Windows 10 Version 20H2 Just Got a Little Interesting

Posted on July 24, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 28 Comments

Surprise! Microsoft today pushed a bunch of features from the Windows 10 Insider Preview’s Dev channel over to Beta (20H2). That means that they’re going to arrive in a shipping version of Windows 10 much more quickly than many previously expected.

As you probably know, the Windows 10 Insider Preview Dev channel (previously called the Fast ring) is not tied to a particular Windows 10 version. And the thinking thus far has been that any features tested there would ship in the version of Windows 10 after the next version, meaning 21H1 right now, at the earliest.

But when Microsoft started testing what it calls “theme-aware tiles” in the Start menu in the Dev channel, I described this change as beyond subtle. In fact, it was so minor that I later speculated that this feature could easily ship earlier, in Windows 10 version 20H2. Even though it being in the Dev channel suggested that it couldn’t appear until 21H1 or later.

Well, that’s happening: Theme-aware tiles are among the Windows 10 features that were previously only in the Dev channel that Microsoft just added to the Beta channel (20H2). Others include ALT + TAB support for Microsoft Edge tabs, improved taskbar pins for Microsoft Edge, and the so-called programmable taskbar.

But wait, there’s more: Microsoft is also improving the Windows 10 notification experience, making minor adjustments to Settings, improving the new tablet experience that debuted in Windows 10 version 2004 in subtle ways, and adding a new Local Users and Groups modern device management (MDM) policy for system administrators.

Given the timing—as noted last week, Windows 10 version 20H2 is careening towards its final release—I have to assume that this list of changes constitutes everything new in this coming release.

You know, unless they surprise us next week.

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Comments (28)

28 responses to “Windows 10 Version 20H2 Just Got a Little Interesting”

  1. jberls

    I have a hard time caring about this, considering I'm still waiting at the end of July for my Surface Pro 7 to get 20H1. I understand that Microsoft has teams already working on future versions, but my irritation and disappointment with the way they manage Windows development grows daily. The 20H1 fiasco calls BS on their whole ring development model

  2. mdrapps

    That washed out blue start menu looks awful.

  3. kb923689

    I can't see the difference. Windows 10 been boring since the 500 "creators" versions.

  4. rmac

    There are 3 things wrong with this: icons are too small as to be intelligible or interesting; icon colours are all too close to a few primaries (they're just not subtle enough); background on background conveys no useful information other than a vague grouping which could just as well be achieved with a single opaque layer.

    Think this is a big step backwards and MS have been struggling with the menu design since W8.

    Take a look at Catalina and iOS 13, MS!

  5. blue77star

    Just installed it. You guys have no idea how nice this looks, small change but picture does not justify it. So appealing and easy on eyes by losing that icon background.

  6. lewk

    I'm on the fast ring, and still haven't received the Start Menu changes, the new Alt-Tab Edge Tab options or even the search box in the file-type settings page. And people in the slow ring have it all now, before I even have any of it in the fast ring. WTF? Is it because I'm Australian, are Microsoft once again screwing me over because I'm not from the USA?

  7. peterh_oz

    "Alt-tab support"

    I hope it is an option, not mandatory.

    Ctrl-tab is for tabs.

    Our workplace is rolling out new laptops for all 400 staff. New Edge is the default, Chrome is available. Must admit, I've stuck with Edge and have no plans to install let alone use Chrome.

    And having both business and personal onedrive is awesome!

    • Paul Thurrott

      Yes, it's configurable and can be turned off.
      • UK User

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        Yes Paul, but doesn't that negate the whole point of accessing your files anywhere on any platform through One Drive, or am I missing something here. If you mean turn off sync on individual gadgets, mostly Windows and Android, then yes I can see that, but I try and use my Windows desktop then sync from there, on the other hand I could have one item not synced but then there would be no update. I don't have your technical abillity so maybe I am being naive.

    • UK User

      In reply to peterh_oz:
      Hi, I am not a business just an individual and I noticed your admiration for One Drive, well I also had that admiration at one time and but that is no more. I woke up this morning 25/07/2020 to find my entire photo collection had vanished overnight, but before this another file had disappeared and couldn't work out why. Now the photos, about 50,000 of them, that is not a misprint had gone, and of course gone from my Windows and Android gadgets synced to One Drive. What happened? No idea, but Googling brought a sobering realisation that this situation is quite common, dating back years, Microsoft's replies seem to be open up your One Drive folder and restore from that, choose a date and roll back any changes, but as to why it happened, nothing. And it says look in the recycle bin, why when I haven't deleted anything. I have 365 so pay for quite a bit of storage, I will be very wary of One Drive in the future, maybe purchase and extra large capacity external hard drive is one answer, yes and that is not infallible

  8. dell5050

    When is 20H2 due to be released?

  9. derekaw

    Tiles, everyone loves tiles.

    I set up a new Windows PC for my mom the other day and Windows is not fun, its bland and boring.

  10. timo47

    Perhaps this is tied to the rumors from Mary Jo that there won't be a 21H1 next year. Because that would mean these changes would only have come with 21H2 which is more than a year away.

  11. cseafous

    This honestly makes me wonder what's left for Windows. It can always be safer and more efficient but there doesn't seem to be any more features to add. It seems like the focus should be on getting the ARM version of Windows up to parity with the Intel based version and creating a new OS that is not tied to legacy software (should definitely not be called Windows) but instead focuses on the cloud, security, mobility, and PWAs.

    • wbhite

      In reply to cseafous:

      I know I'll sound like an old man (I remember Dvorak asking back in the late 90's what else could they possibly add to Office), but I don't want new features, at least at this point. Paul's recent trend of articles about the topic of UI beauty and consistency have me pining for that. MS...leave the guts alone, just make her look good, please.

  12. blue77star

    Good news. I still strongly believe they should dedicate 21H2 release just for UI alone.

  13. omen_20

    One thing I'd like to see with Edge is the ability to close windows of specific profiles. I use Edge with my work account and have multiple windows. I also have web apps installed under my personal account. If I go to Close Microsoft Edge on the browser window, I intend for it to just close those work account windows, but it will also close any of my web apps under the other profile. This means YouTube, YouTube Music, etc. I always close through the menu since I want all my windows back the next time I launch it.