Microsoft has made it official: Windows 10’s “19H2” release will now be officially known as the Windows 10 November 2019 Update.
Microsoft is giving itself plenty of runway with what’s also known as the version 1909 release. Typically, the version number incorporates the month and the year, so that “1909” would be assumed to ship in September. That’s the schedule Microsoft committed to, anyway. Microsoft hasn’t changed the November 2019 Update’s version number to accommodate the revised shipping date.
Microsoft hasn’t committed to an official rollout date for shipping the Windows 10 November 2019 Update to the millions of “stable” PCs who aren’t in the Insider testing program, either, though sometime in November is a safe bet.
Brandon LeBlanc, the senior program manager responsible for the Windows Insider Program, wrote that the Windows 10 build 18363.418 that is currently in the Release Preview ring is anticipated to be the final release. That’s just a notch higher than the current version of the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, which is officially 18362.418. (“Because they use the same servicing content, the build revision number (the number that comes after the dot) will always match between May 2019 Update and November 2019 Update,” LeBlanc explained.)
In part, that’s because the November 2019 Update was revised to be something more akin to a service pack than a full-fledged feature update. We’ve listed the features of the 19H2 or November 2019 Update here, and compared them against the so-called 20H1 update, due in early 2020. Given the list of features that’s emerged in the Insider beta builds, Microsoft’s slating 20H1 to be a more traditional “feature” release. Microsoft also hasn’t said when to expect 20H1, or whether that will even take place during the usual March, 2020, or some later date.
In any event, while the Release Preview ring has already received the “final” November 2019 Update build, the Insider Slow ring will be migrated to the Windows 10 November 2019 build in the coming weeks, LeBlanc said. As they normally do, Insiders will have to choose whether to remain in the Slow or Release Preview rings—which will eventually migrate over to the 19H2 track.
If you’re not in the Insider program and want to test out the 19H2/November 2019 Update, you’ll need to join the Windows 10 Insider program (Settings > Home > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program) and follow the instructions, which involves signing in with a Microsoft account and rebooting your machine to download and install the update. Existing Insiders can switch rings to join Release Preview. Remember, there’s also an option to opt out of Insider Previews once the official “release” flight is shipped to your PC.
Joining the Insider program always involves the potential for buggy software, however, so it’s only for those who understand the risks. Remember that every PC will receive this update in a matter of weeks.
Now, Microsoft has to hope that its November 2019 rollout goes smoothly. Microsoft was scheduled to roll out its Windows 10 October 2019 Update automatically starting October 9, 2018. Several days later, the update (also known as “version 1809”) was pulled as reports surfaced of user files being deleted during the installation process. Though Microsoft later said that just 1 percent or so of users were affected, the numbers would have worked out to hundreds of thousands of users.