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  1. Most of Windows 10 2004 issues now resolved If you are a late adopter the time may be close for making the jump to the Windows 10 May 2020 Update. Yesterday Microsoft released cumulative update KB4568831 which brought along a large number of fixes, with the result that there are currently only 4 outstanding issues with Windows 10 2004. Those are: KNOWN ISSUES Summary Status Last updated Issues updating or starting up devices when aksfridge.sys or aksdf.sys is present Devices with apps or drivers using certain versions of aksfridge.sys or aksdf.sys might have issues updating or starting. aksfridge.sys file is a software component of Aladdin HASP by Aladdin Knowledge Systems, a digital rights management (DRM) suite of protection and licensing software utilised by over 30,000 software publishers. See details > Investigating July 31, 2020 10:02 AM PT Dragging with the mouse in some apps might cause issues for some IME users Users of the Microsoft IME for Chinese and Japanese might receive an error or the app might stop responding or close. See details > Investigating July 14, 2020 10:19 AM PT Errors or issues during or after updating devices with Conexant ISST audio drivers Devices with affected Conexant ISST audio drivers might receive an error or have issues with Windows 10, version 2004. See details > Investigating May 27, 2020 10:07 AM PT Errors or issues during or after updating devices with certain Conexant audio drivers Devices with affected Conexant or Synaptics audio drivers might receive a stop error with a blue screen. See details > Investigating May 27, 2020 10:07 AM PT Windows 10, version 2004 is currently available for users with devices running Windows 10, versions 1903 and 1909, who manually seek to “Check for updates” via Windows Update. Microsoft has also started a new phase of the rollout where they use machine learning-based training to increase the number of devices selected to update automatically to Windows 10, version 2004 that are approaching end of service. This would generally be devices on Windows 10 1809 (the October 2018 Redstone 5 Update) which are about to go out of service on November 10, 2020. According to AdDuplex data, Windows 10 v2004 is currently installed on 11% of the Windows 10 machines just two months after the official release. Once Microsoft is comfortable that the OS update is mostly free of issues we can expect the update to be offered automatically to most Windows 10 users, but except for those on Windows 10 1809 and 1903, most users should not expect to be force updated. Read about what’s new in Windows 20 2004 here. Most of Windows 10 2004 issues now resolved
  2. Microsoft resolves more issues blocking the Windows 10 May 2020 Update Today, Microsoft released a new optional cumulative update for Windows 10 version 2004, and as usual, it came with a wide range of fixes. This is notable, because ever since the company released the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, it's been struggling with a whole bunch of known issues that have plagued the feature update. The good news is that some issues have been resolved today, but the bad news is that the upgrade blocks are staying in place. That's because today's update was optional, and it's not going to be bundled into the Windows 10 version 2004 installation package. If you're affected by one of the issues, you'll have to wait for Patch Tuesday. The two issues listed as being resolved in this update are as follows: Difficulty connecting to more than one Bluetooth device Windows 10 devices with certain Realtek drivers might be unable to connect to more than one Bluetooth device. Variable refresh rate not working as expected on devices with Intel iGPU Enabling VRR on affected devices will not enable the VRR for games using Direct X 9. There's also one issue that's listed as mitigated, and Microsoft says that it will be fixed in mid-August, which is likely Patch Tuesday: Issue with older drivers for Nvidia display adapters (GPU) You might have issues if you are using an Nvidia display adapter (GPU) and drivers with a version below 358.00. Finally, Microsoft introduced a brand new issue today, which is still being investigated: Issues updating or starting up devices when aksfridge.sys or aksdf.sys is present Devices with apps or drivers using certain versions of aksfridge.sys or aksdf.sys might have issues updating or starting If you're affected by one of the issues that were fixed today, you could theoretically force install version 2004 on your PC, and then make sure you install the optional update. Of course, this is not recommended. You might be better off just waiting for the blocks to be lifted next month. Microsoft resolves more issues blocking the Windows 10 May 2020 Update
  3. Windows 10 version 2004 is rolling out to more users with old versions of the OS Microsoft released Windows 10 version 2004 back in May, and it's been a bit of a bumpy road with known issues that are causing upgrade blocks. As is typically the case when a version of Windows 10 is nearing the end of support, Microsoft started force upgrading those on version 1809 to 2004 back in June, despite the fact that it promised to move them to version 1909 back in December. But of course, even with automatic updates, there are still a whole bunch of blocks in place. Today, Microsoft updated its Windows 10, version 2004 dashboard to reflect that it's using machine learning and based on what it's learned, it's rolling out the update to a broader range of PCs that "are approaching the end of service". While it didn't call out version 1809 by name this time, that's likely all Microsoft meant in this instance, because it does say that the May 2020 Update is still only available to seekers on versions 1903 or 1909. It's worth noting, however, that Microsoft started moving those on version 1809 to 2004 a month ago, and support for version 1903 ends only a month after support ends for version 1809. Support for Windows 10 version 1809 was supposed to end in the spring, but Microsoft postponed it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, support ends on the second Tuesday of November, while support for version 1903 ends in December. In other words, while it seems that only those on 1809 are getting force-upgraded now, those on version 1903 shouldn't be far off. Windows 10 version 2004 is rolling out to more users with old versions of the OS
  4. AdDuplex: The May 2020 Update is now installed on 7% of Windows 10 PCs Today, AdDuplex published its monthly report on Windows 10 and Surface usage. The data is based on the over 5,000 Microsoft Store apps that use the AdDuplex SDK v.2 or higher, and it was collected on June 29. While the Windows 10 May 2020 Update has been available for over a month now, it's still on only 7% of Windows 10 PCs. Of course, it's been a very slow rollout, and there are still a bunch of issues blocking it. Perhaps more strange is that the year-old version 1903 is still the most popular version, only declining by 2% from last month to 46.2%. Version 1909 declined from 36.4% to 35.7%. Version 1809 saw the biggest decline from 8.3% to 5.9%, and that's because Microsoft started automatically updating users on 1809 to 2004. This is the new way that Microsoft does things, and it's why newer updates aren't seeing as much traction as they would have in the old days. New feature updates are optional, and you have to opt into them; they're only installed automatically if the version you're on is nearing the end of support, like 1809 is. That's also evident from the graph showing how fast various updates have rolled out. Version 1809 was particularly problematic, and Microsoft started to make changes after that. That's why versions 1903 and later have slower rollouts than the ones that came before 1809. AdDuplex: The May 2020 Update is now installed on 7% of Windows 10 PCs
  5. How to enable hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling on Windows 10 May 2020 Update Last week Nvidia released version 451.48 driver update for Windows 10 users. The driver update introduced DirectX 12 Ultimate but also added support for hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling for Windows 10 users running May 2020 Update. In case you do not know, hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling allows the GPU to manually handle its own memory, removing the operating system from the loop. In theory, this could lead to better performance and will reduce latency. Microsoft added support for hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling in May 2020 Update and the latest driver updates from Nvidia enabled the feature for Nvidia GPUs. If you are using Windows 10 May 2020 Update and have a relatively new Turing based Nvidia GPU, then you can follow the steps below to enable hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling: Go to Nvidia’s driver website or use the GeForce Experience app to download and install version 451.48 or later (You can check the current version by opening Nvidia Control Panel) Once you have installed the latest drivers, restart your computer Click on ‘Search’ on the taskbar and type “Graphics Settings”. Click on the first option to open Windows Graphics settings. Click the toggle under “Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling” to enable the feature Restart your computer to apply the changes Do note that you will need to download and install the latest drivers for the feature to show up in Windows settings. In our tests, there was a performance boost of about 5% in games (Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti) but it depends on the GPU. Higher-tier cards with more VRAM like RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti will benefit less from the feature, while lower-tier GPUs like Nvidia’s 16 series should benefit more from hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling. AMD has also added support for hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling in the latest beta update. Selected AMD Navi based GPUs currently support the feature and you can enable it by following the aforementioned steps after downloading the latest beta drivers from AMD's website. How to enable hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling on Windows 10 May 2020 Update
  6. Malwarebytes acknowledges performance issues on devices running Windows 10 v2004 Last month, Microsoft officially rolled out the Windows 10 May 2020 Update via Windows Update. Nevertheless, the update was seeded to a limited number of users as the company blocked it on a vast number of devices due to the numerous known issues. Now, Windows 10 v2004 users are facing issues when using Malwarebytes. According to users on the forums, Malwarebytes on v2004 is causing devices to freeze, lag and is even preventing apps from launching. The company has now acknowledged (via Techdows) the problems and is working on a resolution. According to Malwarebytes, users may encounter the following problems: Performance degradation or slowness Applications won’t open Computer is unresponsive As for the cause, the company suspects that there “is a conflict with the Ransomware Protection layer and Windows 10 version 2004.” Unfortunately, there is no workaround available for the problem at the moment. Malwarebytes recommends users to submit a ticket or defer Windows 10 v2004 update. Moreover, users can also try a clean install and if nothing works, they should disable Ransomware Protection in Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes acknowledges performance issues on devices running Windows 10 v2004
  7. New Microsoft Edge browser uses up to 27% less memory on Windows 10 version 2004 If you keep an eye on memory usage on your Windows devices and run a device with Windows 10 version 2004, you may have noticed that Microsoft's new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge web browser uses less memory on that version of Windows. The new Microsoft Edge web browser uses the same core as Google Chrome, and Google's browser is notorious for using a lot of RAM when it is in use. Memory use depends largely on the activity on the Internet; users who open just one or two sites will see less memory usage usually than users who open lots of sites and keep them active. Microsoft seems to have found a way to reduce the memory usage of the company's new web browser but only on Windows 10 version 2004. The company released the feature update for Windows 10 last month and has rolled it out slowly to eligible devices. According to a blog post by Microsoft Principal PM Manager, Microsoft Edge, Kim Denny on the Microsoft Edge Dev blog, the new Microsoft Edge may use up to 27% memory less on the new version of Windows 10 than on previous versions. Denny explains that Microsoft implemented Windows segment heap memory improvements in the browser that reduce memory usage. With the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, Microsoft Edge has leveraged the Windows segment heap memory improvements now available for Win32 applications to manage memory more efficiently. Early internal testing results of devices on the May 2020 Update are showing a memory usage reduction of up to 27% when browsing with Microsoft Edge. Segment Heap has been available to UWP applications only in previous versions of Windows 10. Microsoft announced Project Reunion recently in an attempt to unify the Windows development platform. With UWP having stayed behind expectations, Microsoft decided to unlock UWP specific APIs such as segment heap so that Win32 programs can use these as well. Microsoft Edge is the first Win32 application that makes use of segment heap but the API is available for all developers. It is possible that other browsers, e.g. Firefox or Chrome, and also other programs, make use of the API to reduce the memory usage of applications that run on the Windows 10 platform. (via Deskmodder) New Microsoft Edge browser uses up to 27% less memory on Windows 10 version 2004 [ nSane Frontpage ... Microsoft Edge 83.0.478.54 ]
