Here’s a list of what’s new in Windows 10 May 2020 Update, the latest major update that Microsoft has begun to release for its operating system. This is one of those updates that are made twice a year to add new features to Windows, which are the ones we are going to list today.
Among others, there will be improvements in the Windows Linux subsystem, with a second version that includes a complete and customized Linux kernel inside Windows. There is also a new option to reinstall Windows from the cloud without previous downloads, important new features in Cortana, and much more.
Reinstall Windows from the Cloud
There are many ways you can reset Windows back to a freshly installed state, which will always help when you can’t fix a bug and need to simply delete everything and start over. From this new version, Windows will be able to restore the operating system from the cloud as well as doing it from a local copy of Windows as before, an option that takes some time to complete.
This new feature will restore Windows to the same build, version, and edition that you currently have installed on your computer, and you will still be able to decide whether you want to keep your files or not. The difference is that now you won’t need to be taking up extra space on your hard disk with a backup to restore from. Of course, for this to be effective you’ll need to have a high-speed connection.
New Linux for Windows subsystem
Windows want to have Linux developers on board, and so for a few years now, it has been implementing the Linux kernel itself within Windows 10. This new update integrates a custom Linux kernel by Microsoft into its subsystem. With this new subsystem, Windows goes from allowing to install environments that look and behave like Linux inside Windows, to have directly Linux inside Windows with its complete kernel.
The WSL 2, the second version of the Linux subsystem, uses a completely different architecture from the first to integrate a real Linux kernel, which will also be periodically updated through Windows Update. By proxy, you can even access the Linux files from the Windows 10 file browser itself, and the kernel itself will be open source for anyone to access, help improve, or modify.
Cortana follows its Release
Microsoft is still trying to change Cortana’s approach and has been releasing its assistant for some time. After removing it from the home bar, they now want it to look more like a standalone application with a new interface based on a chat window, from which you can talk to or write any questions to the wizard.
The revamped wizard inherits classic features like BIing responses, conversations, being able to open applications or handle alarms, lists, and reminders. But also improvements have been added like its integration with dark and light themes, a new less intrusive window for the Hey Cortana, or new language models with improved performance. It will also integrate with Windows 365, and the Cortana window can be moved around the desktop.
Improvements in the Task Manager
The Windows task manager, which you can access from “Control + Alt + Delete” to view all the information about the computer, has also been improved in this new version. Specifically, the improvements reach the Performance tab where you can see in real-time the state of the components of the computer.
From now on, in this new window, you will be able to see the types of hard drive you have installed. Until now it only said Disk 1 or Disk 2, but now it will also tell you if it is HDD or SSD. It will also show the temperature of the graphic cards as long as they allow their monitoring.
Windows Search gains Functionality
Microsoft wants to make it easier for us to find the information we are most interested in, so they have added four quick searches to the Windows Search window. With them, you will have one click away from the automatic search of the weather information, the most important news, the movies in theaters, and a newspaper called Today in History. They can also occasionally display topics of general interest.
An algorithm has also been added to improve the performance of the search tool, as well as its excessive use of resources. The algorithm will detect these excesses to improve how searches are indexed. The design of the preview of the search results has also been improved.
Play music from the smartphone on your PC speakers
Another new feature is that Windows 10 will recover the A2DP Sink Bluetooth protocol that Windows 7 had, and will allow the system to extract the audio from external sources such as your smartphone, and send it to sound in the computer peripherals, such as speakers. This will allow you to remotely use your computer for audio playback.
Connections using the Bluetooth A2DP Sink protocol will have to be managed at the application level, which means that it will have to be the Bluetooth music players or apps that allow the other device to play what the other device sends. This is not common, so not many users may take advantage of it, although if you are one of those who did it in Windows 7 you will be happy to know that you will be able to do it again.
Learn more on the Game Bar
The Xbox Game Bar in Windows 10 runs when you press Windows + G, and it shows you information about your computer’s performance, allowing you to add various Widgets with additional information, as well as allowing you to take screenshots or record your screen.
Performance information is displayed in a Widget with your CPU, GPU, and RAM consumption in real-time, and now also displays the FPS you’re viewing in the game. So you can tell when you have a sudden drop in frames per second.
Notepad levels up
Since one would think that an application as old as Notepad should perhaps be abandoned to create a more modern one, Microsoft has decided to do the opposite: resurrect it and add new features. In this latest update, the tool with 30 years behind it receives improvements in the search and text replacement experience, such as filling in the search with a text you have selected.
You can also zoom in on the text in the notebook with a new option, or keyboard shortcuts such as Control and the addition or subtraction symbols. Asterisks will also be displayed in the title bar to indicate that a document is not saved, you can display numbers in the rows or columns, the UTF-8 encoding is improved, and you can send your feedback to the tool’s developers.
