Editorial

Will the real Windows 10 2022 Update please stand up?

The stock Windows 10 wallpaper with the 2022 Update sign

Following the rollout of the Windows 11 2022 Update (version 22H2) last month, Microsoft began to make the version 2022 of Windows 10 available to consumers a few days ago too. Although it's supposed to be a feature update, there is very little fanfare surrounding it since development focus has shifted to Windows 11.

While it's understandable that the update is a bit minor under the circumstances, what's really odd is that Microsoft doesn't have a proper changelog for it. The company has promised a faster update experience for versions 20H2 and above, but that's not really a surprise considering that it likely has very minor changes. In its announcement blog post, Microsoft's John Cable has also touted "a limited scope of new features and functionality delivered via a familiar, fast and reliable update experience", but does Microsoft actually explain what these "new features" are? Nope.

And that has been bothering me a bit, it's like the company is ashamed that it hasn't added anything noteworthy to the OS even though I personally think it's completely understandable. As it currently stands, Windows 10 is kind of Microsoft's "support mode" for people who can't or won't upgrade to Windows 11, until they are forced to.

A Windows Update screen showing Windows 10 version 22H2 available for download

So I started digging around a bit to try and figure what the update actually includes. I started with checking for the update on my device, and it did show up. Clicking on the "See what's in this update" button directed me to this dedicated page, but to my disappointment, it just reads:

The Windows 10 2022 Update (Windows 10, version 22H2) delivers a scoped set of improvements in the areas of productivity and management.

Next, I went through some Microsoft documentation. While the Health Dashboard references the update, it only highlights the known issues and associated mitigations. I also re-read John Cable's announcement blog to see if it had been updated or contained links to an actual changelog, but no luck. Then, I visited the official @WindowsUpdate account on Twitter, but that just had a very unhelpful tweet embedded below:

After exploring all my first-party options, I fired some search queries on Google and that's when I finally struck gold. Although some media outlets had recent coverage for the Windows 10 2022 Update, most were uncertain what new features it packed, however, I found an article published in August by biscomputer.com, and it definitively stated the new features in the Windows 10 2022 Update. Its source? A KB5015878 cumulative update pushed to the Release Preview channel in July. This is also what led me to find the official blog post in which Microsoft emphasized that this is its first 22H2 build for Windows 10.

And so, my search for what's new in the update has seemingly come to an end, here is what the Windows 10 2022 Update brings:

  • New! Gives you the option to receive important notifications when focus assist is on. Focus assist is like a do not disturb mode that hides notifications.
  • Addresses an issue that causes certain docking stations to lose internet connectivity when waking from Sleep mode.
  • Adds functionality that improves the OS upgrade experience.
  • Addresses an issue that might cause consecutive video clip playback to fail in games that use DX12.
  • Addresses an issue that affects certain games that use the XAudio API to play sound effects.
  • Addresses an issue that affects the height of the Search box when you use multiple monitors that have different resolutions.
  • Addresses an issue that prevents certain troubleshooting tools from opening.

The same outlet has also referenced a Windows Autopilot enhancement for commercial customers, but some further sleuthing has led me to believe that this is actually a 21H2 feature, not 22H2.

An image of a Windows 10 desktop wallpaper

All in all, I'll emphasize once again that I don't find it surprising in the slightest that Windows 10 22H2 does not have a lengthy changelog. Despite being called feature updates, the last few updates to the OS have been enablement packages that only light up minor features.

Instead, what does strike me as odd is that Microsoft doesn't seemingly want you to know what the changes in its latest OS update are. Maybe I missed something obvious and there is a clear as day blog post from Microsoft that says "We are releasing the Windows 10 2022 Update, here is what's new", but I don't think I did.

I've always asked for transparency from Microsoft, and that's what I'll request again. A consumer should know or at least have a reference to what they're installing. Sure, the vast majority who do update don't actually care what's on their computer but for those of us who do, it really shouldn't be this difficult to find official documentation.

I completely understand that a lot of changes with Windows 10 are usually backend since frontend development is being prioritized for Windows 11, but that doesn't mean that Microsoft should skimp over the details. Windows 10 version 21H2 was also an enablement package and was quite minor, but Microsoft did publish lots of details regarding it, I even wrote a full-length article about it. But for some reason, the Redmond tech giant has not been upfront about the details in this update. I'd love to be proven wrong, but our fellow media outlets and journalists have seemingly been unable to concretely and confidently describe what's new in this update too, which confirms that this is irregular behavior. Do better, Microsoft.

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