Windows 10 20H2 will (probably) be a minor Update

[German]Rumors suggest that the fall update of Windows 10 for 2020 (the 20H2 development branch) will be rolled out to users as a 'small update', similar to Windows 10 version 1909.


I had recently reported in the blog post Will Windows 10 V2004 be general available on May 28, 2020? that the date for the availability of the spring update for Windows 10 has been moved to the end of May 2020. This was based on a post on ZDNet by Mary Foley, written in mid-April 2020 and supplemented at the end of April 2020. 

Windows 10 20H2 as 'small update'

In Foley's linked article above there is a footnote I had not mentioned. It's about the autumn update of Windows 10 for 2020. Foley writes:

Microsoft has been testing new features and updates with its Fast Ring testers that may or may not make it into the Windows 10/20H2/"Manganese" build. Officials have not said whether 20H2 will be a minor/cumulative update-type feature update to 20H1 — the way that 1909 was to 1903 — but my contacts said that currently is the team's intention.

So nothing official, but the Windows 10 development team is planning a small update for Windows 10 20H2.

What does 'small update' mean for Windows 10 20H2?

For blog readers who might not be so familiar with the subject, here are some explanations. Microsoft releases two feature updates every year, one in spring and one in autumn. In the past, these releases were released as feature updates for a long time – with the result that a fat, several gigabyte package had to be downloaded and installed from the Microsoft servers. In the process, Windows 10 is completely replaced.

Due to the bad experiences with feature updates in 2018, Microsoft 2019 took a new approach. The spring update (Windows 10 Version 1903) came – in the old familiar manner – as a full feature update. But the autumn update (Windows 10 Version 1909) was realized as a 'small feature update'. The code for the Windows 10 versions 1903 and 1909 is the same – even the same updates are used for both builds. Instead of downloading gigabytes of code for a feature update, Windows 10 version 1909 was rolled out as an enablement update. A small update package of about 500 kByte simply changes the version from 1903 to 1909. 


I had discussed some details about this in the blog post Windows 10 V1909 released, how to get this update? In November 2019 there was a mixer session with the Windows Insider team of Microsoft. I had prepared some information from this mixer cast in the blog post Insides: Windows 10 19H2 development/deployment (V1909). According to Brandon LeBlanc, it wasn't clear at that time whether Microsoft would continue to use the 190x version of Windows 10 in 2020. But in January 2020 the first rumors appeared that Microsoft would do the same with the upcoming Windows 10 versions (see my blog post Windows 10: Rumors about 20H2 and deprecated Stores). Now Mary Foley is writing the same – and weighting the trouble caused by the coronavirus pandemic, I think that's likely. 

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