On October 20, Microsoft released its next major semi-annual Windows 10 October 2020 Update, formerly codenamed 20H2.

Last year, Microsoft switched to a new scheme: a major major update in the spring and a more modest one with a focus on stability and reliability in the fall. By analogy with last year’s Windows 10 November 2019 Update (1909 was the first minor update, more like a Service Pack), the fresh 20H2 update does not carry any fundamental changes. But this does not mean that the Windows 10 October 2020 Update does not contain any innovations at all, on the contrary, there are major visual changes – an updated “Start” with a translucent Aero-style background from Windows 7 and a new Alt-Tab menu interface.

As a reminder, Microsoft unveiled a new design for Windows 10 with a semi-transparent Start and a redesigned Alt-Tab menu in July, and it has been tested by Insider Preview members ever since. And now the updated Start and Alt-Tab menus are officially launched. The animated image below allows you to visually evaluate the visual changes.

Microsoft releases major Windows 10 October 2020 Update (20H2) with semi-transparent Start and new Alt-Tab menu
Old and new Start Menu design in Windows 10.

As for the updated Alt-Tab menu, tabs open in Microsoft Edge will now appear as separate thumbnails alongside other application windows. Fortunately, Microsoft has kept the classic Alt-Tab interface as well. By the way, the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge is now part of the OS.

Microsoft releases major Windows 10 October 2020 Update (20H2) with semi-transparent Start and new Alt-Tab menu
New Alt-Tab menu interface.

Another important change concerns gaming. Many people forgot to turn on 144Hz or higher on their monitors, because up to this point, there was simply no simple setup for this in Windows. In the current Windows 10 October 2020 Update, this has been fixed – now you can switch to a higher refresh rate directly from the Windows 10 settings panel (Settings> System> Display> Advanced display settings). It’s much more convenient than digging into the classic interface hidden deep in the settings, or changing refresh rates from AMD or NVIDIA software.

Microsoft releases major Windows 10 October 2020 Update (20H2) with semi-transparent Start and new Alt-Tab menu

Other minor changes to the Windows 10 October 2020 Update – notifications now include app logos at the top to make it easier to manage and identify, a new taskbar look (with a pinned Xbox app for Xbox Live users or Your Phone app for Android users) for new users, when using a 2-in-1 laptop in tablet mode, notifications are no longer displayed.

After installing Windows 10 October 2020 Update, the OS version will not change (it will still be 2004), only the build number will change – from 19041.xxx to 19042.572. Automatic distribution has not yet started, but anyone can try to install it through the settings. All you have to do is go to Windows Update and click the Check for Updates button, and it will appear immediately (but only for compatible devices that are ready to update – as always, Microsoft distributes the update in stages with strict adherence to the order to avoid possible compatibility issues due to the many different PC configurations).

The full changelog of the Windows 10 October 2020 Update is available at the corresponding page of the Microsoft website.

It remains to be recalled that in March, the number of Windows 10 devices worldwide exceeded one billion.

Microsoft reaches long-cherished goal of surpassing one billion Windows 10 devices

Source: Windows

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