Microsoft has finally released the v2004 of its Windows 10 (previously called 20H1) last night. It is a huge update, and whilst most of the changes are for enterprise users, there are some cool improvements for home and business users too.
Download Windows 10
If you visit Microsoft’s website, you will see two buttons.
Now this seems a little backward, but click on the Download tool now, as the Update now button told me that I was running the latest version and then quit.
Click on “Download tool now”. It is a good idea to create a bootable USB stick of Windows 10 in case you need it later. Since 16GB memory sticks are really cheap (less than £5) right now, it is always a great idea to create one. You can use this memory stick to install the latest version on other computers you may have or to repair your computer at a later time.
Once you have made a backup of your computer, you can use this tool to upgrade your computer to v2004.
Windows 10 versions
In previous versions of Windows, you would install small sticking plasters in the form of security updates and huge sticking plasters in the form of service packs.
In Windows 10, you have small sticking plasters in the form of updates but each version is a complete operating system, so you are replacing Windows with every version. Windows moves the current one out of the way and sticks the new on in it’s place.
If there is a problem, you can go back to the previous version, and it simply moves this version out of the way and moves the old one back, but only within the month of installation unless you run a disk clean-up which removes previous versions.
Features of v2004
Windows 10 v2004 has improved a lot of features, although a lot are for enterprise customers that make use of Virtual Desktops and Virtualisation such as Windows Subsystem for Linux, Containers support and Sandbox.
For home and business users there are improvements in Cortana and search as well as an improved Microsoft Edge web browser.
A couple of interesting features are Swiftkey (a type of virtual keyboard interface where you slide your fingers across keys to make words faster) and dictation have been improved, so pressing Windows key and H will now allow you to talk to your computer and it will interpret your words and write them for you. It now has better support for UK and European languages, rather than just American.
Time taken to update to Windows 10 v2004
There are a number of factors involved in the time it takes to upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10.
If you are performing a clean install on brand new hardware, then your upgrade will be fast. However, the upgrade process is a lot slower if you choose to upgrade what you have installed. On my laptop, I opted for a clean install, and the process was relatively quick. On my desktop with a SSD, it still took 2-3 hours to complete.
I feel its better to replace your standard mechanical drive with a SSD as they are around £30 for a 256GB, £50 for 512GB and £100 for 1TB and can be up to 20 times faster than your mechanical drive.