  8. Windows 10 version 2004 slams into a Storage Spaces brick wall According to official sources, the latest Windows upgrade contains a bug in the Storage Spaces feature. Information, as usual, is sketchy. We have no idea what triggers the bug, or whether rolling back to 1909 will fix it, but … why is Microsoft still driving this train wreck? Thinkstock It’s too early for the villagers to haul out their rusty pitchforks and oft-hoisted torches, but it looks like another Windows version upgrade has another data-eating bug. The bug infects Storage Spaces, Microsoft’s way of implementing RAID-like data redundancy by using standard hard drives. Yesterday, Microsoft posted Knowledge Base article 4568129, which says in part: Devices using Storage Spaces might have issues using or accessing their Storage Spaces after updating to Windows 10, version 2004 (the May 2020 Update) and Windows Server, version 2004. When using some configurations, partition for Storage Spaces might show as RAW in Disk Manager. Within a few hours, Microsoft clamped down on distribution of the Win10 version 2004 upgrade to some affected PCs, showing the message: This PC can't upgrade to Windows 10. Your PC isn't supported yet on this version of Windows 10. No action is needed. Windows Update will offer this version of Windows 10 automatically once the issue has been resolved. Presumably the block appears on Win10 1809, 1903 and 1909 machines running Storage Spaces. Attribute it to the “artificial” part of Microsoft’s vaunted rollout AI. The scary part comes later in the announcement, which says: Important We do not recommend running the chkdsk command on any device affected by this issue. Of course, any experienced Windows user who encounters a suddenly faltering disk will crank up chkdsk.exe. Checkdisk has been around since the Days of DOS. And now we’re being told not to use it. There's no explanation why, it’s just not recommended. To understand what little has appeared online, you need to realize that Storage Spaces, a feature introduced in Win7, supports four levels of protection. When you set up a Storage Space, you tell Windows what level of backup protection (“resiliency”) you want. A Parity Storage Space setup, which protects you from complete destruction of a single drive, requires at least three hard drives. With a Parity setup, one of your drives can grind to dust, and you’ll still have full, uninterrupted access to all of your data. The details I’ve seen (thx, skippy on Reddit) point to corruption in Windows PCs with the Parity version of Storage Spaces. JohnHagan, posting on a different Reddit thread, describes it this way: I have had a Storage Spaces Parity storage space consisting of 4 WD Red 6TB NAS hard disk drives, formatted as NTFS, on a Windows 10 Pro workstation, for several years. After upgrading to Windows 10 Version 2004, within a day or two, I noticed the contents of some files were corrupt. A CHKDSK resulted in finding thousands of problems, such as "Attribute list entry with type code 80 in file 5E711 is corrupt" and "File record segment 67C08 is an orphan". When CHKDSK completed, the file system was again consistent, but hundreds of files had incorrect content, despite their other attributes being correct (file size and change dates). I restored the corrupt files manually from backup, and continued on for another week. Then, a Cumulative Update for Version 2004 was installed and the workstation was rebooted. Almost immediately after the reboot, I noticed corrupt files again. This time, CHKDSK (run in read-only mode) detected hundreds of issues. I haven't tried to repair it with CHKDSK, as I'm afraid I'll corrupt it further. Based on the few posts I've seen, the bug only shows up on machines running the Parity variant of Storage Spaces. In my experience, Storage Spaces isn’t common – and Parity Storage Spaces aren’t common at all. But that’s not much solace to someone who’s trusting Microsoft to support its own feature. Microsoft has had all sorts of problems with hard drive and SSD management in Win10 version 2004 – Mayank Parmar on Windows Latest lists problems with creating Storage Spaces. He also shows that the Drive Optimizer defrag tool doesn’t keep track of dates and thus prompts you to run it too frequently. Günter Born, quoting Karl Wester-Ebbinghaus, reports that old problems with freeing data still haunt Storage Spaces; and that Microsoft has known about these bugs for a long time. I haven’t yet seen any reports of Win10 2004 upgraders permanently losing data. But given the published warning about using chkdsk, it looks like we have another data-eating upgrade bug on our hands. The last time a new version of Win10 inexplicably started chewing up data, with version 1809, Microsoft pushed the upgrade for four days before yanking it. Version 1809 went into the shop for four months, with the “oops, final final” version shipping in March 2019. Given the likely severity of the problem, Microsoft should yank version 2004 now, and hope that more people don’t lose their data. It isn't enough to hide behind an upgrade block. Microsoft shouldn’t have shipped Win10 version 2004. Delaying the ship date is the first item in my list of Five steps Microsoft should take RIGHT NOW to help us through the pandemic, published two months ago. There are no feature upgrades worthy of the term – version 2004 primarily re-arranges the chairs on the deck. In the “tick-tock” new Win10 scheme of version upgrades every six months, this one doesn’t tick. It thuds. After fives months of testing the final version of Win10 version 2004, we get this. Have a beef with 2004? Join us on AskWoody.com. Windows 10 version 2004 slams into a Storage Spaces brick wall
  9. Microsoft acknowledges the Storage Spaces issue, offers a way to avoid it Last month, Microsoft officially rolled out the Windows 10 May 2020 Update via Windows Update. Nevertheless, the update was seeded to a limited number of users as the company blocked it on a vast number of devices due to the numerous known issues. One of the issues that people complained about was Storage Spaces. Today Microsoft published a support page (via Techdows) acknowledging the Storage Spaces issue. According to Microsoft, users might face issues trying to access Storage Spaces after updating to Windows 10 May 2020 Update. The bug affects some configurations of Storage Spaces and will show the partition as RAW in Disk Manager. Unfortunately, there is no fix or a workaround at the moment but Microsoft has recommended users to mark Storage Spaces as read-only to prevent from running into issues. You can follow the steps below to mark Storage Spaces as read-only on your system: Open Start Menu and type 'PowerShell' and open it as an Administrator (right-click and select 'Run as Administrator') Click 'Yes' if you get the User Access Control (UAC) prompt Type "get-virtualdisk | ? WriteCacheSize -gt 0 | get-disk | set-disk -IsReadOnly $true" in PowerShell (without quotes) and press enter This will set Storage Spaces to read-only, meaning you will not be able to write to it. You can, however, still access it and "any volume not seen as RAW should be readable". Do note that Microsoft does not recommend running the 'chkdsk' command on any device that is affected by this issue. Microsoft has published a separate known issues page as a reference for Windows 10 users who plan to upgrade to May 2020 Update. However, the company has still missed out on plenty of issues. Just a couple of days back we reported about the missing Fresh start feature that Microsoft moved without proper documentation. Microsoft is still working with different companies to squash various bugs like the problems with ThinkPad laptops and the Chrome bug that resets the credential manager. Microsoft acknowledges the Storage Spaces issue, offers a way to avoid it
  10. Some Chrome users are getting signed out automatically on Windows 10 version 2004 Some Google Chrome users who use the browser on a device running Windows 10 version 2004 are reporting that they are getting signed out of their Google account and other accounts automatically. Microsoft released Windows 10 version 2004, also known as the May 2020 Update, last month to the public. The operating system is being rolled out over time to devices. The company published several issues when it released the update, some of which block the update from being offered to a device. New issues have been acknowledged last week, and some old ones have been mitigated or fixed. It appears that some Chrome installations don't play well with Windows 10 version 2004 either. Chrome users report on the official Help forum [see for example here and here] that they are getting signed out of accounts automatically after every restart of the operating system. Chrome pauses sync each time because of that and it also does not appear to store or use cookies after the restart of the system. Common fixes such as reinstalling Chrome, clearing all cookies or site data, downloading a different Chrome version, don't fix the issue according to the reports. I have recently just updated to windows update 2004 and I keep having issues with google signing me out of every account on my browser including forcing me to sign in again for sync. I have already uninstalled and reinstalled chrome to try fixing this. It's been starting to get really annoying having to resign into my accounts every time I use my pc. I'm dealing with a problem where each time I close chrome, it pauses sync and doesn't seem to use stored cookies (meaning it logs me out of all websites, regardless of if the password is stored in sync or not). Microsoft has not acknowledged the bug yet and Google has not replied to any of the threads either at the time of writing. The issue seems limited to Windows 10 version 2004 only. Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy replied to one of the threads suggesting that it could have something to do with the dpapisrv master key cache. He suggests that affected users do the following to see if it resolves the situation for the session: Close all Chrome windows / instances. Use Windows-L to lock the computer. Unlock the computer, and restart Chrome. Closing Words It may take some time before the issue is addressed. Considering that reports started to appear more than two weeks after initial release and that only some Chrome users appear to be affected, it is possible that last week's cumulative security updates introduced the bug and not the release of Windows 10 version 2004. Some Chrome users are getting signed out automatically on Windows 10 version 2004
  11. The Windows 10 May 2020 Update is causing major hard drive management issues We reported earlier that Microsoft has been informed of the Fresh Start issue with Windows 10 2004, but that at least this did not result in data loss and was therefore not that serious. It seems that issue was just a harbinger of more serious issues, as Windows 10 2004 appears to have multiple issues with hard disk drive management, with uses reporting issues even with the RTM version. The first is the most serious – users are reporting issues with Storage Spaces – Microsoft’s version of Software RAID, which pools a number of physical hard drives into a virtual drive and then mirrors data throughout the volume. WindowsLatest reports that users are complaining of issues being able to create new Storage spaces, running into the error: Cannot create new Storage Space. Error (0x00000057): The parameter is incorrect. It is notable that users have been complaining of the problem in the Feedback Hub for months now, with one user saying 9 months ago: Hard to explain in detail, but Storage Space management doesn’t work very well via the GUI. I am able to manage storage pools, spaces, physical disks, etc. fine through PowerShell, but the GUI encountered issues at every step. Maybe storage space management should be modernized to follow the Server Manager model where it just issues a PowerShell script that is visible to the end user. Even worse, some users are reporting that the problems are causing data loss. “My 20 TB parity storage space shows up now as raw, no accessible files. Storage Spaces tool and Powershell show it as healthy, containing data. Looks like the ReFS partition has been corrupted, and I may have to fork out cash on recovery software and some external drives to copy files to so I can rebuild.” and another… “I started noticing corrupt photos I keep on my parity storage space in the last week. No errors in chkdsk though. Luckily I’ve been able to restore the images from backup and the corrupt versions haven’t been synched back to OneDrive,” another user added. Compared to the Storage Spaces issue the next issue is much more minor. After upgrading to the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, users are reporting that the Optimize Drive tool is not recording the dates of the last manual or automatic scan, meaning despite a recent scan, Windows often complains that your drive has never been optimised and that the tool needs to be run. One user notes: Defrag Tool not working correctly, will scan and finalize even shows the date and defrag percentage as it should, that is until you close the application, then it shows Never Ran Users have been complaining about the issue for at least 6 months now. As Brett P notes: The Windows 10 May 2020 Update is causing major hard drive management issues
