What’s New with Windows 10 20H2: Theme-Aware Start Menu, Touch-Friendly Taskbar, and Xbox Game Pass for PC
Microsoft has released Windows 10 October 2020 Update following the service-pack like release strategy of Windows 10 version 1909. However, unlike last year's version 1909, Windows 10 20H2 has received some massive new features and visual changes.
Some of the highlights include a theme-aware Start menu, improvements for Microsoft Edge (with Alt-Tab addition), improved Settings app, and more.
Here is everything that is new with Windows 10 October 2020 Update
With this update comes the latest and greatest version of the new Microsoft Edge. Since launching back in January, we’ve seen phenomenal growth and we’re excited it’s included in this update. If you haven’t yet tried the new Microsoft Edge, you should launch it and try it out since we’ve built a better browser with more performance, more privacy and more value back while you browse. If you’re already using our new browser, then you’ve seen first-hand how fast it is and we’re adding great new features every six weeks. Try out Collections to easily save and share content you find online. It’s perfect for holiday shopping, school research and even planning next spring’s camping trip. And it works across PC and mobile so you’re always in sync. We’ve also added Price Comparison so you can easily find the best price when you add an item to a collection, just in time for holiday shopping. In fact, we’re proud to say Microsoft Edge is the best browser for shopping this holiday.
With this update you also get these new, exclusive to Windows 10 features for Microsoft Edge:
- Alt + Tab = The quick way to access your apps and web tabs. With this handy keyboard shortcut not only can you easily access the apps you have open on your desktop, but now you can also access your open tabs in Microsoft Edge.
- All the tabs you were looking for. If you’re someone who likes the convenience of pinning your favorite websites to the taskbar, you’re going to love this new feature. Now when you hover over the website icon, you’ll see all the open tabs of that site.
Refreshing updates from the Start menu to the Taskbar and more
- A refreshing Start. The Start menu has a more streamlined design. A uniform, partially transparent background to the tiles creates a beautiful stage for the redesigned app icons like Calculator, Mail and Calendar. This refined Start design looks great in both dark and light themes, but if you’re looking for a splash of color, first make sure to turn on Windows dark theme and then toggle “Show accent color on the following surfaces” for “Start, taskbar, and action center” under Settings > Personalization > Color to elegantly apply your accent color to the Start frame and tiles.
- Smooth Settings. Settings continues to become a more robust place to access security and device details. Also, now when you go to Settings > System > Display, Advanced display settings, you can change the refresh rate of your display. A higher refresh rate allows for smoother motion of visuals, and depending on what kind of display or monitor you have, you may be able to really crank it up—makes for a great gaming experience.
- 2 in 1 toast elimination. 2-in-1 devices now naturally switch by default to the new tablet experience without the notification toast asking you to switch into the tablet mode when you detach the keyboard, helping to keep you in your flow.
- Noticeable notifications. New app logos at the top of notifications now make it much easier to identify who they are from. And the new “X marks the spot” lets you quickly click, close and get back at it.
- A Taskbar tuned to your liking. Getting a new Windows PC? You will enjoy a cleaner, more personalized, out-of-box experience featuring a taskbar specifically curated for you—less clutter and more content that you’ll love. (This experience is limited to new account creation or first logon scenarios.)
Updates for commercial and education customers
In addition to a smoother user experience, commercial and education customers also get enhanced security and management. Feature updates include more granular control in Mobile Device Management (MDM)1, stronger sign-in protection with enhanced sign-in security, and virtualization-based security for both Microsoft Edge and Office. Whether people are working or learning onsite or remotely, IT pros and end users will gain a simpler, more secure experience with the latest Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Education.
- Simpler device management. Mobile Device Management (MDM)1 now includes a Local Users and Groups policy that gives administrators the same options as on-premises Group Policy.
- More secure biometric sign on. With enhanced sign-in security2, Windows Hello3 now offers added support for virtualization-based security for certain fingerprint and face sensors, which protects, isolates and secures a user’s biometric authentication data.
- Stronger app protection. Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG)4 now helps protect Microsoft 3655 as well as Microsoft Edge with a unique hardware isolation strategy. WDAG keeps enterprise data protected by opening sites and Office files from untrusted sources in a virtualized container.
- Personalized tab page in the new Microsoft Edge. IT administrators can help employees, students and teachers personalize their new tab page with Microsoft 3655. Now, people can access their files and favorite Microsoft 365 apps more quickly just by opening a new tab in their browser. To learn more about what this update means for IT Pros, visit this blog post.
Microsoft has also released the following video for a quick peek at the new Windows 10 October 2020 Update features and improvements.