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Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview, the first 20H1 build. No, that’s not a typo: Microsoft really is already developing the update that will be released in the first half of 2020. The update bumps Windows 10 from build 18334 (made available to testers on February 9) to build 18836.

Windows 10 is being developed as a service, meaning it receives new features on a regular basis. Microsoft has released six major updates so far: November Update, Anniversary Update, Creators Update, Fall Creators Update, April 2018 Update, and October 2018 Update.

The seventh update has been under development in the 19H1 branch. Today’s build is for Windows Insiders who have chosen the Skip Ahead option, which only a small subset of Insiders can opt into. Normally, that would have meant 19H2 builds, since 19H1 hasn’t been released yet, but Microsoft has chosen to really skip ahead this time around.

Here’s how the company explained it:

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These builds are from the 20H1 development branch. Some things we are working on in 20H1 require a longer lead time. We will begin releasing 19H2 bits to Insiders later this spring after we get 19H1 nearly finished and ready; once 19H1 is “nearly finished and ready” we’ll also use the Release Preview ring for previews of drivers and quality updates on 19H1.

Windows Insiders today can thus either continue to test 19H1 builds or try the first 20H1 build. But 19H2 builds won’t show up for a few more months.

Bug fixes and known issues

This 20H1 build includes the following general bug fixes and improvements:

  • The new tamper protection setting in the Windows Security app protects your device by helping to prevent bad actors from tampering with the most important security settings. The setting is designed to be on by default, however the default state is not currently in effect for current Insider Preview builds. You may see a new recommendation in the Windows Security app suggesting you turn this setting on.
  • Fixed an issue where turning off Location from the Action Center might take multiple clicks to react.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in being unable to re-arrange pinned folders in Start’s tile grid.
  • Fixed an issue where newly installed apps might not show up in search results.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders not being able to open Cortana when in Tablet Mode.
  • Fixed an issue from the previous flight where right-clicking the desktop would bring up a light colored context menu in dark theme.
  • Updated the name of the “Windows Light” theme to now be “Windows (light)”.
  • Fixed an issue where Cortana’s icon on secondary monitors wouldn’t update colors after switching between light and dark theme.
  • Fixed an issue where when using light theme + small icons + a vertical taskbar orientation, text written on the taskbar would stay white and thus wouldn’t be readable.
  • Fixed an issue that could result in open apps not being shown on the taskbar (but being visible in Alt + Tab).
  • Fixed an issue resulting in build unable to log into WinRE with an admin account in the last couple of flights.
  • Addressed reports of devices getting stuck with “Hibernating…” text on the screen on resume from hibernate.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in greys having an unexpected slight pinkish/purple-ish tinge on some devices in recent flights.
  • Fixed an issue in Ease of Access’s Cursor and pointer settings, mouse pointer size and color are now retained on upgrade.
  • Fixed an issue where the Windows Security app may show an unknown status for the Virus & threat protection area, or not refresh properly.

This build has eight known issues:

  • The issue impacting Creative X-Fi sound cards remains.
  • Launching games that use anti-cheat software may trigger a bugcheck (GSOD).
  • While we’ve done some work to improve night light reliability in this build, we’re continuing to investigate issues in this space.
  • When performing Reset this PC and selecting Keep my files on a device that has Reserved Storage enabled the user will need to initiate an extra reboot to ensure Reserved Storage is working again properly.
  • Some Realtek SD card readers are not functioning properly. We are investigating the issue.
  • File Explorer may hang when trying to rename, delete, or move MKV files.
  • In Windows Sandbox, if you try to navigate to the Narrator settings, Settings app crashes.
  • If you install any of the recent builds from the Skip Ahead and switch to either the Fast ring or the Slow ring – optional content such as enabling developer mode will fail. You will have to remain in the Fast ring to add/install/enable optional content. This is because optional content will only install on builds approved for specific rings.

As always, don’t install this on your production machine.

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