  12. Microsoft broke Windows 10’s Fresh Start feature in the May 2020 Update Since the Windows 10 Creators Update in 2017 Microsoft offered a Fresh Start feature in Windows Security which allowed users to re-install Windows 10 while keeping your data intact. Importantly the feature would not attempt to keep your existing apps, which would in many cases get rid of lingering compatibility issues and registry bloat, and offer users a “fresh start”, just like when they purchased their PC for the first time. The description of the feature reads: Start afresh with a clean and up-to-date installation of Windows. This will keep your personal files and some Windows settings and remove some of your apps. In some cases, this may improve your device’s startup and shutdown experience, memory usage, Store apps performance, browsing experience and battery life. With the Windows 10 May 2020 Update (version 2004) Microsoft appears to have broken the feature, removing the Get Started button. The “Additional information” link remains, which directs to this web page, which offers information on the feature, but then recommends the circular action of “Under Fresh start, select Additional info, and then select Get Started to start the process,” which results in ending up back at the same web page. HTNovo, who noticed the issue, noted that Windows 10 2004 does include a new Cloud Download feature, but that this is not an exact replacement, as it still leaves the OEM pre-installed apps on the device, which is often a source of issues all by itself. It is not clear if Microsoft intended to remove the Fresh Start feature, or if this was simply a bug which was overlooked. Given the lengthy Windows 10 Insider process however, this is clearly another failure of Microsoft’s Windows 10 testing procedure. Via HTNovo Microsoft broke Windows 10’s Fresh Start feature in the May 2020 Update
  13. Windows 10 Version 2004: Forced upgrade without user consent The new Windows 10 May 2020 Update (Version 2004) has been generally available since May 27, 2020 and is being rolled out only slowly. But I have already seen reports that systems are automatically updated to Windows 10 Version 2004 without any user interaction. Feature update: This is how it should work Since Windows 10 version 1903, feature updates should be offered as optional. The user must explicitly trigger the download and installation, as shown in the following screenshot for version 1903. (Feature updates in Windows 10 May 2019 Update, Source: Microsoft) Starting with Windows 10 May 2019 Update, Version 1903, Microsoft grants users in all versions a possibility to postpone quality updates by 5 x 7 days (35 days). I had described this in the article Windows 10 May 2019 Update brings back Update control. At the same time Microsoft has introduced a second, positive innovation. Functional updates can be postponed by the user until shortly before the end of the support period of the installation (see Windows 10 V1903: Update Control Inconsistencies – Part 2). A reader’s feedback End of May 2020 German blog reader H.v.H. contacted me and reported a strange observation (thanks for that). He writes: Hello Günter, without any action on my part, MS installed the 2004 update. Only the reboot was still pending. Procedure: within 6 min 2 reboots blue screen with “Updates for you are being prepared after 7:30 min in total (SSD hard disk) started Edge on my normal screen view Firefox remained the default browser tested the scanner: ok (driver works) of the 86 installed programs, 35 got the current installation date (4 of them from MS) Everything seems to be going as usual. At the same time I received this comment here in my blog. EP refers to a discussion at askwoody.com where the same thing happened to a user. And Susan Bradley also puts together some observations of this kind in this askwoody short article. This is addressed also here. Another reader observation about defer update In the blog post Windows 10 Version 2004/Windows Server 2004 released I wrote that all feature updates are optional, and that the user need to click the Download and install link, to triger an upgrade. Blog-reader Martin responded with the following observation. Yes and no… this is only true (at least according to my tests 1903->1909) if the setting “Delay function updates and/or quality updates” is set is not used – i.e. remains at 0 days. If this is not the case (1 day delay is enough) a new version will be installed automatically. This may have been an explanation, but it doesn’t quite fit together. Some users were probably with delay 0 in Windows 10 Home V190x. Have update defer options been removed? On reddit.com there is this post where someone asks if the delay options for feature updates in Windows 10 version 2004 have been removed. Has MS removed option to defer feature updates for 365 days from Pro 2004? I have just clean installed Pro 2004 (new iso today) on a pc and the option to defer feature updates for 365 days is missing. Comparing registry with 1909, it is quite different and I have a suspicion you can now only defer feature updates on enterprise as the deferfeaturesupdate keyword has moved into a folder that seems only to apply for business users Although one respondent explains that delay options for feature updates have not been required since the 1903 version, the answer is no longer necessary. But the experiences outlined above show me a different picture. Something doesn’t fit together anymore. Do you have had similar experiences or have an explanation? Windows 10 Version 2004: Forced upgrade without user consent
  14. Some Win10 PCs are apparently being upgraded to version 2004 without consent I’m seeing an increase in the number of people who claim that their Windows 10 version 1903 or 1909 computers were upgraded to version 2004, without warning. The behavior might be due to a bug in the way Win10 handles “Pause updates.” Mark Hachman / IDG Every time Microsoft rolls out a new version of Windows 10, a certain percentage of Win10 customers claim their machines have been upgraded without their consent. Most of the time, some digging shows that the person who was upgraded had, in fact, clicked on something they shouldn’t have. On the other hand, almost every version upgrade has been accompanied by odd (mis-) behaviors that result in some PCs getting upgraded, without the advice or consent of the clobbered. At this point, it appears we’re seeing a considerable number of no-consent upgrades from version 1903 and 1909 to version 2004. Some are convinced the forced upgrade is intentional. Others – including me – think these particular forced upgrades occur because of a bug. How the upgrade’s supposed to work The ground rules for version 2004 upgrades are pretty straightforward, and they’ve been set in stone for some time. As I explained last month, Win10 Pro and Home users who are deemed ready for the upgrade (using some arcane “AI” magic from Microsoft), and venture to the Update & Security pane, see an offer to upgrade to Win10 version 2004 (see screenshot). Microsoft If you click Download and install, Windows Update downloads and installs 2004. If you don’t click, your machine stays on the version it’s currently using. (Machines attached to update servers follow the network admin’s rules, of course.) That’s a very genteel approach, much appreciated by many of us. Sure, the rules will change as older versions of Win10 fall out of favor. But for the majority of Win10 customers, on 1903 and 1909, it’s a very straightforward and restrained rollout method. Customers have a chance to decide for themselves when they're ready to upgrade. Bravo. What changed Yesterday, we saw two big changes to Microsoft’s 2004 rollout. First, it removed the block on Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 PCs, which prohibited the upgrade from being offered to at least two of Microsoft’s flagship products. Second, the official Release Status Information page was updated with this tangled announcement: Windows 10, version 2004 is available for users with devices running Windows 10, versions 1903 and 1909 who manually seek to “Check for updates” via Windows Update. We are continuing our measured approach on initial availability, as we listen, learn, and adjust. Today we are increasing the number of devices that will be offered the May Update. Based on that wording, it isn’t at all clear whether clicking “Check for updates” will automatically upgrade you to version 2004 without notification, or offer a chance to hold back. If Microsoft is signaling a reversion to that old, darker interpretation of seeking, we’re all in a world of hurt. How the upgrade appears to be working Right now, all reports I’ve seen say that we’re supposed to be at the stage where you have to click “Download and install” in order to get moved to version 2004. In light of yesterday’s muddled announcement, I don’t know if that’s going to change. The fly in the ointment: Many people report that - even before the change yesterday - they were pushed onto version 2004 without being asked for permission. The reports I’ve seen point to a combination of factors: The Win10 1903 or 1909 PC must be “ready to upgrade” according to Microsoft’s magic “AI;” You have “Pause updates” turned on; Either the “Pause” expires, or you manually turn it off (possibly by altering a Registry setting, possibly by clicking “Resume updates”). It appears as if that set of events triggers an update to 2004, even if you’ve set Win10 Pro’s “defer feature updates” setting to extend feature updates - which is to say, version upgrades - beyond today. If all three of those events come to pass – your PC's eligible, you pause, and the pause expires – it looks like you may get upgraded to Win10 version 2004 without being asked. No, you don’t have to click “Download and install.” Indeed, you’re never offered the opportunity. Some people believe that Microsoft has changed the upgrade rules. I prefer to think of this as a specific bug. Hard to say, since, like so many important Windows update policies, it’s completely undocumented. Do you know someone who’s been upgraded without their permission? I’d sure like to know the details on AskWoody.com. Thx @jimmythesaint53, @flashcatj, @Hailstorm, @abbodi86, @PKCano. Some Win10 PCs are apparently being upgraded to version 2004 without consent
  15. Dell and Lenovo publish list of tested devices compatible with Windows 10 version 2004 How do you find out if a particular device is compatible with Microsoft's latest version of Windows 10, Windows 10 version 2004 or the May 2020 update? While you could give it a try and see how it goes, it is usually better to find out if a device is compatible before you run the update. Windows Update might block the update on the device as Microsoft tends to roll out updates over time and blocks certain devices from getting the update. All bets are off on the other hand if you install the operating system using an ISO image. You will notice that a device is not compatible during installation, but that means spending some time up to that point. PC manufacturers Dell and Lenovo have published compatibility lists. These cover devices that the companies have tested to find out if a device is compatible with the new Windows version. It is a good idea for Dell and Lenovo PC owners to check the compatibility list first before the update is installed. Lenovo Lenovo customers may point the web browser of their choice to this support page on the Lenovo website. You may enter a serial number at the top to find your PC or laptop, use the "select your product" option, or use Ctrl-F to find it in the listing. Lenovo lists the following product families as the main entry points. ThinkPad laptops Lenovo Notebook/Ideapad ThinkCentre+AIO IdeaCentre+AIO ThinkStation Limitations may be displayed below each product category listing that highlight specific issues for certain devices. Workarounds and mitigations may be displayed to resolve the issue, e.g. by installing a newer driver or even restoring the older version of Windows. Dell Dell's support page lists product groups and devices as well. The company provides information on determining the computer model; helpful for customers who don't know the exact make and model of the device. Everyone else may use Ctrl-F to jump to the device directly on the page. All devices listed by Dell have been tested for compatibility and should work with the Windows 10 version 2004 operating system. Dell notes that it has not tested any other models and that it won't provide driver updates for untested devices. Closing Words The compatibility listings are helpful but it is still possible that a feature update may not install correctly; incompatibilities may be caused by installed applications or additional hardware devices. Devices not listed on the manufacturer's website may still receive the Windows 10 version 2004 update just fine, as not being listed on the page simply means that the device has not been tested by Dell or Lenovo. Tip: you may also want to check Microsoft's list of known issues of Windows 10 version 2004. Dell and Lenovo publish list of tested devices compatible with Windows 10 version 2004
