Microsoft is releasing its Windows 10 October 2020 update to over one billion 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 twists, including a fresh start menu, changes to some Alt tabs, and a bundle of Microsoft Edge powered by the new Chromium.
The biggest visual change is, of course, the updated Start menu. Microsoft’s new design app kills the solid color behind the logo and adds a transparent background instead of tiles. The end result is a start menu that is functionally similar, but very easy to scan to find your apps.
Another important change from Microsoft is how Alt Tab works. Traditionally, you use Alt Tab to cycle through open desktop applications in Windows, but the list now includes all of Microsoft Edge’s open tabs. Microsoft Windows 10 is allowing users to revert to the classic Alt-Tab experience, however.
The last important addition relates to PC gaming. Microsoft has never made it easier to set up and control monitor refresh rates in Windows, due to which many people can enable 144Hz or more modes on their monitors. Now you can switch to higher refresh rates directly within 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’s apps.
Microsoft’s other improvements to Windows 10 are even more minor with this October 2020 update. Notifications now include the app logo at the top to make it easier to manage and identify, the taskbar has been announced for new Windows 10 users, and tablet mode now if you’re using a 2-in-1 laptop No information shows.
While the Windows 10 October 2020 update is available today, there is a chance that you may not be able to install it yet. Microsoft typically takes a gradual approach to its Windows rollout, and is coming in the midst of an epidemic where everyone is relying more heavily on laptops and PCs than before.
“We’re taking a measured seeker-based rollout approach for the October 2020 update,” explains John Cable, Microsoft’s head of Windows servicing and delivery. “We are reducing availability in the coming weeks to ensure a reliable download experience so that updates are not provided to you immediately. Additionally, some devices may have a compatibility issue for which there is a secure hold, so we will not offer updates, unless we are confident that you will have a good update experience. “
If your device is supported immediately, you can check in the Settings (Settings> Update and Security> Windows Update) of the Windows Update section for the Windows 10 October 2020 update. Otherwise, this latest update should appear in the coming weeks.