the next feature update for Windows 10 codenamed 19H2. As expected, 19H2 will be a minor update ahead of the release of the 20H1 update that is already being tested with Fast Ring Insiders.
“The next feature update for Windows 10 will be a scoped set of features for select performance improvements, enterprise features and quality enhancements,” wrote John Cable, Director of Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery today. The 19H2 update will start rolling out “later this calendar year,” and it will be serviced for 30 months, just like other Windows 10 updates released in the second half of the year.
What’s changing with the 19H2 update is that it will be delivered via servicing technology that should make the installation process less disruptive for users. According to Cable, “anyone running the May 2019 Update and updating to the new release will have a far faster update experience because the update will install like a monthly update.” This should be great news for Windows 10 users, but it's another sign that the 19H2 update is more like a service pack for the May 2019 update (19H1) than a full-fledged feature update.
The first 19H2 build is actually available today for Windows Insiders in the Slow Ring, but it doesn't contain anything new, at least nothing users will notice:
This update contains two behind-the-scenes changes designed for OEMs and does not contain anything visible to Insiders. We’re using this update to test our process and servicing pipeline for delivering these updates to customers.
Instead, the company says that it will be using a new “controlled feature rollout” (CFR) to ship new features when they’re ready to select Insiders in the Slow Ring. “We will provide more information on new features as we get closer to the launch of the next update to Windows 10,” Cable said today.
As we’re already in July, Microsoft won’t have much time to test new features with Slow Ring Insiders if it wants to ship the 19H2 update later this Fall. Anyway, it remains to be seen if the software giant will do the same thing for the 20H2 update next year, and it’s still not clear if the company is switching to a major/minor release cycle for Windows 10 updates. This is certainly something that IT admins should appreciate, as two feature updates every year was probably too much for the enterprise world.