  16. It's a bumpy road for the Win10 version 2004 rollout Microsoft’s been testing the “final” version of Win10 May 2020 Update - better known as version 2004 - for almost six months now. The number and nature of extant problems at this late date hits a new low, even by Microsoft’s standards. Mark Hachman / IDG Microsoft’s revised-revised Windows 10 update scheme now entails a “major” release in the first half of the year, followed by a “minor” release in the second half of the year. The 2020 “major” release - version 2004 - started rolling out a couple of weeks ago, and the problems we’re seeing could fill a book. Microsoft lists 11 officially acknowledged Known Issues with version 2004. One of them, with the DISM command, has a manual workaround. But if your machine appears to be affected by any of the other 10, Windows Update shouldn’t offer version 2004 just yet - and Microsoft has stern warnings that you shouldn’t try to manually install 2004, if it doesn’t come through Windows Update. None of the 11 Known issues were reported as problematic prior to the release. Microsoft’s pushing out version 2004 at a leisurely rate - that’s good news for everybody. But the current hiccups make for sobering reading. Confusion over the 'Update is on its way' message Microsoft started showing “Update is on its way” messages all the way back when we were jumping from version 1809 to 1903. (See Mayank Parmar’s article from Windows Latest published last year.) Microsoft The problem then, as now, is that the message has no specifics. While we’re told that “your device isn’t quite ready for it,” there’s no indication of why or how, or what can be done to make amends. More than that, the message appears on some machines and not on others, and it’s not at all clear why it appears at all. On AskWoody, we’ve been looking at combinations of paused and deferred updates, drivers and hardware and software, and come up with bupkis. What’s painfully obvious: (1) If you see that message, you won’t be offered the version 2004 upgrade through Windows Update just yet; and (2) the message isn’t related to a specific set of deficiencies on your machine. Indeed, the message should say, “Windows isn’t ready for your computer,” instead of putting the shoe on the other, erroneous foot. Searching for clues about the message, @abbodi86 came up with a startling discovery - it looks as if the message is controlled by the “UNP Campaign Manager,” WaaSMedic service, and/or WAAS Assessment/UpdateOrchestrator. Clicking Check for updates doesn’t make any difference, nor does clicking Resume updates. Bottom line: If you don’t see the message, don’t worry about it. And if you do see the message, don’t worry about it either. Ahem. Latest Surface PCs just don’t get it A main contender for the most bizarre set of blocks: Microsoft won’t automatically update to version 2004 on its own Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 computers - won’t even offer it to “Download and install.” Here’s the official pronouncement: Errors or unexpected restarts for some devices using Always On, Always Connected Some devices using the Always On, Always Connected feature might have compatibility issues with Windows 10, version 2004 (the Windows 10 May 2020 Update). Affected devices will have more than one Always On, Always Connected capable network adapter, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, and might receive errors or unexpected shutdown or restart. To safeguard your update experience, we have applied a compatibility hold on Windows 10 devices with affected drivers or firmware from being offered Windows 10, version 2004. That’s not all. Surface Book 3 owners get the standard, “The Windows 10 May 2020 Update is on its way” notice (the screenshot above), but no offer to upgrade. (Thx, @Barb) According to Mark Hachman at PCWorld, the same notification appears on the Surface Book 2. Version 2004 also doesn’t make the Windows Update grade on the Surface Pro X or Surface Studio 2. No upgrade is offered for any of them. Those are all the latest versions of Microsoft’s own hardware. If you want to upgrade to Win10 version 2004 on any of Microsoft’s latest machines, you have to go through a forced, manual install - which, explicitly, isn’t recommended. Speaks volumes, eh? Optane Oops Microsoft hasn’t yet confirmed it, but many people are reporting major problems with Win10 version 2004 running on PCs with Intel’s Optane memory. (Optane uses a special kind of memory chip that caches hard drives.) Mayank Parmar on Windows Latest runs down dozens of complaints. He concludes: During the update process, Windows 10 removes one Optane Memory Pinning file from the device, but it would still try to run it and this leads to multiple errors and even performance issues. The article shows an error message triggered by 2004 that says, “Unable to load DLL ‘iaStorAfsServiceApi.dll.” He offers a manual workaround that hasn’t been endorsed - or even acknowledged - by Microsoft. More problems There’s a well-documented bug in the version 2004 upgrade that knocks out syncing between Outlook calendar and iCloud calendar. Reddit has many complaints about bugs, specifically performance problems, Start menu lags, slow boots, corrupt user profiles, USB issues, Bluetooth problems, blue screens of various stripes, and the usual sound issues. Most discouraging: Many of these problems were reported on the Feedback Hub, but apparently they fell on deaf ears. If you hit a problem, be sure to tell us on AskWoody, and upload a Feedback Hub report. It’s a big update - 4 GB - so it won’t go down easy over many connections. At this point, all of the problems appear to be self-inflicted, although we’ve had some scattered reports that folks are being upgraded to Win10 version 2004 without clicking “Download and install.” With the dearth of worthwhile new features and the ease of blocking the update, there’s no reason for “normal” Windows users to install Win10 version 2004 just yet. Sit back and wait until the dust clears. Join us as we watch the front lines on AskWoody.com. It's a bumpy road for the Win10 version 2004 rollout
  17. Here’s what Windows 10 2004 brings for IT Pros Windows 10 2004 or the May 2020 update brought a large number of tweaks for consumers, but Microsoft worked even harder to add features for IT Pros, including Windows Subsystem for Linux improvements, deployment improvements, improved virtualization and much more. Below is Microsoft’s list of new and updated features and content that are of interest to IT Pros. Besides those improvements, the update also contains all features and fixes included in previous cumulative updates to Windows 10, version 1909. The list includes: Security Windows Hello Windows Hello is now supported as Fast Identity Online 2 (FIDO2) authenticator across all major browsers including Chrome and Firefox. You can now enable passwordless sign-in for Microsoft accounts on your Windows 10 device by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options, and selecting On under Make your device passwordless. Enabling passwordless sign in will switch all Microsoft accounts on your Windows 10 device to modern authentication with Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint, or PIN. Windows Hello PIN sign-in support is added to Safe mode. Windows Hello for Business now has Hybrid Azure Active Directory support and phone number sign-in (MSA). FIDO2 security key support is expanded to Azure Active Directory hybrid environments, enabling enterprises with hybrid environments to take advantage of passwordless authentication. For more information, see Expanding Azure Active Directory support for FIDO2 preview to hybrid environments. Windows Defender System Guard In this release, Windows Defender System Guard enables an even higher level of System Management Mode (SMM) Firmware Protection that goes beyond checking the OS memory and secrets to additional resources like registers and IO. With this improvement, the OS can detect a higher level of SMM compliance, enabling devices to be even more hardened against SMM exploits and vulnerabilities. This feature is forward-looking and currently requires new hardware available soon. Windows Defender Application Guard Windows Defender Application Guard has been available for Chromium-based Edge since early 2020. Note: Application Guard for Office is coming soon. Deployment Windows Setup Improvements in Windows Setup with this release include: Reduced offline time during feature updates Improved controls for reserved storage Improved controls and diagnostics New recovery options For more information, see Windows Setup enhancements in the Windows IT Pro Blog. SetupDiag In Windows 10, version 2004, SetupDiag is now automatically installed. SetupDiag is a command-line tool that can help diagnose why a Windows 10 update failed. SetupDiag works by searching Windows Setup log files. When searching log files, SetupDiag uses a set of rules to match known issues. During the upgrade process, Windows Setup will extract all its sources files to the %SystemDrive%$Windows.~bt\Sources directory. With Windows 10, version 2004 and later, Windows Setup now also installs SetupDiag.exe to this directory. If there is an issue with the upgrade, SetupDiag is automatically run to determine the cause of the failure. If the upgrade process proceeds normally, this directory is moved under %SystemDrive%\Windows.Old for cleanup. Windows Autopilot With this release, you can configure Windows Autopilot user-driven Hybrid Azure Active Directory join with VPN support. This support is also backported to Windows 10, version 1909 and 1903. If you configure the language settings in the Autopilot profile and the device is connected to Ethernet, all scenarios will now skip the language, locale, and keyboard pages. In previous versions, this was only supported with self-deploying profiles. Microsoft Endpoint Manager An in-place upgrade wizard is available in Configuration Manager. For more information, see Simplifying Windows 10 deployment with Configuration Manager. Also see What’s new in Microsoft Intune. Windows Assessment and Deployment Toolkit (ADK) Download the Windows ADK and Windows PE add-on for Windows 10, version 2004 here. For information about what’s new in the ADK, see What’s new in the Windows ADK for Windows 10, version 2004. Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) MDT version 8456 supports Windows 10, version 2004, but there is currently an issue that causes MDT to incorrectly detect that UEFI is present. This issue is currently under investigation. For the latest information about MDT, see the MDT release notes. Servicing Delivery Optimization Windows PowerShell cmdlets have been improved: Get-DeliveryOptimizationStatus has added the -PeerInfo option for a real-time peak behind the scenes on peer-to-peer activity (for example the peer IP Address, bytes received / sent). Get-DeliveryOptimizationLogAnalysis is a new cmdlet that provides a summary of the activity in your DO log (# of downloads, downloads from peers, overall peer efficiency). Use the -ListConnections option to for in-depth look at peer-to-peer connections. Enable-DeliveryOptimizationVerboseLogs is a new cmdlet that enables a greater level of logging detail to assist in troubleshooting. Additional improvements: Enterprise network throttling is enhanced to optimize foreground vs. background throttling. Automatic cloud-based congestion detection is available for PCs with cloud service support. The following Delivery Optimization policies are removed in this release: Percentage of Maximum Download Bandwidth (DOPercentageMaxDownloadBandwidth) Reason: Replaced with separate policies for foreground and background Max Upload Bandwidth (DOMaxUploadBandwidth) Reason: impacts uploads to internet peers only, which isn’t used in Enterprises. Absolute max throttle (DOMaxDownloadBandwidth) Reason: separated to foreground and background Windows Update for Business Windows Update for Business enhancements in this release include: Intune console updates: target version is now available allowing you to specify which version of Windows 10 you want devices to move to. Additionally, this capability enables you to keep devices on their current version until they reach end of service. Check it out in Intune, also available as a Group Policy and Configuration Service Provider (CSP) policy. Validation improvements: To ensure devices and end users stay productive and protected, Microsoft uses safeguard holds to block devices from updating when there are known issues that would impact that device. Also, to better enable IT administrators to validate on the latest release, we have created a new policy that enables admins to opt devices out of the built-in safeguard holds. Virtualization Windows Sandbox Windows Sandbox is an isolated desktop environment where you can install software without the fear of lasting impact to your device. This feature was released with Windows 10, version 1903. Windows 10, version 2004 includes bug fixes and enables even more control over configuration. Windows Sandbox configuration includes: MappedFolders now supports a destination folder. Previously no destination could be specified, it was always mapped to the Sandbox desktop. AudioInput/VideoInput settings now enable you to share their host microphone or webcam with the Sandbox. ProtectedClient is a new security setting that runs the connection to the Sandbox with extra security settings enabled. This is disabled by default due to issues with copy & paste. PrinterRedirection: You can now enable and disable host printer sharing with the Sandbox. ClipboardRedirection: You can now enable and disable host clipboard sharing with the Sandbox. MemoryInMB adds the ability to specify the maximum memory usage of the Sandbox. Windows Media Player is also added back to the Sandbox image in this release. Windows Sandbox also has improved accessibility in this release, including: Microphone support is available. Added functionality to configure the audio input device via the Windows Sandbox config file. A Shift + Alt + PrintScreen key sequence that activates the ease of access dialog for enabling high contrast mode. A ctrl + alt + break key sequence that allows entering/exiting fullscreen mode. Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) With this release, memory that is no longer in use in a Linux VM will be freed back to Windows. Previously, a WSL VM’s memory could grow, but would not shrink when no longer needed. WSL2 support is has been added for ARM64 devices if your device supports virtualization. For a full list of updates to WSL, see the WSL release notes. Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) Windows 10 is an integral part of WVD, and several enhancements are available in the Spring 2020 update. Check out Windows Virtual Desktop documentation for the latest and greatest information, as well as the WVD Virtual Event from March. Microsoft Edge Read about plans for the new Microsoft Edge and other innovations announced at Build 2020 and What’s new at Microsoft Edge Insider. Also see information about the exciting new Edge browser here. Application settings This release enables explicit control over when Windows automatically restarts apps that were open when you restart your PC. Windows Shell Several enhancements to the Windows 10 user interface are implemented in this release: Cortana Cortana has been updated and enhanced in Windows 10, version 2004: Productivity: chat-based UI gives you the ability to interact with Cortana using typed or spoken natural language queries to easily get information across Microsoft 365 and stay on track. Productivity focused capabilities such as finding people profiles, checking schedules, joining meetings, and adding to lists in Microsoft To Do are currently available to English speakers in the US. In the coming months, with regular app updates through the Microsoft Store, we’ll enhance this experience to support wake word invocation and enable listening when you say “Cortana,” offer more productivity capabilities such as surfacing relevant emails and documents to help you prepare for meetings, and expand supported capabilities for international users. Security: tightened access to Cortana so that you must be securely logged in with your work or school account or your Microsoft account before using Cortana. Because of this tightened access, some consumer skills including music, connected home, and third-party skills will no longer be available. Additionally, users get cloud-based assistance services that meet Office 365’s enterprise-level privacy, security, and compliance promises as set out in the Online Services Terms. Move the Cortana window: drag the Cortana window to a more convenient location on your desktop. For updated information, see the Microsoft 365 blog. Windows Search Windows Search is improved in several ways. For more information, see Supercharging Windows Search. Virtual Desktops You can now rename your virtual desktops, instead of getting stuck with the system-issued names like Desktop 1. Bluetooth pairing Pairing Bluetooth devices with your computer will occur through notifications, so you won’t need to go to the Settings app to finish pairing. Other improvements include faster pairing and device name display. For more information, see Improving your Bluetooth pairing experience. Reset this PC The ‘reset this PC’ recovery function now includes a cloud download option. Task Manager The following items are added to Task Manager in this release: GPU Temperature is available on the Performance tab for devices with a dedicated GPU card. Disk type is now listed for each disk on the Performance tab. Graphics & display DirectX New DirectX 12 features are available in this release. 2-in-1 PCs A new tablet experience for two-in-one convertible PCs is available. The screen will be optimized for touch When you detach your two-in-one’s keyboard, but you’ll still keep the familiar look of your desktop without interruption. Specialized displays With this update, devices running Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Pro for Workstations with multiple displays can be configured to prevent Windows from using a display, making it available for a specialized purpose. Examples include: Fixed-function arcade & gaming such as cockpit, driving, flight, and military simulators Medical imaging devices with custom panels, such as grayscale X-ray displays Video walls like those displayed in Microsoft Store Dedicated video monitoring Monitor panel testing and validation Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV) driver testing and validation To prevent Windows from using a display, choose Settings > Display and click Advanced display settings. Select a display to view or change, and then set the Remove display from desktop setting to On. The display will now be available for a specialized use. Desktop Analytics Desktop Analytics is a cloud-connected service, integrated with Configuration Manager that provides data-driven insights to the management of Windows endpoints in your organization. Desktop Analytics requires a Windows E3 or E5 license, or a Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 license. For information about Desktop Analytics and this release of Windows 10, see What’s new in Desktop Analytics. Windows 10 2004 is now generally available and can be downloaded from MSDN, the Windows Media Creation Tool or Windows Update. Here’s what Windows 10 2004 brings for IT Pros.
  18. The Windows 10 May 2020 Update still has a whole bunch of known issues Today, Microsoft released the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, also known as version 2004. It's actually been in testing with Windows Insiders for 15 months, with the RTM build being released in December, and serviced ever since. There are a few reasons that it's been in testing for so long, but one of them is because Microsoft changed the way it delivers feature updates. Version 1909 was nothing more than an enablement package. For all intents and purposes, it was just a serviced version of 1903. But version 2004 is rolling in as a full Windows 10 build, and these seem to be coming yearly at this point, since 20H2 is also going to be an enablement package. And since this is such a major update, that means lots of things are changing, and there are still a bunch of known issues, despite being tested and serviced for so long. Here's the full list of things that are still broken: Difficulty connecting to more than one Bluetooth device Windows 10 devices with certain Realtek drivers might be unable to connect to more than one Bluetooth device. Errors or issues during or after updating devices with Conexant ISST audio drivers Devices with affected Conexant ISST audio drivers might receive an error or have issues with Windows 10, version 2004. Errors or issues during or after updating devices with certain Conexant audio drivers Devices with affected Conexant or Synaptics audio drivers might receive a stop error with a blue screen. Issues using ImeMode property to control IME mode for individual text entry fields Some IMEs for certain langauges might have issues using the ImeMode property with certain apps. Variable refresh rate not working as expected on devices with Intel iGPU Enabling VRR on affected devices will not enable the VRR for most games, especially games using Direct X 9. Stop error when plugging or unplugging a Thunderbolt dock Devices using Thunderbolt docks may receive a stop error when plugging in or unplugging the dock Errors or unexpected restarts for some devices using Always On, Always Connected Devices with more than one Always On, Always Connected capable network adapter might have issues. No mouse input with apps and games using GameInput Redistributable Affected apps and games using both GameInput Redistributable and Windows 10, version 2004 might lose mouse input. Issues updating or starting up devices when aksfridge.sys or aksdf.sys is present Devices with apps or drivers using certain versions of aksfridge.sys or aksdf.sys might have issues updating or starting Issue with older drivers for Nvidia display adapters (GPU) You might have issues if you are using an Nvidia display adapter (GPU) and drivers with a version below 358.00. A lot of these are pretty significant. There are Bluetooth connectivity issues if you've got more than one device connected, such as a mouse and a keyboard. If you use a Thunderbolt dock, that's an issue too. Also, be aware if you've got an older Nvidia GPU, as that could run into some issues as well. All of these issues list "investigating" as the status, so it's unclear when they will be fixed. For many of these issues, there's a compatibility hold in place for those that will be affected, so those users won't be offered this update. Source: The Windows 10 May 2020 Update still has a whole bunch of known issues (Neowin)
  19. Here is how you can fix the “Cortana is not available” issue in Windows 10 May 2020 Update(version 2004) Microsoft’s Cortana is currently the least popular digital voice assistant and the fact that it failed to live up to the expectation made Microsoft reshape its strategy in this space multiple times, but none of its strategies proved to be successful so far. While Microsoft has been struggling to make Cortana a viable digital assistant, some Windows 10 users running the latest May 2020 Update(version 2004) are not being able to access it despite the fact that Microsoft’s digital assistant is available in their region. On opening Cortana from the Taskbar, some users are receiving a message that says, “Sorry, but Cortana is not available in English (India) at this time.” Thankfully, the issue can be resolved by following a few simple steps. How to solve “Cortana is not available” issue in Windows 10 May 2020 Update(version 2004) Click on Cortana icon on the taskbar Sign in to it with your Microsoft Account If you still receive the same message, head to Microsoft Store and search for Cortana or visit this link in the web browser Click on the Get button, and install the update from the Store Launch Cortana, sign into it. At present, Cortana is available in the following markets: Australia: English Brazil: Portuguese Canda: English/French China: Chinese (Simplified) France: French Germany: German India: English Italy: Italian Japan: Japanese Mexico: Spanish Spain: Spanish United Kingdom: English United States: English If you’re running Windows 10 May 2020 update and faced the aforementioned issue., did the above steps fixed the issue? Let us know in the comments below. via Techdows Here is how you can fix the “Cortana is not available” issue in Windows 10 May 2020 Update(version 2004)
