I am not a fan of the word finally when it comes to features, updates, etc. but this might be a time it can be used without objection from me.

Finally – there ya go – Microsoft has released the latest feature update for Windows 10. The May 2020 Update for Windows 10 has been in testing since February 2019. That is the longest development path for a single feature update release in the history of Windows 10.

The May 2020 Update, also know officially as Windows 10 (Version 2004), is the 10th overall feature update for Microsoft’s flagship operating system.

Hopefully, the long cooking time, more than 15 months and almost 60 public build releases, will mean a smoother rollout and less user issues with the update.

However, that long development cycle doesn’t mean this update is not shipping with some known issues.

According to the Windows May 2020 Update Release Health dashboard, there are ten known issues listed – here is a rundown:

  • Variable refresh rate not working as expected on devices with Intel iGPU – Enabling VRR on affected devices will not enable the VRR for games using Direct X 9.
  • Difficulty connecting to more than one Bluetooth device – Windows 10 devices with certain Realtek drivers might be unable to connect to more than one Bluetooth device.
  • Errors or issues during or after updating devices with Conexant ISST audio drivers – Devices with affected Conexant ISST audio drivers might receive an error or have issues with Windows 10, version 2004.
  • Errors or issues during or after updating devices with certain Conexant audio drivers – Devices with affected Conexant or Synaptics audio drivers might receive a stop error with a blue screen.
  • Issues using ImeMode property to control IME mode for individual text entry fields – Some IMEs for certain langauges might have issues using the ImeMode property with certain apps.
  • Stop error when plugging or unplugging a Thunderbolt dock – Devices using Thunderbolt docks may receive a stop error when plugging in or unplugging the dock.
  • Errors or unexpected restarts for some devices using Always On, Always Connected – Devices with more than one Always On, Always Connected capable network adapter might have issues.
  • No mouse input with apps and games using GameInput Redistributable – Affected apps and games using both GameInput Redistributable and Windows 10, version 2004 might lose mouse input.
  • Issues updating or starting up devices when aksfridge.sys or aksdf.sys is present – Devices with apps or drivers using certain versions of aksfridge.sys or aksdf.sys might have issues updating or starting.
  • Issue with older drivers for Nvidia display adapters (GPU) – You might have issues if you are using an Nvidia display adapter (GPU) and drivers with a version below 358.00.

There is one mitigated issue listed as well concerning the DISM tool reporting corruption still being present after repair. Re-running the tool confirms the corruption has been fixed.

Details for all of the above items are available on the health dashboard for Windows 10 (Version 2004) and will be updated as Microsoft either mitigates, updates, or adds other items that are discovered.

Getting the Windows 10 May 2020 Update

Microsoft now initiates the roll out of these features updates in a very predictable manner which they colloquially refer to as Seeker Mode. That means you go to Settings>Windows Update & Security and click on the Check for updates button yourself to get it installed and running. If your system is not blocked from the update for a known issue, then the feature update will offered with an option to start the download and installation.  Just click that Download button to upgrade your device.

Over time, once your device becomes eligible for the update, it will show up in Windows Update & Security in the same manner automatically – with a description and a download button – just click to get started or ignore it if you want to wait on the upgrade. Microsoft does not force the update until support for your currently installed version of Windows 10 is getting ready to end. Typically, that can be anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks ahead of that end of support date.

Now many of you reading this are seekers looking to get this installed right away and that is still possible. What do you do if you head to Windows Update & Security and nothing is being offered on your device yet?

Well first, look at the known issues list and make sure your device is not being blocked by one of those. If you are, then the smart move is to wait until it is resolved and then the update will become available on your device.

If you are clear of any blocks from the upgrade to the May 2020 Update for Windows 10 and just want to go ahead and get it installed you can do so manually.

Head over to the Windows 10 Download page and use one of the two choices shown below:

  • Click on Update now to upgrade your device using the Update Assistant. This will download a small stub file to get you started, it will ask some questions about your files, apps, etc. and then progress to the download and install of the May 2020 Update. Just follow the prompts to get going. Using this option you can continue to use your system while this happens in the background. At some point a restart will be required to complete the update so plan accordingly.
  • Click on Download tool now to grab the Media Creation Tool (MCT) and follow the steps for either downloading an ISO of the update or creating USB installation media that can be used to upgrade any eligible Windows 10 device. Once the tool has created your installation media, you will need to use it to perform your upgrade. A clean install is also an option using the MCT.

Pretty standard fare for all feature updates such as last fall’s November 2019 Update and its predecessors.

Some of the key highlights for this 10th feature update for Windows 10 include:

  • Quicker Bluetooth connections
  • Passwordless support
  • Potentially Unwanted App (PUA) blocking
  • More kamoji
  • Naming Virtual Desktops (persistent between restarts)
  • DirectX 12
  • Xbox Game Bar widget support for third party apps/services
  • Improved memory utilization
  • Stay on top Calculator window
  • Notepad upgrades for wrap around find/replace, quick text zooming, and unsaved changes indicator on title bar (asterisk)
  • Cortana decoupled from the operating system includes a chat based experience with the digital assistant

Accessibility is another area that always gets attention in these feature updates and the May 2020 Update is no different:

  • Narrator sounds improved along with webpage summaries, better table reading, and automatically reading webpages and emails (Outlook and Mail app)
  • Windows Magnifier can not keep your cursor in the middle of the magnified screen for you
  • Eye Control for drag and drop and a new pause experiene

Time will tell us how solid this update is moving forward and of course we will be keeping an eye on that along the way.

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