The latest version of Windows 10 arrived this week. For consumers, Microsoft refers to it as the October 2020 Update. Technically, it’s known as Windows 10 20H2 according to Microsoft’s new naming convention.

Previously, Microsoft used a YYMM naming convention (e.g. Windows 10 2004). The new convention uses the last two digits of the year along with H1 or H2 (first half or second half). This will apply to previous releases as well.

Welcome To The New Microsoft Edge

Recently, Microsoft rebuilt Edge completely. By “rebuilt,” we mean they scrapped the previous version entirely and built the “New Edge” on top of Chrome. Windows Update may have installed it on your system already. If not, 20H2 bundles it in for good and replaces the old Edge. Several other new features in 20H2 revolve around Edge as well.

Edge Invades Alt+Tab

Pressing Alt+Tab in Windows allows you to switch between programs very quickly. It brings up thumbnails for each open window, allowing you to easily find the app you need. In the past, Edge would just show up as a single thumbnail. Now, every open tab in Edge will appear as a separate thumbnail.

Do you tend to leave thirty tabs open? Don’t worry! You can choose to show only the most recent three or five tabs. You can also disable the feature completely. Just go to Settings > System > Multitasking and adjust to your liking. For now, this feature only applies to Edge. In the future, other browsers may utilize this feature as well.

Enhanced Pinned Sites On The Taskbar

If you didn’t know, you can pin individual sites to the taskbar using Edge. On any site, click the three-dot menu. Go to More tools and click Pin to taskbar. In 20H2, clicking or hover over those pinned icons will now show all open tabs for that site. It doesn’t even matter if they’re in different windows.

Windows 10 20H2 - Start Menu

Theme-Aware Start Menu

Previously, the Start Menu used your accent color as the background on live tiles. 20H2 switches to a “theme-aware tile” instead. Now, the background will be light or dark matching the theme you’re using for Windows 10. Overall, the new look freshens up the Start Menu and finally looks less like Windows 8 (finally).

No More System Control Panel

The “System” section of the Control Panel has been removed. Instead, you’ll find all system info on the About page of the Settings app. It includes a convenient “Copy” button that grabs all the info on that screen. This simple feature becomes really useful when filling out support tickets.

You’ll also find buttons for other advanced system settings like Rename this PC, BitLocker, and the Device Manager. While not a major change, it moves us another step further from the old Control Panel. It won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, but it’s definitely on the way out.

More Minor Changes

Microsoft also worked on improving notifications, tweaking tablet mode switching, easier adjustments to display refresh rate, and more. Consider 20H2 a minor update. Microsoft hasn’t publicly acknowledged a major-minor release schedule. However, the cycle holds true so far.

While 20H1 introduced a lot of new features, 20H2 focuses on bug-fixes and performance improvements. We see this as a good thing given the myriad of problems 20H1 (aka 2004) included. Hopefully, Microsoft fixed more bugs than they introduced this time.

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