  20. Here's are the features being deprecated or removed in Windows 10 version 2004 Yesterday, Microsoft started its general rollout of the Windows 10 May 2020 Update. As usual, it comes with a bunch of new features like Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 and a new Cortana app. There are also a bunch of known issues to be aware of. Once again, Microsoft has now published a list of the features that are either deprecated or removed in this release. It's not a particularly large list, as we've seen in some updates. Here's what's being deprecated, meaning that the features are still part of the OS but are no longer being actively developed: Feature Details and mitigation Companion Device Framework The Companion Device Framework is no longer under active development. Microsoft Edge The legacy version of Microsoft Edge is no longer being developed. Dynamic Disks The Dynamic Disks feature is no longer being developed. This feature will be fully replaced by Storage Spaces in a future release. You might remember the Companion Device Framework as a way to use external devices, such as a Microsoft Band, to sign into Windows 10. Obviously, nothing really came of that. The legacy Edge browser made the list as well, which is no surprise with Edge Chromium on the way. We knew that Edge Legacy wasn't being actively developed for some time. Here's what's actually getting removed in Windows 10 version 2004: Feature Details and mitigation Cortana Cortana has been updated and enhanced in the Windows 10 May 2020 Update. With these changes, some previously available consumer skills such as music, connected home, and other non-Microsoft skills are no longer available. Windows To Go Windows To Go was announced as deprecated in Windows 10, version 1903 and is removed in this release. Mobile Plans and Messaging apps Both apps are still supported, but are now distributed in a different way. OEMs can now include these apps in Windows images for cellular enabled devices. The apps are removed for non-cellular devices. Cortana was replaced with a new app in this update. Mobile Plans and Messaging have been really odd apps for some time. Mobile Plans doesn't make sense as part of the OS since most PCs aren't cellular. Messaging has been absolutely useless for years. In the early days of Windows 10, Skype was split up into three apps: Messaging, Phone, and Skype Video. That plan was short-lived, but SMS integration was also supposed to arrive via Messaging Everywhere, a feature that never actually arrived outside of Insider testing. Eventually, Skype went back to being a single app, and while Skype Video and Phone were removed, Messaging remained as a useless part of the app that literally couldn't do anything. Here's are the features being deprecated or removed in Windows 10 version 2004
  21. Windows 10 version 2004 is here - here's what you need to know about it As it usually does around this time of the year, Microsoft has just released a new feature update to Windows 10. In line with the version numbering scheme we've been seeing, this update is known as Windows 10 version 2004, or the May 2020 Update. While we did get a feature update in the second half of 2019, there was only a very small number of additions, and those additions were also minor in nature. It was more about refining the previous update than making significant leaps forward. Surprisingly, even though version 2004 is a more significant feature update, it's one of the smaller ones, despite having a longer period of testing with Insiders than what we've seen before. With that being said, there are still a few changes and improvements to many parts of the experience, and if you want to know all about it, we've compiled this list for you. Let's get started. Desktop environment and system apps The new Cortana app With Windows 10 version 2004, Microsoft is introducing a new version of Cortana, and it's not exactly good news if you enjoyed using the digital assistant. The new version of Cortana is focused almost exclusively on productivity, and it's losing capabilities related to music, smart home control, and other third-party functionality. What's more, Microsoft is killing Cortana on Android and iOS, as well as on Windows 10 versions that have reached the end of support. It's not all bad, though. The new Cortana app has some advantages, too. You can move and resize the Cortana window around the screen, instead of having it docked to the taskbar. You can also set your preferred input method for Cortana, so using the keyboard shortcut to summon Cortana will either let you use the keyboard or your voice, depending on your preference. The new Cortana app also looks significantly different, with a more conversational UI that shows the history of your interactions with the assistant. Finally, Cortana has improved some of its productivity-focused skills. There are e-mail and calendar skills, which let you send and check received e-mails, see your upcoming appointments, and even set up meetings. It's also possible to join Teams meetings using Cortana. The Windows skill can also be used to open apps or access certain parts of the settings. Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 Windows 10 has allowed users to use Linux distributions inside Windows for some time now, thanks to the Windows Subsystem for Linux. Now, though, you'll be able to get a lot more performance out of it with version 2 of WSL. It starts by having Windows now ship with a full Linux kernel, which enables full system call compatibility, and the kernel will get updated just like Windows does, through Windows Update. WSL 2 also brings support for ARM64 devices, so if you have a Surface Pro X, that won't be a problem. WSL 2 also greatly improves performance over the previous version, with Microsoft saying that unpacking a zipped tarball can be up to 20 times faster. Using git clone, npm install, and cmake, the company says you'll see speed improvements between two to five times. You can learn more about WSL 2 here, and head here for a list of all the improvements that have been made to the experience during the development period. Notepad improvements The Windows Notepad is one of the oldest pieces of software that's bundled with Windows, and it's not often that it gets significant improvements, but Windows 10 version 2004 brings plenty of goodness for those that use it. For starters, the Find feature can now find wrap-around text, and if you select text before opening the Find dialog, it will now populate the search box with the selected text automatically. Also, line numbers are now visible if you enable word-wrap. Other improvements include an indicator in the title bar for when you have made unsaved changes, the ability to zoom in on the text in Notepad, and a new default encoding option, which is UTF-8 without a Byte Order Mark, enabling better compatibility with ASCII and the web. There are new shortcuts for opening a new Notepad window (Ctrl+Shift+N), opening the "Save as..." dialog (Ctrl+Shift+s) and closing the current window (Ctrl+W), and a handful of other smaller usability improvements. Windows Search improvements Microsoft has made a couple of improvements to Windows Search in this release, too. For starters, the search experience in File Explorer is now powered by Windows Search and has a refreshed design to go along with it. This enables search result suggestions as you type, and it also allows the search experience to integrate OneDrive results with the traditional searches. Under the hood, Microsoft has improved the search indexer to reduce the impact on performance. It will stop indexing files if power saving mode is on, if the battery level is below 50%, if CPU or disk usage is too high, and so on. If you found that the search indexer was getting in the way of performance, this should be good news. Windows Sandbox and virtual desktops Windows Sandbox was officially introduced with the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, and with version 2004, there are a couple of improvements to the experience. For starters, you can now use configuration files with Windows Sandbox, so you can change certain settings such as enabling or disabling the vGPU, allowing network access, and more. Additionally, Windows Sandbox now supports microphones. If virtual machines are too much for you, but you do use virtual desktops, you'll be happy to know that it's now possible to rename your virtual desktops, so you know right away what's inside each one. Task manager If you rely on Task Manager to know more about your hardware, it will be a little more useful now. Task Manager can now report GPU temperatures for dedicated GPUs, and it can also display the kind of disk you have (HDD or SSD). Accessibility Windows 10 version 2004 includes a fairly long list of improvements for users with special accessibility needs. If you use Eye Control, you'll find that it's now possible to drag and drop objects using your eyes. If you pause the Eye Control tool, it will now hide the launchpad completely so as to avoid getting in the way. It's also now possible to use a switch to perform a click, rather than having to look at the option you want to select for an extended period. Microsoft also refined the settings experience for Eye Control to give users more control over how the system responds to eye movement. If you use the Narrator, it's now more efficient at reading tables, with less repeated information. On the web, Narrator can also now give you a page summary with a new shortcut (Narrator key + S), and doing this twice will also make it so that the Narrator highlights popular links within that page, as well as navigate directly to those links from the page summary. And if you're tired of "Click me" links showing up in the Narrator, you can use a key shortcut (Caps Lock + Ctrl + D) to have the link sent to an online service that will retrieve the page title and read it to you. For e-mails, Narrator now works better with Outlook and the Windows 10 Mail app, entering Scan Mode when you open a message, and it can also recognize certain formatting choices, such as those in newsletters, and ignore them to prevent users from hearing unnecessary information. The Narrator is also more efficient at triaging your e-mail folders in Outlook, silencing certain information inside the e-mail message, such as column headers and empty columns. Instead, it will focus on the status of the e-mail subject, sender, and other relevant information for triaging your folders. Finally, Narrator also now reads e-mails and webpages automatically when you open them. The Magnifier has also received a few improvements, starting with a new UI that supports the Windows theme settings and respects text scaling settings. Magnifier also has a new setting that keeps the text cursor in the center of the screen by default. The Magnifier also has three new reading modes - the play button will start reading from the top of the content, or from the selected text if you selected any, and the new "read from here button" will prompt you to choose where you want the Magnifier to start reading. Finally, there's a new text cursor indicator that can help you find your text cursor more easily. This indicator can be customized from the Settings app, complete with a live preview of how it looks. Settings Accounts and security Microsoft has made a few improvements to the user account experience, specifically for Microsoft accounts. Continuing its bid to get rid of passwords, it's now possible to disable password authentication altogether on your PC, forcing you to use biometrics or a PIN to log in. To go along with this, Safe Mode also now supports logging in using a PIN, so you never have to expose your password. Another improvement to user accounts is that changing your profile picture will now be reflected much more quickly, not only across Windows but also apps that use your Microsoft account picture, like the new Edge browser, as well as Microsoft websites. Finally, there's a new setting that lets you enable or disable apps from starting back up when you sign out and sign in again. This supports registered desktop apps as well as most UWP apps, but those will start in a suspended state and minimized to the taskbar to save resources. This setting is disabled by default. Optional features management The optional features page has been redesigned with a handful of new capabilities. For starters, it's now possible to select multiple optional features and install them all at once, and once you have installed a few, you can also go back and see when each of them was installed, as well as any dependencies they might have. Finally, navigation has made simpler by keeping you on the same page and opening pop-ups for actions such as installing new features. Update and recovery settings There are a couple of improvements under the Update & Security section of the settings app. For updates, there are new granular controls for how much bandwidth can use in a given situation. Instead of being percentage-based, these settings can now use absolute numbers so you can precisely limit the bandwidth usage. And for recovery purposes, you'll now find that you can reset your PC using a new image of Windows 10 downloaded from the cloud. Previously, if you wanted to install a completely