Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview with Cortana, WSL, and accessibility improvements. The update bumps Windows 10 from build 18941 (made available to testers on July 18) to build 18945. These builds are from the 20H1 branch, which represents the Windows 10 update that will arrive in the first half of next year.
Windows 10 is being developed as a service, meaning it receives new features on a regular basis. Microsoft has released seven major updates so far: November Update, Anniversary Update, Creators Update, Fall Creators Update, April 2018 Update, October 2018 Update, and May 2019 Update.
Cortana is now an app. This build brings a new Cortana experience in beta that includes a chat-based UI that lets you type or speak natural language queries. In addition to most of the existing Cortana features, the app also supports light and dark themes in Windows, a less intrusive screen for “Hey Cortana” queries, new speech and language models, and better performance. The remaining Cortana features will be added over time via updates from the Microsoft Store. The app is only available to U.S. testers for now, and it’s rolling out gradually so you might not even see it just yet.
This build lets you connect your Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) networking applications using localhost. The team also added global configuration options for WSL, which will apply to each of your WSL distros. That means specifying options that relate to the WSL 2 virtual machine (VM), including a custom Linux kernel.
Next up are accessibility improvements. Narrator now provides a more efficient reading experience when reading messages in Outlook or Windows Mail. When a message is opened, Scan Mode will turn on automatically, allowing you to use arrow keys and other Scan Mode hotkeys. There’s also a new text cursor indicator that will help you see and find the text cursor (Ease of Access settings => Text cursor => turn on the text cursor indicator).
Lastly, the new File Explorer search experience is rolling out to all testers.
This 20H1 build includes the following bug fixes and improvements:
- Fixed the issue causing some Insides to experience install failures with error code c1900101 due to a compatibility bug with a storage driver on their device.
- Fixed reliability when installing a Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 distro.
- Extended Windows Defender ATP capabilities beyond the Windows OS and as a result are renaming to Microsoft Defender to reflect our cross-platform approach to endpoint security.
- Fixed an issue where Settings might crash if you selected Activation under Updates & Security.
- If your network connection is unexpectedly disconnected, the Miracast banner will now have a close button for you to use if needed.
- Fixed an issue where the Performance tab of Task Manager wouldn’t expand from a collapsed state if you double clicked on the text.
- Updated the Details tab of Task Manager so if you right-click a process, Provide Feedback will now be listed after End Task and End Process Tree (rather than between).
- Fixed an issue where the network icon in the taskbar might show that there was no internet, even though there actually was connection.
- Fixed an issue impacting Windows Hello reliability in recent flights.
- Fixed an issue where if you manually updated the DNS server settings in Settings, it wouldn’t apply.
- Fixed an issue from the previous two flights resulting in mobile hotspot unexpectedly turning off if enabled.
- Fixed an issue that could result in the system hanging after resume from hibernation.
- Fixed an issue potentially resulting in the error, “MMC has detected an error in a snap-in and will unload it.” when you try to expand, view, or create Custom Views in Event Viewer.
This build has five known issues:
- There has been an issue with older versions of anti-cheat software used with games where after updating to the latest 19H1 Insider Preview builds may cause PCs to experience crashes. Make sure you are running the latest version of your games before attempting to update the operating system.
- Some Realtek SD card readers are not functioning properly.
- Tamper Protection may be turned off in Windows Security after updating to this build. You can turn it back on. In August, Tamper Protection will return to being on by default for all Insiders.
- On occasion, the candidate selection in prediction candidate window for the Japanese IME doesn’t match with the composition string
- There are some changes in Magnifier, but they aren’t quite ready yet for you to try.
As always, don’t install this on your production machine.