The next update to Windows 10 (called cleverly “May 2020 Update” will be out next month (May 2020) as is available in the Release Preview #WindowsInsider Ring if you want to try it safely before it officially lands.
As this is the release preview (or release candidate as it used to be known), this should be the final version of the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, which means, so long as no major bugs are detected or reported, the update should be available early next month for all Windows 10 users.
Unlike Windows XP, 7 and 8, Windows 10 is delivered as a service which means that as well as releasing security updates and patches as required, Microsoft provides major updates to Windows 10 twice a year – once in the spring and again in the autumn. These bi-annual updates are usually big feature updates and this latest version update will be the Windows 10 May 2020 Update.
To make it easy for users and enterprise admins to check the global status of known application compatibility and bug reports, Microsoft has a Windows release health dashboard that offers a status on the rollout and any known issues for the May 2020 Update. This is Microsoft’s way of being more cautious and transparent about updates following the October 2018 Update that caused file deletion issues.
What’s new in the May 2020 Update?
As you’d expect, Microsoft provides detailed information about all the changes and new features in each release/update to Windows 10 which you can see here. There are loads – some major and some minor and some simple performance and other behind the scenes updates. I’ve provided a summary of my top 5 below.
1. You can now label your Virtual Desktops
In case you didn’t know, Windows 10 allows you have separate desktop instances to help keep your personal and work life separate or to simply organise your desktop for different projects for example.
To get to and add additional Windows 10’s virtual desktops, you simply head over to the Task View interface (by pressing Windows+Tab on your keyboard). Whereas these were previous just labelled “Desktop 1″, “Desktop 2,” etc. you can now rename them.
To do this, just click the name of each virtual desktop at the top of the Task View interface and then type a name. What is nice is that these names can even use emoji (press Windows+. to get emoji picker).
2. New Disk type and GPU temperature in Task Manager
Task Manager now displays your disk type, whether it’s SSD or HDD, which makes it much easier to see the type of hardware in your device. These details are displayed on the Performance tab which you can get to by opening Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) and then clicking “More Details”.
The Task Manager’s performance tab also now displays your GPU temperature. To get to this, go to your GPU’s status page under the Performance tab. This works with dedicated graphics cards only.
3. Faster (and working) Windows Search
Last years’ Windows 10 May 2019 Update fixed the Start menu search by taking advantage of the old Windows search indexer. Unfortunately, reports from users, admins and #WindowsInsiders of excessive disk and CPU usage and other overall performance issues, meant many simply turned off the search indexer.
Microsoft says this is now fixed, since the search indexer now detects peak usage times so it can better optimise when the indexer runs and can also pause if the device gets busy again while indexer is running.
4. Re-install from the Cloud
In this build, Microsoft has introduced a new re-install from Cloud option in the recovery section of settings, which can be used when resetting your PC to a new default Windows build.
To do this, go to Settings > Update and Security > Recovery and choose to reset your PC and remove everything, and then you can tell Windows to use “Cloud Download”, instead of reinstalling Windows 10 from the files on your local system or needing to provide a USB with the Windows 10 media on. This is much like the way iOS and Android devices now work.
This method is also expected to come to Enterprise imaging and update tools like System Centre and Intune very soon.
5. Improved Network Status pane
The network status page which can be found at Settings > Network & Internet > Status has been had an overhaul and new lick of paint in this update. This is much easier to navigate and now the main network status at the top of the page.
This layout doesn’t add anything new but makes provides better and more relevant information without having to click through loads of options – its also easier to access the trouble-shooters.
I do find it frustrating that tasks like renaming adaptors for example, still opens the legacy Control Panel settings!! – Microsoft are gradually retiring of these, however.
6. Native Support for Network Cameras
Ok, so I said top 5 – but this one almost made the list so thought I’d talk about it.
In this release – Windows 10 is adding support for IP-based cameras. With this, it will now be possible to add network-based cameras by going to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth and other devices > Add Bluetooth or another device.
If there’s a supported camera on your local network, Windows 10 will be able to find it, or you can add it to your system in one simple click.
Once done, you will then be able to use the native, built-in Camera application to access the network camera without needing to use a third-party app.