If we were expecting Microsoft to announce the public release of the Windows 10 May 2019 at its Build developer conference two weeks ago, that ultimately didn’t happen, but today is finally the day. The May 2019 Update, or Windows 10 version 1903 has started rolling out to consumers today, though as usual this will be a gradual rollout.
Microsoft chose to have a longer preview phase for the major Windows 10 update this time around, and Windows Insiders in the Release Preview ring have had access to the update since early April. “We will be taking a measured and throttled approach, allowing us to study device health data as we increase availability via Windows Update,” explained John Cable, Director of Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery. FYI, this is the build 18362.116 that Microsoft has started rolling out today, which is the same build that Release Preview and Slow Ring Insiders are already running.
Starting today, you may be able to download the May 2019 Update by checking for updates in Windows Update. In case you missed it, Microsoft has recently changed how Windows Update works on Windows 10 versions 1803 and 1809 to give users more flexibility about when to install major Windows 10 updates. Feature updates such as the May 2019 Update now have their own dedicated section on Windows Update, and Windows 10 will now notify users when a major update is available and recommended based on the company’s data.
It’s now up users to choose when they want to install feature updates, except when their current version reaches end of service after the 18 months of support. In that case, Microsoft will continue to automatically initiate the installation of the latest feature update to guarantee device security. If you’re running the Windows 10 April 2018 update, be aware that this version will reach end of service on November 12, 2019, and Microsoft will start updating these devices to a newer version of Windows 10 in June.
We’ll have more in-depth coverage about the Windows 10 May 2019 Update soon, but it brings several new features to the desktop OS. Highlights include a new Light Theme, a new Windows Search experiences that relegates Cortana to a separate button in the Task Bar, and a new Windows Sandbox feature for safely running untrusted apps. Other new features include an improved Swiftkey touch keyboard, the ability to Linux Files inside of File Explorersign in to Windows with password-less Microsoft accounts, and improved RAW image format support.
Now that the May 2019 Update is out, we hope that Microsoft will soon share more information about the next Windows 10 update codenamed 19H2, which should be released this Fall. Select Windows Insiders already have access to preview builds of the Windows 10 20H1 coming in Spring 2020, but the 19H2 update that will precede it is expected to be a more minor update that should require less testing.