Windows 10's 19H2 Fall 2019 Update takes possibly its last step before a formal release

You can download the latest Windows 10 feature release now, or wait until it's pushed to your PC probably in a week or so.

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Windows 10’s Fall 2019 feature update, known colloquially as “19H2,” is moving from uncertainty to near-reality. On Tuesday Microsoft started pushing it out to the entire Release Preview ring of its Windows 10 Insider program.

Microsoft first began deploying Windows 10 build 18363.385 (19H2) at the end of August to the first, Slow ring of its Insider program, one of its three Insider rings. The company left the second Fast ring for the more substantive Spring 2020 feature update, also known as 20H1. 

Microsoft traditionally prepares to release a feature update by sending it to the Release Preview ring, the third and most conservative testing ring of its Windows 10 insider program. In early September, Microsoft said that it was sending build 18363.385 to 10 percent of its Release Preview ring. Now everyone on the Insider Preview ring is getting it, leaving a general release as the next major step.

Microsoft’s announcement comes as customers have now installed Windows 10 on 900 million devices, according to Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi, nearing the significant 1 billion devices milestone the company originally set.

Microsoft has traditionally targeted April and September for the release of its spring and fall feature updates, respectively, and the calendar is winding down on September. (The spring 2019 update, known as the May 2019 Update, was released on May 21.) The smart money says that Microsoft at least mentions it in its upcoming Surface launch next week, if it doesn’t formally announce it altogether.

So what’s in 19H2? We covered the key features of Windows 10 19H2 in a previous article—though it looks like we actually listed all of them, as there aren’t that many. (Some of these are still extremely mundane. “The navigation pane on the Start menu now expands when you hover over it with your mouse to better inform where clicking goes” is listed as one of the new features.) Primarily, 19H2 will allow other digital assistants besides Cortana on the lock screen, improve digital inking, and integrate Windows Search and the File Manager.

The relatively light load of new features means that 19H2 will (hopefully) land with a whisper, not a thud. We’ll find out soon.

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