Microsoft makes first Windows 10 20H2 test build available to Insider testers

Microsoft will deliver a minor, cumulative-update-style Windows 10 feature update this fall, which will come with the new Chromium-based Edge browser.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has released the first test build of its Windows 10 20H2 feature update to Insider testers. On June 16, Microsoft delivered that test build, 19042.330 to the newly christened "Beta Channel," which is what was formerly known as the Slow Ring.

Microsoft officials described Windows 10 20H2 as a "scoped set of features," which is shorthand for a minor, cumulative-update-style release. Officials also said that the 20H2 feature update -- which should be available to the mainstream sometime later this fall -- will include the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser when it is released. Today's build includes fixes from KB4557957, plus the new Edge browser.

Just like Windows 10 19H2/1909, the Windows 10 20H2 update will be a quick install for anyone running the Windows 10 May 2020 Update/2004. (Anyone on a version of Windows 10 earlier than the May 2020 Update will see the coming 20H2 release as a regular, larger update.)

Microsoft also is simplifying the naming scheme of its Windows feature updates, moving forward. It will keep the 20H2 naming convention even when the fall update is available to the mainstream and not use the usual month/year convention (such as 1909 and 2004). There still will be a "friendly" name attached to the release, however, so 20H2 also will likely get a name like the September 2020 or October 2020 update.

The main focus of the 20H2 feature update will be on improved performance and quality, rather than on a large number of brand-new features, officials said.

The new test build out today is available to Insiders in the Beta Channel who "seek" it out. That means to get it, Insiders need to go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and choose download and install 20H2. Once Insiders are on this build, they will get regular 20H2 updates via Windows Update. Those in the new Beta Channel who opt not to download and install 20H2 won't get new features.

Microsoft is using this new approach to get the test bits to Insiders rather than going back to the approach it used to test 19H2. With 19H2, Microsoft released bits to some Insiders with features turned off and to others with features turned on. That strategy frustrated and confused some testers. Instead, Microsoft will be providing Insiders with the 20H2 build installed with new features as they are delivered.

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