Microsoft releases the first Windows 10 20H1 build to Skip Ahead Insiders

In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft today released the first Windows 10 Insider Preview from the 20H1 development branch. No, that's not a typo, so let's back it up a little bit.

Windows 10 19H1 development is winding down, and we're probably going to see an RTM build next month. It's still not very stable, as is shown by the fact that there isn't a single 19H1 build available in the Slow ring yet, but that hasn't stopped the firm from moving forward with Skip Ahead.

Microsoft opened up Skip Ahead two weeks ago, and typically, the subset of the Fast ring is meant for skipping to the next version of Windows 10. But this time, we're skipping ahead by two versions. Moving forward, Skip Ahead will be reserved for 20H1 builds, which ships in the first half of 2020, and the regular Fast ring will be where you can go for 19H2 builds.

Today's build is Windows 10 Insider Preview build 18836, and it doesn't contain any new features. In fact, you can expect the foreseeable future on 20H1 to be about back-end changes. Typically, new features get added in the current development cycle, so you're going to see a lot of new 20H1 builds that only show the new features that are already in 19H2 builds.

There are some fixes and improvements:

  • REMINDER: The new tamper protection setting in the Windows Security app protects your device by helping to prevent bad actors from tampering with the most important security settings. The setting is designed to be on by default, however the default state is not currently in effect for current Insider Preview builds. You may see a new recommendation in the Windows Security app suggesting you turn this setting on.

  • We fixed an issue where turning off Location from the Action Center might take multiple clicks to react.

  • We fixed an issue resulting in being unable to re-arrange pinned folders in Start’s tile grid.

  • We fixed an issue where newly installed apps might not show up in search results.

  • We fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders not being able to open Cortana when in Tablet Mode.

  • We fixed an issue from the previous flight where right-clicking the desktop would bring up a light colored context menu in dark theme.

  • We’re updating the name of the “Windows Light” theme to now be “Windows (light)”.

  • We fixed an issue where Cortana’s icon on secondary monitors wouldn’t update colors after switching between light and dark theme.

  • We fixed an issue where when using light theme + small icons + a vertical taskbar orientation, text written on the taskbar would stay white and thus wouldn’t be readable.

  • We fixed an issue that could result in open apps not being shown on the taskbar (but being visible in Alt + Tab).

  • We fixed an issue resulting in build unable to log into WinRE with an admin account in the last couple of flights.

  • We’ve made another fix to address reports of devices getting stuck with “Hibernating…” text on the screen on resume from hibernate.

  • We fixed an issue resulting in greys having an unexpected slight pinkish/purple-ish tinge on some devices in recent flights.

  • We fixed an issue in Ease of Access’s Cursor and pointer settings, mouse pointer size and color re now retained on upgrade.

  • We fixed an issue where the Windows Security app may show an unknown status for the Virus & threat protection area, or not refresh properly.

  • The issue impacting Creative X-Fi sound cards has been fixed.

And of course, there are known issues to be aware of:

  • Launching games that use anti-cheat software may trigger a bugcheck (GSOD).
  • While we’ve done some work to improve night light reliability in this build, we’re continuing to investigate issues in this space.

  • When performing Reset this PC and selecting Keep my files on a device that has Reserved Storage enabled the user will need to initiate an extra reboot to ensure Reserved Storage is working again properly.

  • Some Realtek SD card readers are not functioning properly. We are investigating the issue.

  • File Explorer may hang when trying to rename, delete, or move MKV files.

  • In Windows Sandbox, if you try to navigate to the Narrator settings, Settings app crashes.

And as always, there's one known issue for developers:

  • If you install any of the recent builds from the Skip Ahead and switch to either the Fast ring or the Slow ring – optional content such as enabling developer mode will fail. You will have to remain in the Fast ring to add/install/enable optional content. This is because optional content will only install on builds approved for specific rings.

It's worth noting that with the changes of skipping ahead by two development cycles, you're now committed to Skip Ahead. Historically, when it only skipped ahead to the next development cycle, Skip Ahead would align with the Fast ring after a couple of months. Don't plan on that happening anymore.

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