Microsoft is working on the dual-screen future of Windows 10, with the 20H2 update about to enter testing

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has pushed out a new preview of Windows 10 20H1, the next incoming update for the OS due perhaps quite early in 2020, announcing that it’s almost done now – and that as a result, testing is about to start on the following update which will logically be called Windows 10 20H2 (and is internally codenamed ‘Manganese’).

Windows 10 preview build 19033 (20H1) has been released to testers in both the fast and slow rings, with only some minor fixes being implemented since the previous build, because as noted, this version is almost finished now.

In fact, as Microsoft observes, it has removed the build watermark (which indicates a preview test build) which is normally in the bottom right-hand corner of the desktop, but the company adds in bold type: “This doesn’t mean we’re done…”

However, we are very clearly almost done, and Microsoft also announced: “We are looking to begin releasing new builds from our development branch. This means we will be releasing builds to Insiders in the Fast ring from the RS_PRERELEASE development branch again instead of the VB_RELEASE branch.”

As mentioned, this is the next big 20H2 update which should be imminently available for testers in the fast ring, and this is the upgrade which is to be tailored for dual-screen devices like Microsoft’s own Surface Neo (hardware running Windows 10X, a new spin on the OS designed for such two-screens-are-better-than-one portables).

Bugs aplenty

Naturally, the very first versions of a new update are likely to contain more bugs and be less stable, so Microsoft warns that you should check your Windows Insider Settings and switch yourself into the slow ring if you want to stay on 20H1.

Fast ring testers will soon get switched over to test the new upgrade (presumably 20H2, as noted).

Interestingly, Microsoft has named the 20H1 update version 2004, when it would usually be 2003 (for example this year’s spring update was version 1903, followed by 1909). This is to avoid any potential confusion with Windows Server 2003, apparently.

Last-minute bug fixes applied in this new 20H1 preview build mostly involve solutions for crashing issues, including one where the Start menu would crash on launch if a Windows update was needing a restart.

As the 20H1 update is about to be finalized, there’s a possibility it could be released earlier than normal when the new year rolls into town – maybe even as early as January or February, rather than waiting until spring as usually happens. That said, nothing is certain in terms of Microsoft’s intended release schedule for next year, and the firm may just hold onto the update even if it’s ready.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).