new image, you'd need to download the ISO file or create a bootable drive using the Windows Media Creation Tool, but it can be done automatically now. Bluetooth and connected devices If you use certain compatible accessories, WIndows 10 can already connect to them more quickly by detecting them and sending a notification to pair them right away. Now, this process is being made even easier, by making it possible to connect the devices directly from the notification, without having to open the Settings app. Microsoft also removed one notification from the pairing process to make it faster, and the pairing notification now attempts to show a device name when possible. Finally, it's now possible to dismiss the notification when it first shows up. If you have network-connected cameras in your home, Windows 10 can also now connect to them directly. For some cameras, special setup may be needed in order to connect to them, and you can learn more about how to discover and connect network cameras here. But for cameras that don't require authentication, you can more easily add them through the "Add a device" dialog in the Settings app. Network settings With Windows 10 version 2004, Microsoft has also redesigned the settings page for network connections, which now presents a more visual representation of your active connections, along with integrated data usage information. From there, you can head into a new Data Usage page that details which apps have used the most data on that network, and it also lets you set data limits for that network. Language settings Language settings should also be easier to understand with this update. The main page will now include links to all the major language and region settings, including the Windows language, app language, regional format, and more. Additionally, if you're using multiple languages and installing different langue features, Windows now lets you know what each feature enables so you can tell if you need it or not. Mouse cursor settings If you have a trackpad with Precision drivers, the Settings app already provides plenty of control over what you can do with it, but that's not really the case for basic mice and trackpads. However, with this update, the cursor speed settings have been brought over from the old Control Panel to the Settings app, further converging the feature set of the two. Keyboard and input New kaomoji The emoji panel in Windows 10 is a relatively recent addition, and with version 1903, it was expanded with kaomoji and symbols. Now, more kaomoji have been added to the list, making it even easier to let your friends know you're weird. Dictation support for more languages Up until now, it's only been possible to use your voice to write on Windows in English (United States), but this capability is expanding significantly in this update. Microsoft has added a few new supported languages: English (Canada), English (UK), English (Australia), English (India), French (France), French (Canada), German (Germany), Italian (Italy), Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Mexico), Portuguese (Brazil), and Chinese (Simplified, China). Dictation can be turned on with a keyboard shortcut (Windows + H) and it will use whatever keyboard language you're currently using, as long as it's supported. SwiftKey typing intelligence in more languages Microsoft acquired SwiftKey a few years ago, and since then, it's brought its intelligent prediction and autocorrection capabilities to the built-in Windows 10 keyboard. Just like dictation, this intelligence is expanding its language support with Windows 10 version 2004, adding a whopping 38 new languages. Here's the full list: Afrikaans (South Africa) Finnish (Finland) Malay (Malaysia) Albanian (Albania) Galician (Spain) Norwegian (Bokmal, Norway) Arabic (Saudi Arabia) Georgian (Georgia) Persian (Iran) Armenian (Armenia) Greek (Greece) Polish (Poland) Azerbaijani (Azerbaijan) Hausa (Nigeria) Romanian (Romania) Basque (Spain) Hebrew (Israel) Serbian (Serbia) Bulgarian (Bulgaria) Hindi (India) Slovak (Slovakia) Catalan (Spain) Hungarian (Hungary) Slovenian (Slovenia) Croatian (Croatia) Indonesian (Indonesia) Swedish (Sweden) Czech (Czech Republic) Kazakh (Kazakhstan) Turkish (Turkey) Danish (Denmark) Latvian (Latvia) Ukrainian (Ukraine) Dutch (Netherlands) Lithuanian (Lithuania) Uzbek (Uzbek) Estonian (Estonia) Macedonian (Macedonia) East Asian IME improvements Finally, for those that speak and type in East Asian languages, Microsoft has refreshed the Input Method Editors for Japanese, Chinese Simplified (Pinyin and Wubi), Chinese Traditional (Bopomofo, ChangJie, and Quick), and Korean. These have been redesigned to work better with applications and now have a better-looking candidates window, which also assigns quick shortcuts to each candidate to make typing faster. These IMEs were in testing for some time with Insiders, and Microsoft delivered a few updates during the testing period. For Simplified Chinese IMEs, switching between full-width and half-width mode is now faster, and in the Bopomofo IME specifically, you can disable the keyboard shortcut to switch between the two to prevent unexpected changes to your text. Microsoft also added options to change the size of the candidate window text. For Traditional Chinese IMEs, the IME toolbar can now be hidden when not needed. And those are all the major changes included in Windows 10 version 2004. It's worth noting that these are changes that are part of the operating system itself, so some of the updates that were made to Windows apps during the testing period are likely now available for everyone. Likewise, new features may arrive around the same time as the Windows 10 update, but aren't tied that update specifically, and you may end up seeing them if you don't update. Source: Windows 10 version 2004 is here - here's what you need to know about it (Neowin)
  22. Windows 10 version 2004 roll-out imminent as Microsoft publishes release information pages Microsoft is expected to roll out Windows 10 May 2020 Update soon. Earlier this month, the company updated its Driver Shiproom Schedule to reserve 26th, 27th, and 28th May 2020 for Feature updates. The Driver Shiproom Schedule is used by OEMs to ensure they don't release driver updates a day before or after feature updates and Patch Tuesday updates to avoid any possible conflicts. Now, Microsoft has published the Windows 10 May 2020 Update release information and resolved issues pages (via WinCentral), hinting at the imminent roll-out of the update. The release information page indicates that there are no known issues which is a good sign. The resolved issues page is used to record the known issues that have been resolved and is updated by Microsoft at regular intervals. The page, however, is empty which is again a good sign. The Windows 10 May 2020 Update will bring a lot of new features including Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2), the new Cortana app, Notepad improvements, and more. Microsoft is expected to release the Windows 10 May 2020 Update by the end of this month. However, if you are an MSDN member, you can download the Windows 10 May 2020 Update ISO file from MSDN and install the update manually. Source: Windows 10 version 2004 roll-out imminent as Microsoft publishes release information pages (Neowin)
  23. Review: Windows 10 May 2020 Update delivers little tweaks that add up to... well, not a lot There’s no reason we can see to rush out and install the Windows 10 version 2004 upgrade. Catrina Farrell / Microsoft (CC0) Despite calls for Microsoft to significantly delay its spring Windows release due to the pandemic, the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, version 2004, is expected to begin rolling out to users in the next few weeks. Industry watchers initially expected it on May 12, Patch Tuesday, but the public release now appears to be slated for the last week in May. Nevertheless, the software is feature complete; what is thought to be the final preview build shipped to Microsoft's Release Preview ring of Windows Insiders on April 30, and the SDK was released to developers on May 12. It’s been a year since the last major update to Windows 10, the first time in Windows 10 history that Microsoft has gone that long between significant updates. (The last so-called feature update for Windows 10, released six months ago and known as the November 2019 Update or version 1909, was little more than a service pack.) So what’s the news in Windows 10 version 2004 — has Microsoft gone big and introduced a host of new features, or has it stayed the course with a loose collection of minor tweaks? I’ve been putting the upgrade through its paces for quite some time as it made its way through development, and here’s what I’ve found. Hey, Cortana... Where’d you go? A year ago, in the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, Cortana was separated from Windows Search. No longer could you type in a question for Cortana in the search box on the taskbar. Instead, you had to say “Hey, Cortana” and speak your search, click the Cortana icon to the right of the search box and speak, or press the Windows key + C and speak. All other searches were done by Windows Search. That trial separation between Cortana and Windows Search has turned into a full-blown divorce. Now Cortana is an entirely separate app that runs in its own resizable window like any other app. Previously, it displayed results as a pane just above the search box, in the same way that Windows Search did. Now you do the search in the app, and the results show up in the app. IDG Cortana is now a standalone, resizable app, with fewer features than previously. (Click image to enlarge it.) There’s another, even more consequential change to Cortana: It’s become less useful and less powerful. Some of what Microsoft calls its “consumer” skills have been taken away, including playing music and controlling home devices. That’s part of Microsoft’s long-term strategy for the digital assistant: rather than being front and center in Windows, it does much of its work behind the scenes, particularly in Office 365 and Microsoft 365, which is the new branding for consumer and SMB Office 365 subscriptions. It’s still unclear what behind-the-scenes work it will do, though. In a blog post explaining the shift in Cortana, Andrew Shulman, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Cortana, offers only the vaguest of descriptions, saying that the new Cortana will offer “personalized experiences…Cortana helps you stay on top of your day, save time and do your best work.” There’s been one more change to Cortana as well, and it’s not a good one. You won’t be able to use it if you have a Microsoft school or work account — and not if you use a local account. So what’s it like to use the new version of Cortana? Pretty much the same as the old version, except that it runs in its own window. It adds no new significant capabilities. Microsoft says in the Cortana blog post I mentioned previously that Cortana now has new features such as checking your calendar and creating emails and events. But Cortana has been able to do those tasks for quite some time — as you can see in this Microsoft help article from 2017 about using Cortana to find your upcoming meetings, this 2017 article about how to use Cortana to check your calendar and create events, and in this 2017 Microsoft help article about using Cortana to create emails. However, with this update, you can once again type queries or requests into Cortana instead of speaking them — something you were able to do before the Windows 10 May 2019 Update took that capability away. Cortana also now shows a history of your interactions with it. But the Cortana you see today won’t necessarily be the Cortana you see next month, or the month after that, or after that. There’s one significant potential benefit to Cortana running as its own app — it can now be easily updated on its own schedule, rather than being tied to the once-a-year or twice-a-year Windows 10 feature update schedule. So if you’re a Cortana fan, check back regularly on it to see if it’s got any new tricks. Windows Search gets tweaked As I mentioned, Cortana and Windows Search were joined at the hip until their partial breakup in the Windows 10 May 2019 update. The idea behind the breakup was that each could be improved independently of the other’s needs. So what’s new in Windows Search a year later? Not much. Perhaps the most useful change is under the hood, so you won’t see it, although you might feel it. In order to deliver fast, useful search results, Search indexes your hard drive. That’s useful, but the indexing can slow down your PC. With this upgrade, the indexing only takes place when your computer isn’t too busy, which should theoretically make your PC faster. I can’t say that I noticed a difference in my PC’s performance, but your mileage may differ. That’s largely it. Microsoft has touted two other changes to Search, but those “changes” also now appear in Windows 10 1909, the version previous to this one. When you put your cursor into the Search box, three buttons appear at