Microsoft’s first big update for Windows 10 this year brings with it lots of improvements. Read on to know more about it…
Microsoft’s first big update for Windows 10 this year brings with it lots of improvements. Windows 10 is set to receive a new major update in April, one year after they officially started working on it. Dubbed 20H1 or version 2004, this is supposed to be a more significant upgrade than last year’s November update (19H2).
One the most interesting features included in Windows 10 version 2004 is something that Mac users have enjoyed for years — if you’re in a pickle and need to use “Reset this PC,” you now have the option for a cloud download to perform a reinstall of Windows. This is especially useful if you live in an area with a fast and solid Internet connection, but if you have a metered connection it’s worth keeping in mind that it can eat through your data quite quickly. Do keep in mind that Reset this PC using the cloud doesn’t do a factory reset, but the download option will reinstall the current version of Windows instead of the one that came with your device.
On the developers’ side, they can look forward to the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2. While many were a bit disappointed by the first version’s performance, compatibility, and file system access limitations, Microsoft says it’s dedicated a lot of time to fixing those. Among a host of changes, improvements in memory usage and ARM64 support are key, so that you can use devices like the Surface Pro X, and full system call compatibility for those of you who need to run things like Docker.
Developers can also connect to their Linux networking applications using localhost, and Microsoft has introduced a way to set global configuration options that apply to any Linux distros that are run using WSL 2.
You may be familiar with the Windows Sandbox, which is based on virtualization and has been present in Windows 10 since version 1903. This is very useful for working with certain apps inside an isolated environment, but until now it didn’t have things like microphone support, or the functionality to configure different aspects of the sandbox like networking, shared folders, startup scripts, or vGPU.
There are other functional updates, such as the ability to rename Virtual Desktops. Usually, both macOS and Windows 10 give dull names to virtual desktops such as Desktop 1, Desktop 2, etc., or, in the case of Mission Control, the most it can do is choose a name based on what app is in the foreground in that space. With version 2004, your Virtual Desktops and their custom names are retained after reboot. What’s even better is that if you use UWP apps like Mail, Calendar, and OneNote they’ll also be restarted minimized, in a suspended state, on reboot.
Another PC enthusiast-oriented feature of Windows 10 2004 (20H1) is an update to the Desktop Window Manager (DWM) that brings improved multiple monitor support when two monitors have mismatched refresh rates. For example, if you have a main gaming monitor running at a high refresh rate and a secondary display running at 60Hz, usually Windows would stutter and show frame-skips, but with hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling in WDDM 2.7, this seems to have been solved. Just make sure you’re running the latest drivers for your graphics card.