This is the third month of our effort to review all the #WindowsInsiders builds that are released into the programs three testing channels over the previous month. (Here are the August and July summaries).

Activity across these channels during September are showing the upcoming release of the Windows 10 (Version 20H2) is on the horizon as expected. I will detail all that movement in the notes below.

#DevChannel

Some of the new features that have shipped in these four builds for Windows 10 (21H1) include:

  • Updates to the Emoji Picker User Interface
  • Voice Typing
  • Improvements to Touch Keyboard design
  • Added search to Default Apps page in Settings
  • Access to Linux file systems in Windows Subsystem for Linux
  • Dark Mode support for Windows Search
  • Meet Now shortcut to Skype in Taskbar
  • Storage health monitoring (*)

As you can see, nothing earth shattering in this list. In fact, these are mostly minor updates and enhancements and I will explain why that is the case shortly.

(*) – Added on September 30, 2020

#BetaChannel

This channel continues to receive cumulative updates that are full of bug fixes preparing this release for its availability as the fall update for Windows 10. It is expected that will land sometime in the next few weeks – around next month’s Patch Tuesday on 13 October is quite likely.

(*) – Added on September 30, 2020

#ReleasePreviewChannel

This channel started the month of continue to provide a test avenue for cumulative updates that were targeted for the production release of Windows 10 (Version 2004). Of course, those monthly updates provide security, bug fixes, and performance enhancements to keep that version of Windows 10 running smoothly.

However, if you take a close look at this build numbers, you will see that on September 18th this channel shifted to the preview builds for Windows 10 (Version 20H2). That is in preparation for the upcoming release of 20H2 as mentioned earlier in the #BetaChannel summary.

(*) – Added on September 30, 2020

In Closing

Now that the #ReleasePreviewChannel is running preview builds for Windows 10 (Version 20H2) it is time to consider what is going to happen with these three channels in the coming weeks.

Here are my thoughts:

#DevChannel – features have slowed down in this channel over the last few builds. I think that is to stabilize things in preparation for branching that build over into #BetaChannel after 20H2’s release. That will then shift #BetaChannel to Windows 10 (21H1) – the full feature update for Windows 10 in Spring 2021.

Once 20H2 is fully released we should see #ReleasePreviewChannel shift to testing the monthly cumulative updates that are shipped each month for what will then be the production version of Windows 10 – aka 20H2.

Once this all occurs, hopefully we should see features rolling into the #DevChannel once again as the Windows engineering team begins work on Windows 10 for the next cycle.

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