Windows 10 is a continuous product, which implies there’ll be no ‘Windows 11’; OS, however, will be steadily updated with both patches and fresh features over time.
In May this year, Microsoft released Windows 10 May 2020 Update (version 2004)— the newest version of Windows 10 available to individuals and businesses.
Microsoft has already begun working on the upcoming versions of Windows 10 and a new edition called Windows 10X. The entire exercise is part of what Microsoft refers to as ‘Windows as a service.’ It simply implies that there won’t be a new operating system release every year to add new functionality, security updates or support for upgraded hardware.
Expected Future Windows 10 Upgrades
The Windows 10 releases are codenamed 20H2 and 21H1, suggesting Microsoft’s recent decision to break the main upgrade modules into two.
This year we’ve already had the first big update dubbed ’20H1,’ formally known as the May 2020 Update. It was soon followed by Windows 10 20H2 (10 October 2020 Update), which is a small cumulative-update type upgrade with a “scoped set of attributes.” It includes minimal enhancements, and many bug fixes, rather than additional features or drastic changes.
Windows 10 21H1
21H1 is going to be a major upgrade, expected to arrive in the spring of 2021.
Microsoft recently launched Build 20150 on the Dev Channel (previously referred to as the Fast Ring) of the Windows Insider programme. The company also disclosed that Dev Channel builds are not related to particular upcoming Windows 10 feature updates.
These functionalities that will emerge in the Dev Channel preview builds might or might not be part of Windows 10 version 21H1, but some of them will be included in its feature update.
Experimentation with new features and UI enhancements
Microsoft is said to be working internally on a range of updates and features that could be part of Windows 10 21H1 (Spring 2020 Update).
For example, Windows 10 preview builds contain references to ‘Hide System Control Panel’ and ‘SystemToAboutSettingsSearchRemoval’ in the code.
This seems to indicate that Microsoft will obscure another significant Control Panel region called ‘System,’ which enables access to the basic device details such as activation stats, processor, memory, and storage.
Likewise, links to ‘Modern Disk Management Link’ were also found in preview builds early this year, indicating that Windows 10 could be getting a new app to handle disc partitions.
Windows Start Menu is amongst the most emblematic features, which is developing steadily through the years.
Microsoft recently announced that they’re working on the Start menu redesigning that de-emphasizes the vibrant Live Tiles for a more simplified appearance. However, the Live Tiles won’t totally go as they’ll still work on apps like Weather.
Improvements are expected to surface by the mid of 2021
Modern File Explorer
Windows 10X will include a new File Explorer, available for unofficial installation on Windows 10 device. Unlike the existing Explorer, the new variant offers close OneDrive integration and the capability to search local files as well.
Fortunately, Microsoft has discontinued the practice of ‘force-feeding’ Windows 10 feature releases. However, the upgrades are sometimes disruptive that may trigger minor issues. The tech giant can take note of this and introduce necessary changes to make transitions smooth and seamless.