A Windows 10 Field Guide Update

Posted on July 1, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 22 Comments

Now that Microsoft has finally come clean on its plans for Windows 10 version 19H2, I can reveal my own plans, for the Windows 10 Field Guide.

As you may know, I published the first version of the Windows 10 Field Guide in November 2015 and have been updating it continuously ever since to address new features in each subsequent Windows 10 version. The problem, of course, is that Microsoft updates Windows 10 too frequently. And so the book includes some content from the past few Windows 10 versions, with some chapters completely up-to-date and others less so.

To partially address this problem in the past, I’ve made sure that I’ve updated the most important chapters, and those that cover apps or features with the biggest changes, with each release first. And I clearly identify at the start of each chapter which version of Windows 10 the chapter covers.

But until recently, some of the chapters were out of date. So, after updating some high-value chapters for Windows 10 version 1903 this Spring, I examined the table of contents and created an updating schedule based on both age and need. And since then I’ve been updating the book rapidly, chapter by chapter, according to that schedule.

My goal, originally, was to arrive at a version of the book that consisted only of content from both Windows 10 versions 1809 and 1903. The theory there being that the book would then be reasonably up-to-date. And I’m pretty close to that goal right now. Of the 23 content chapters in the book, 11 have been updated for version 1903, 10 are updated for version 1803, and 2 are still on 1803. I plan to update the two remaining 1803 chapters to 1903 very soon.

I had hoped that Microsoft was going to treat the next Windows 10 version as a service pack or R2-type release, and this week’s news confirms that. Windows 10 version 19H2 will be delivered as a cumulative update to Windows 10 version 1903 and not as a feature update, which is a version upgrade. For individuals, it will consist solely of performance improvements and quality enhancements, which means there will be no new features.

This is huge for me. This means that I have until September to get the Windows 10 Field Guide completely up-to-date with the latest version of Windows 10 and with the next version too. And that version won’t be replaced until 20H1 ships in the early second quarter of 2020. The Windows 10 Field Guide will be up-to-date for a long time to come.

And that’s good. Because it’s time to stop updating this book.

When I first published the Windows 10 Field Guide, I wasn’t sure how long I’d provide readers—who paid for the book just once—with continuous updates. At first, I figured two years would be a good time frame, or maybe three. But with the book supporting both Windows 10 version 1903 and 19H2, I will have supported existing readers for a full four years. I feel pretty good about that. But it’s time to move on, too.

And by move on, I mean that I’m going to split this book into different books, each covering a specific Windows 10 version. There will be a Windows 10 Version 19H2 Field Guide (or whatever) that will line up with the Windows 10 Field Guide I’ve been writing so far. But the Windows 10 Version 20H1 Field Guide (or whatever) will be a separate book that will need to be paid for separately. I’m also looking into services beyond Leanpub for distribution and other ways to pay for the book. Further, I’m looking into writing other Field Guides, most of which will be much shorter and even less expensive than the Windows 10 Field Guide. The next one will almost certainly be about Microsoft accounts.

We’ll see. For now, I want to get this book completely updated, first for version 1903 and then for 19H2. And that’s going to come together pretty quickly.

If you have purchased the Windows 10 Field Guide, thank you. And remember that you can always download the latest version of the book from your Leanpub library.

If you haven’t purchased the Windows 10 Field Guide, please do so. It only costs $9.99, is over 500 pages long, and will soon be completely up-to-date for the very latest Windows 10 version. And this benefits me (and my co-authors) directly. Plus, when you consider that Windows 10 19H2 will be serviced for 30 months, this book will technically be current for many through March or April 2022.

Not bad for about $10.

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Comments (22)

22 responses to “A Windows 10 Field Guide Update”

  1. ChristopherCollins

    Thanks Paul. You've certainly kept us updated a longer than I ever expected before doing a new book.

  2. Cosmin Tătaru

    Thanks Paul - I purchased the Windows 10 Field Guide book in 2017 and will buy the next ones for sure.

  3. slomike1

    Typo: "have been updated for version 1903, 10 are updated for version 1803, and 2 are still on 1803".

    "version 1803" should be "version 1809".

  4. Angela_WWW

    Thanks for you efforts. I have enjoyed the book.

  5. epsjrno

    Count me in for the new book and most if not all of the other Field Guides.

  6. mattbg

    Amazing value - I would never have expected you to keep the book up to date for this long based on a one-time purchase, to be honest...

  7. barryzee

    The Field Guide has been the best value proposition on any book I've ever purchased. This is way more than fair. Thanks, Paul and I look forward to the next next version for 20H1.

  8. Doctor_K

    The Windows 10 Field Guide has been the best value purchase I have EVER made. Thank you Paul for your dedication to keeping it up to date. I am 100% in for the next version.

  9. Paul Thurrott

    Thanks everyone.

  10. misterstuart

    Bought the book when it first came out, and have found it very useful. I will definitely purchase the new one when it is released! :-)

  11. dc696969

    Thanks Paul - I bought the Field Guide when it became available in November 2015 and will buy the next one(s) as soon as they are published

  12. BruceR

    "... which means there will be no new features."


    Microsoft called 19H2 a feature update twenty times today, between the two announcements.

  13. nerdile

    Sounds like we need a Field Guide Subscription service!

  14. fraXis

    Already purchased it in 2017, and I just re-purchased it again to support Paul, and to say a "Thank You" for all the hard work/updates that you do in regards to the field guide and this site. :-)


  15. jaunty

    I think your "after-sale" service for nearly 4 years has indeed been fantastic, so thank you Paul.

  16. jwpear

    Thanks for all the updates! Ready to purchase the next book.

  17. TrevorL

    A field guide on Microsoft accounts. Interesting. Never thought of such a thing being necessary. But now I do think about it, there is quite a lot going on there, so a guide might be useful.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to TrevorL:

      The impetus for this is that I keep touching on Microsoft accounts in the Windows 10 book and it always requires some explanation. Seems like a small one-up guide would do the trick.

  18. RonH

    Bought the book day 1. Have kept every version as they were released.

    I tell all the people I provide support for to buy the book.


    Great value.



  19. tipes

    Hi Paul,

    Very many thanks for the last 4 years on the field guide - has been excellent, and great value. I have appreciated your work very much. All the best to you.