Microsoft Finally Explains Windows 10 19H2, Releases New Build

Posted on July 1, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows, Windows 10 with 26 Comments

Believe it or not, 19H2gate is a thing.

Ever since Microsoft announced Windows 10 19H2, there’s been a ton of confusion around what the update is going to be about. Combined with the fact that Microsoft also started releasing builds for Windows 10 20H1 (which comes after 19H2) at the same time, everyone was really confused as to what 19H2 is about.

Today, Microsoft is (kind of) explaining itself.

Windows 10 19H2 won’t be a full-blown update for the OS, instead, it will be more of a minor update that focuses on performance improvements, enterprise features, and quality enhancements. Microsoft’s John Cable explained in a blog today that the company will be delivering Windows 10 19H2 as a Cumulative Update to Windows 10 users when it is ready for the public. That means users on the Windows 10 May 2019 Update will be able to quickly upgrade to the new release as a regular monthly update like the monthly cumulative updates Microsoft usually releases.

Those on older versions of Windows 10 will get the 19H2 update as a regular feature update, however.

Microsoft’s starting to test Windows 10 19H2 builds with Insiders in the Slow Ring today as well, and it will deliver the update to Insiders as a cumulative update, too. The company says some Insiders might also not see new features straight away, and that it’s using a CFR (Controlled Feature Rollout) system that will allow the company to gain better feedback from users.

Microsoft is not providing a firm release date for Windows 10 19H2 yet, though the company says it is “targeted” for September. If you want to try out Windows 19H2, you can get today’s build, 18362.10000, via Windows Update.

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Comments (26)

26 responses to “Microsoft Finally Explains Windows 10 19H2, Releases New Build”

  1. benisaacs

    Interesting that the blog wasn’t signed with that hussle phrase they’ve kept using - much more formal tone to it I thought

  2. MarkWibaux

    I guess that means that Insiders on the slow ring won't get any builds of 20H1 until after 19H2 is "RTM'd" (or whatever they want to call it).

    Wonder if that means that Slow ring will now get builds more often as Microsoft ramp up testing of 19H2?

  3. Steven Ball

    I like the idea of one major and one minor release each year, particularly from the prospective of businesses deciding which release to deploy. Currently Microsoft offers a longer support term for the second release of each year. If that release becomes the minor bug fixes and performance improvements that would also give organizations time to evaluate the new features from the first release.

  4. AnOldAmigaUser

    Considering the slow uptake on 19H1, there will be almost no reason to deploy 19H2.

  5. waethorn

    At this point, I don't really care. But I at least want to know if they're going to issue new ISO's. There's really no reason that a company as big as Microsoft, with all the resources they have at hand, to be able to issue new ISO images regularly.

  6. sevenacids

    It's still a weird thing to do. I mean, why always so complicated? Why not cut this nonsense of two annual releases completely and deliver one build a year, and go with the normal monthly cumulative updates in the meantime? I don't see the benefit of a special update in the middle of the release cycle. If it's about quality and security only, they can deliver that every month, there's no need to wait to put it into one big package. I mean, Windows 7, for example, is doing well with this strategy for many years now.

    What's so hard to tell people: "We found that two feature upgrades a year are too much and now scale it back to one per year. We're sorry for all the PITA we caused you guys during the last four years." That would be a straight professional insight. But seems impossible with all the hipsters at Microsoft now.

    It's a welcome change, but not giving up their complicated and fragmenting release schedule leaves a bad taste.

    • Singingwolf

      In reply to sevenacids:

      Agree. 2 a year is silly. A real pain when you manage many PCs. I have just disabled WU on all the machines.

    • warren

      In reply to sevenacids:

      Microsoft already explained this. It's because they have much bigger architectural changes planned for 20H1 and it's not something they could go part-way with in 19H2.

      We've seen this plenty with Ubuntu. 14.04 was a major release.... 14.10 was an incremental bugfix release. 16.10 and 17.04 were also relatively minor releases while they worked on the huge 17.10 release. There was no way Canonical could've "partially" switched to Wayland or GNOME in 17.04. It was all-or-nothing.

      But they kept those releases coming, so that you could always get new capabilities on a regular basis.

  7. Tony Barrett

    Sounds to me like MS are making subtle changes to the Win10 delivery mechanism. The bi-annual big upgrades were unfeasible in the long run - it didn't work for consumers, enterprises or Microsoft. One annual update and one stability update sounds better, but who knows, we could all be wrong - MS knows what's best for their customers after all ;-).

  8. jhabhi

    Thanks for this  That's (finally) right.

  9. wright_is

    Why can't they do this every year? Features in the Spring, stability rollup in the autumn?

  10. jumpingjackflash5

    One big update, one minor update per year. That's (finally) right.

  11. Thomas Parkison

    Maybe this is Microsoft saying in a subtle way that perhaps doing two big updates per year is not working out very well. Well... let's hope that that's the case.

  12. hrlngrv

    Pure tangant: if it's possible to read a 2-line time and date in the system tray, the taskbar is too tall. But what do I care, I still use an analog clock widget.

  13. hrlngrv

    IOW, it's more 19H1 SP1.

    Targeting September, so should be available between Halloween and Christmas.

  14. ndwilder

    Horrible communication, constantly missing their own targets for features, not being clear on what features are included. Prior updates have wrought havoc on the OS. Definitely ignoring feedback from the "Insiders" group...and have a severe lack of internal QA. If only there was competition...

  15. brettscoast

    Thanks Mehedi goes to show Microsoft still has a long way to go on the communications front.

  16. djross95

    "...(kind of) explaining itself" is about the best MS can do these days. If they were really honest, they'd trash the broken 'WAAS' strategy and focus on one big update per year + a service pack, as they are doing this year. Won't hold my breath waiting for THAT to happen!

    • OldITPro2000

      In reply to djross95:

      That wouldn't be a bad compromise. If they would change the servicing timelines to not restrict 30 months to Education and Enterprise that would be even better.

      I would do...

      New features in the spring, service that release for 12 months.

      "Service pack" in the fall, service that release for 36 months.

  17. pesos

    Unsurprising given they already established spring** builds as getting 18mo of support and fall** builds as getting 30mo of support (in the enterprise world). The whole twice a year cadence was absurd and doomed from the start.

    **spring and fall are Microsoft (TM) terms not to be confused with the near-universal interpretation and use of the words