Microsoft has finally announced its next version of Windows 10. While the codename remains the same as 19H2 Update but publicly it will be called Windows 10 November 2019 Update or Version 1909.
Microsoft also confirmed the build number of Windows 10 Version 1909 to be 18363.418. This build is already available to Windows Insiders. If you are a Windows Insider, you should check for the latest updates and make sure you are on the specified build. Windows 10 Version 1909 is generally available for download and upgrade on November 12, 2019.
Microsoft also announced that this update will be available as an optional update via Windows Update and will be generally available at the end of October 2019 or at the start of November 2019.
An interesting thing to note in Microsoft’s blog is that both Windows 10 Version 1903 and Version 1909 will share the same cumulative updates. That means the same cumulative update can be installed on both versions of Windows. Due to this, the last digits showing minor build number after the decimal will remain the same for both versions 19H1 and 19H2.
Table of contents
Let’s first go through the technical part and then we’ll discuss what is actually inside this build of Windows 10.
Windows 10 19H2 technical specs
Codename: Windows 10 19H2 (19H2 means this update is released in the second half of the year 2019)
Version: 1909 (means this version is available on the 9th month (September) of 2019)
Build: 18363.418 (According to the latest Microsoft Windows blog)
Release date: End of October 2019 or Start of November 2019
Kernel: WinNT 10.0
Architecture: ARM64, x64, x86
Languages: Available in 35+ languages
SKU: Education, Enterprise, Home, Pro (The N, KN and Chinese editions are also included).
Price: This update is free for all users who are already using Windows 10.
What’s new in Windows 10 19H2?
The 19H2 update is rather a service pack than a full-fledge feature pack. All previous major updates to Windows 10 have been feature updates.
A feature update is an update containing new features as well as bug fixes and performance improvements. It requires a complete reinstallation of the Operating System.
A service pack is a smaller update which only contains bug fixes and performance improvements. It only requires a system restart after service pack installation.
Microsoft is not releasing any major features in the 19H2 update. That’s why we call it a service pack instead of a feature update.
Microsoft plans to follow this pattern of releasing one major feature update and one update like a service pack per year. This is probably because of the problems users had to face installing feature updates like 19H1 or Redstone 5.
This practice will lead to more stable Windows releases and less of a hassle updating Windows too frequently.
The actual changelog
We mentioned that there will not be any major feature updates in this release but certainly there are smaller features that are worth mentioning. Let’s go through a rough list of features and changes made in this update:
- Calendar update: Now you can create events from the system tray flyout in the system tray.
- The navigation pane on the Start Menu expands on mouse hover for better selection experience.
- File Explorer search is now powered by Windows Search with the ability to search local and cloud-based files.
- The notification area shows the thumbnail previews for a better understanding of each item.
- Third-party digital assistant support is available on the lock screen.
- Windows Defender Credential Guard is enabled by default on Windows 10 tablets and mobiles (ARM64 based devices) for protection against credential theft.
If you want a detailed changelog, Windowscentral has put a good list on their site.
Installing the 19H2 update
Since this update is more of a cumulative or service pack update, and it does not require OS reinstallation, it is less risky to get an upgrade early. If you are running Windows 10 Version 1903, you can easily upgrade to 1909 using Windows Update (when it’s available).
If you are not running Version 1903, then a complete OS reinstallation is required for installing Version 1909. This can be done using Windows Update. Just run Windows Update and install the latest 19H2 update if it’s available. Follow the instructions for successfully installing the OS with complete updates.
Windows 10 19H2 update is marked as optional by Microsoft. So you will need to go to Windows Update and install it manually. Otherwise, Microsoft won’t force it upon you. But it is always recommended to keep your system up to date with the latest security patches and bug fixes to be safe.