Microsoft is releasing its Windows 10 October 2020 update to billions of users today. Like last year, This second Windows 10 update of 2020 is more of a service pack than a major release. However, Microsoft has made some interesting tweaks, including a refreshed start menu, some Alt tab changes and the bundling of the new chromium-powered Microsoft Edge.
The biggest visual change is, of course, the updated Start menu. Microsoft’s new design kills the visual color behind app logos and instead adds a transparent background to the tiles. The end result is the Start menu, which is functionally the same, but much easier to scan to find your apps.
The second important change from Microsoft is how the Alt Tab works. Traditionally, you use the Alt tab to rotate through desktop applications that open in Windows, but this list now includes all open tabs in Microsoft Edge. Microsoft Windows 10 allows users to switch back to the classic Alt-Tab experience.
The last important addition is related to PC gaming. Setting up and controlling monitor refresh rates on Windows has never been easier for Microsoft, making many people forget to enable modes of 144Hz or higher on their monitors. You can now switch to higher refresh rates in the Windows 10 settings panel (Settings> System> Display, Advanced Display Settings). This is better than jumping into a legacy interface buried in settings or controlling it from AMD or Nvidia apps.
Other improvements to Microsoft Windows 10 are even smaller with this October 2020 update. Notifications now have app logos at the top and are easily recognizable, the taskbar has been downgraded for newer Windows 10 users, and tablet mode no longer shows notifications if you are using a 2-in-1 laptop.
Although the Windows 10 October 2020 update is available today, you may not be able to install it yet. Microsoft is taking a gradual approach to its Windows rollouts and it is coming in the midst of an epidemic where everyone is relying more on laptops and PCs than ever before.
“We are taking the explorer-based rollout approach measured for the October 2020 update.” John Cable explains, Head of Microsoft Windows Servicing and Delivery. “We are increasing availability in the coming weeks to ensure a reliable download experience, so the update will not be provided to you immediately. In addition, some devices may have a compatibility issue, for which there is a security hold, so we will not provide the update until we believe you have a good update experience.”
If your device is supported immediately, you can check the Windows Update settings for the Windows 10 October 2020 update (Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update). Otherwise, this latest update will appear in the coming weeks.