the bottom of the screen: Weather, Top news, and Today in history. Click any button to get the information you want. You won’t find that feature only in Windows 10 2004 — you’ll also find it in the latest updates to version 1909. IDG New Windows Search looks and works like old Windows Search. (Click image to enlarge it.) Another “new” feature according to Microsoft is the ability to do Windows searches from File Explorer. Do a search in the Search box towards the upper right of the screen, and you’ll get a suggested list of files as you type, as you do in Windows Search. It also searches online files in OneDrive, not just files on your PC. However, those features were baked into Windows in version 1909 and so are hardly new. The upshot of this? The Windows Search you see today on your PC is largely the Windows Search you’ll see in this update. If you liked it before, you’ll like it now. If you hated it before... well, you’ll hate it now. New tools for Task Manager Those who geek out using the Task Manager to find every bit of information about Windows status and performance will find two new nerd tools. The Task Manager’s Performance tab now displays your disk type. Previously, it showed you disk performance information, but not the type of hard disk you have. IDG Geek out with new Task Manager features, including seeing your hard disk type. (Click image to enlarge it.) Also on the Performance tab, it will show you the temperature of your GPU. There are a few caveats, though. First, you’ll need a graphics card with a new driver that supports the WDDM 2.4 driver model. And second, it only does this if you have a dedicated graphics card, not an integrated one or an onboard GPU. Many changes to Settings You’ll find a whole host of changes in the Settings app, some of which are merely cosmetic, while others either add or tweak existing capabilities. None are dramatic, so I’ll cover the most important ones. You’ll notice the first one as soon as you launch Settings — there’s a header with your account name and picture on the upper left, and to the right of that, the status of OneDrive and Windows Update. Click your account to manage it, click Windows Update to see any updates in progress, or click OneDrive to launch it. IDG A new header is one of many changes you’ll find in Settings. (Click image to enlarge it.) The Network Status page, available from Settings > Network & Internet, gets a nice makeover, combining information that used to be found on multiple pages, such as your IP address, current connection properties and data usage. IDG One of the better Settings makeovers: a Network Status page that combines information that used to be found on many different pages. (Click image to enlarge it.) Accounts also get a do-over. From Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options you can now eliminate using a password entirely, and instead use biometrics (fingerprint or face recognition). And for those who live to fine-tune performance (including yours truly), the same page offers an option that that lets you disable or enable apps each time you sign in. By default, the setting is disabled. Simply move the slider from Off to On under “Restart apps” to use it. In Update & Security there’s a nice new feature that lets you reinstall Windows from the cloud rather than from the Windows files on your PC. That’s useful, because it will install the latest version of Windows, rather than the last one you used. To do it, head to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery, click Get Started and follow the prompts. Also in Update & Security, you can more precisely decide how much bandwidth to use when you download Windows updates. Before the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, you could set a bandwidth limit, but only as a percentage. Now you can specify the exact bandwidth. To do it, head to Settings > Update & Security > Delivery Optimization > Advanced Options. Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 makes its appearance Linux users, rejoice: the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) gets more useful and powerful. For a start, it uses a real Linux kernel, which means full system call compatibility. The previous version wouldn’t work with Docker, but this one does. The kernel will now get regularly updated through Windows Update. It’s faster as well; Microsoft claims it can unpack a zipped tarball up to 20 times faster. (If you don’t know what that means, you won’t care.) Git clone, npm install, and cmake are also all sped up, the company says. Head here to see the full list of improvements. Lots of small changes There are also plenty of small changes sprinkled throughout the update. None of them is particularly earth-shaking, but they’re generally moderately useful. The most surprising may be changes to the ancient Windows application Notepad, which seemingly hasn’t been improved since the time of Noah’s Ark. It’s now easy to zoom in and out, you’ll get a notification if you’ve made changes to a file that hasn’t been yet been changed, and you can now display line and column numbers when word-wrap is enabled. Those who don’t use Notepad won’t care. Those who do may give a couple of muffled cheers, because these are not exactly big improvements. Those who use virtual desktops will be pleased to see that they can now name virtual desktops, instead of being stuck with calling them “Desktop 1,” Desktop 2,” “Desktop 3” and so on. To do it, when you’re viewing your virtual desktops, click the existing name and type in a new one. IDG You can now give virtual desktops their own customized names. (Click image to enlarge it.) You can now add a network camera to Windows by going to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices > Add Bluetooth or other device. Windows will automatically find the cameras, which you can then use using the built-in Camera app or a third-party app. Until now, you had to use software from a third party to find and configure network cameras. Connecting to Bluetooth devices is a bit simpler in this version of Windows. When there’s a Bluetooth device within reach of your PC, you’ll get a notification that brings you through a streamlined way to pair them. At the moment, this works with only a limited number of devices — notably Microsoft’s own Surface keyboard and mice — but should eventually work with other devices as well. Finally, those who don’t like MS Paint and Wordpad can now uninstall them and save a bit of hard disk space. Go to Settings > Apps > Apps & features > Optional features and uninstall them if you’d like. What IT needs to know There’s not much new for IT in this new version of Windows. IT can take advantage of Windows Hello biometrics logins rather than passwords, by setting that up as the default on enterprise devices. In addition, installing and setting up Windows for others has been made easier thanks to new controls added to Dynamic Update, which can lead to less downtime during installation for users. IT can also take advantage of reinstalling Windows from the cloud, just like individual consumers can. And a new set of Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) commands and APIs have been added to the reserved storage feature that allows IT to configure a certain amount of storage on each device specifically for installing Windows, so that users don’t have to reserve extra space for installing. A variety of new commands have been given to PowerShell for Delivery Optimization, a Windows networking service that reduces bandwidth consumption by sharing the work of downloading update and upgrade packages among multiple devices in business deployments. Finally, security for the Chromium version of Edge has been improved, thanks to porting Application Guard to it. For more details about what this new version of Windows 10 has for IT pros, see Microsoft’s blog post “Pilot new features with the Windows Insider Program for Business.” The bottom line So what’s the verdict on this Windows 10 upgrade? Now that Microsoft allows anyone to delay update installations, we can’t see any reason to install version 2004 immediately. There’s not much new here, and what is new won’t knock your socks off. There are no big new features like Timeline, introduced two years ago with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, and Microsoft seems to have abandoned its Sets feature, which would have let you group individual documents from different applications in multiple tabs inside an application — for example, creating multiple tabs in File Explorer for a single project, one with an Excel spreadsheet, another with a Word document, and so on. Microsoft has multiple times planned to include Sets in an upgrade, and multiple times abandoned it. So don’t expect to ever see it. In fact, don’t expect to see anything big and new in Windows 10 upgrades for the foreseeable future. Microsoft has bet on the cloud, not on Windows, and so it’s not worth the company’s effort to spend a great deal of developer time on the operating system. Expect incremental upgrades as far as the eye can see. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. Steady, small changes are a big improvement over the days when one never knew whether a new Windows upgrade would blow up on you. So welcome to the new Windows 10, same as the old Windows 10. Source: Review: Windows 10 May 2020 Update delivers little tweaks that add up to... well, not a lot (Computerworld - Preston Gralla)
  24. The Windows 10 version 2004 SDK is now generally available Today, Microsoft announced that the official SDK for the Windows 10 May 2020 Update is now available with a go-live license. That means that apps targeting Windows 10 version 2004 can now be published on the Microsoft Store. There are a few key new features and APIs that Microsoft highlighted in its blog post. One is the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2. Shipping in version 2004, WSL 2 actually includes the Linux kernel. There's a new Hosted App Model, which lets apps set themselves as hosts for other apps. The third feature highlighted is Sparse Signed Packages, which you can learn more about here. Right now, you can get the new SDK by going through the Visual Studio Installer, and then choosing -> Individual Components -> SDKs, libraries, and frameworks -> Windows 10 SDK (10.0.19041). Once the Windows 10 May 2020 Update is generally available though, it will be included by default in the UWP development package. We're still expecting that to be a couple of weeks away though. Microsoft was originally planning to ship the May 2020 Update earlier in the month, but it had to patch a zero-day security flaw first. Source: The Windows 10 version 2004 SDK is now generally available (Neowin)
  25. New schedule for the release of Win10 version 2004 “Win10 May 2020 Update” — better known to us as “Win10 version 2004” — also known as “Win10 20H1” is coming. Yesterday Microsoft released what it promises will be the last-last beta test version of the next version of the last version of Windows. Build 19041.208 replaces last week’s Build 19041.207, which was also hailed as the last beta. Brandon LeBlanc has a fully update rollout announcement on the Windows Blog: We are continuing to work on getting the Windows 10 May 2020 Update (20H1) ready for release. Today we are releasing Build 19041.208 to Windows Insiders in the Release Preview ring. While we originally thought that Build 19041.207 would be the final build, we made the decision to take in one more fix we felt was important to have before making the May 2020 Update generally available. We believe that Build 19041.208 is the new final build and still plan on continuing to improve the overall experience of the May 2020 Update on customers’ PCs as part of our normal servicing cadence. That last little bit means that MS will release cumulative updates for version 2004, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Mary Jo Foley has another inside scoop. will roll out this month according to this newly revised schedule: Release to hardware manufacturers (the “RTM” date): May 5 Release to developers (through the MS Developer Network): May 12 General availability (it’ll appear as “Download and install” in Windows Update): May 28 Again, Microsoft has not announced this officially and these dates may change yet again. Unless you use Linux under Windows, I see almost nothing that’s worth a full upgrade — Cortana gets snubbed, Virtual Desktops get names (I don’t use ’em, do you?), Task Manager shows GPU temperature and type of hard drive (third party apps have done that for a decade), great improvements to Notepad (ho-hum), more in the Settings app (but we’ll still need good ol’ Control Panel sometimes), the Search makeover will actually work this time, and… other minor tweaks. If you’re running Win10 version 1903 or 1909, you won’t get pushed to 2004 for a long, long time — you’ll only get 2004 if you click “Download and install.” That’s the good news. Source: New schedule for the release of Win10 version 2004 (AskWoody - Woody Leonhard))
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