Other minor new Features
And in addition to these major new features, the new major Windows 10 update also leaves us with several dozen minor new features. Here’s all the news in a nutshell so you don’t miss a thing.
- More kaomoji: Windows 10 also improves the list of Kaomojis, that kind of emojis created with textual code, such as ヾ(⌐■_■)ノ♪. You can launch them with a combination of “Windows +“.
- New DirectX 12 features: New features such as DirectX Raytracing tier 1.1, Mesh Shader, and Sampler Feedback are added to improve the gaming experience.
- Windows Hello PIN in safe mode: From now on, when you restart your computer in safe mode, you will be able to log in with your PIN so you don’t need to memorize a password.
- You can connect network cameras in Windows: IP cameras that transmit information over a LAN can now connect to your Windows with the Camera application pre-installed. With it, you can take screenshots or record videos.
- Automatic start of web applications: An enhancement for web apps, which you can add to a list within the login options to start automatically when Windows starts.
- Improved Bluetooth pairing experience: It will be a faster process showing one less notification, and you don’t need to go to Windows settings to finish it all from the notification window.
- Name the virtual desktops: When you press “Alt + Tab” to see the open windows and virtual desktops, each desktop can be named differently to Desktop 1, 2, or 3. This way you can better organize yourself by giving them a specific purpose.
- Control the restart of applications: Now you can also enable or disable your open applications, or specific ones, to reboot when the operating system is restarted.
- Improvements for 2-in-1 devices: The space between taskbar icons will be increased, the taskbar and search bar will be joined, and other changes will be received to improve the experience of these types of devices.
- Cursor control in settings: In the Windows configuration, when configuring the mouse, a bar has been integrated to control the cursor speed.
- Improved network settings: In Windows Settings, when you enter network settings, more information is now displayed, such as active connections and data usage for each.
- Improvements in applications and features: This settings screen is enhanced with details such as multi-selection, better page navigation and ordering of applications, and more useful information.
- Paint, notebook, and WordPad are no longer core apps: This means you can uninstall them if you don’t want to keep them.
- Improvements in the calculator: You will be able to anchor the application in the foreground so that it is above other windows or applications.
- Fewer passwords: Computers with Microsoft accounts will be able to sign in without passwords.
- Accessibility improvements: A more accurate and efficient narrator, and better cursor indicator in the text to make it more visible. Computer control with eyes is also improved.
- Better language settings: These options are now better organized so you can see at a glance how you have them set up.
- Your profile picture has more presence: The profile picture or avatar you can put in your Microsoft account when you change it will now update faster in Windows and Microsoft applications and services.
- Fast event creation: Event creation is improved when you open the taskbar calendar.
- Better notification settings: When an application fries you to notifications, you can turn off all notifications sent by that particular app. The look and feel of notification settings have also been improved, and you’ll have an option to manage notifications from the sidebar.
- Improved Feedback Hub: The feedback hub has been improved to allow you to find similar feedback and link your submission to a previously created one instead of creating a new one.
- Improvements in Distribution Optimization: The Distribution Optimization section within the update configuration and security improves, allowing you to limit the bandwidth used by downloading updates.
- Improvements in Windows Ink Workspace: It is optimized to take up less screen space, and the Microsoft Whiteboard application is integrated.
- File browser searches: Consistency is improved to make it easier to find files. You will stop using Windows Search to better integrate OneDrive’s online content with classic local content results. Its look and feel are also improved.
- Improved accessibility in Windows Sandbox: Support for microphones and various keyboard shortcuts to set high contrast or full-screen mode. The configuration is also improved, with the ability to configure aspects of the sandbox such as vGPU, networking, or shared folders.
- More control on updates: The management of optional updates or drivers will be improved.
- Blocking of some applications: Applications with a bad reputation will be blocked, similar to how the Edge browser already blocks some downloads.
How to upgrade to this new version
The Windows 10 May 2020 Update will arrive as if it were a normal operating system update. So to install it, you’ll need to do it like the other updates, and that starts with waiting for it to update itself or entering Windows settings. You can do this with the cogwheel icons in both the activity center you see in the screenshot and the Start menu.
Once in Windows Settings, go to the Update and Security section, and under the Windows Update category, you’ll see if your operating system is waiting for new updates. Among them, you should see the message Upgrade to Windows 10, version 2004, and below that, a Download and Install button. If you don’t see any, try clicking Check for Updates. The Windows 10 update will come in stages, so it might take a few hours to get it.
Once you’re in Windows Settings, go to the Update and Security section, and under the Windows Update category, you’ll see if your operating system is waiting for new updates. Among them, you should see the message Upgrade to Windows 10, version 2004, and below that, a Download and Install button. If you don’t see any, try clicking Check for Updates. The Windows 10 update will come in stages, so it might take a few hours to get it.
As usual, the update will arrive in stages to the different Windows users . To force the update we can directly resort to creating Windows 10 media. The program in question can be downloaded from the Microsoft page .
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