It seems that Microsoft will be adopting a “tick-tock” release cycle when it comes to major Windows 10 updates. Although two don’t exactly make a pattern yet, it could very well be the start of one. Considering how Microsoft has taken a lot of flak for botching its Windows releases, it definitely needs some time out every year to make sure PCs around the world don’t break for yet another six or so months. At least that seems to be the implied goal with the limited scope of the next major Windows 10 version that’s coming in the second half of the year.
Microsoft has also settled on a naming convention it started last year, at least for Windows Insiders. The technical version name will refer to the year of the release and which half of the year it will be released, with 20H2 referring to the second half of 2020. To stir things up, however, Microsoft will use a different name when talking about it to consumers, like how the May 2020 release is also 20H1.
Names aside, Microsoft’s real message here is that Windows 10 20H2, whichever month it’s released, will be delivered via its “servicing technology”, which is the fancy name it gives to the same technology used to deliver monthly updates to Windows computers. In other words, 20H2 will download and install quickly like a monthly update because, to some extent, that’s exactly what it will be.
Microsoft introduced this concept last year when it talked about the limited scope of the 19H2 update. That scope focused on select performance improvements and quality enhancements, in other words, the polish and fixes that Windows needed after some things broke in the 19H1 or 1903 release. This year’s May 2020 (version 2004 to not be confusing) was less eventful though the smaller updates that came afterward did break things like printing.
Windows users should note, however, that this “fast track” update process for Windows 10 20H2 only applies if you’re already running the latest Windows 10 20H1 May 2020 version 2004 update. For anything older than that, you will still have to go through the large and long installation process, depending on how many updates you’ve skipped.