The next feature update to Windows 10 will be called the Windows 10 November 2019 Update. This falls in line with the previous three names: the April 2018 Update, the October 2018 Update, and the May 2019 Update. The current rumors have its release date set as November 12th, 2019, which seems to come from actual sources at Microsoft. Previous rumors pointed to the end of September, then October 1st, and then the October 8th Patch Tuesday, which I assume was based on how small it is and (as we will discuss below) the new way that it is being delivered.
Microsoft expects that it will be released as build 18363.418 (although 18362.10024 is already in testing). Compare that with the October 8th hotfix to 1903, which is build 18362.418. The numbers are similar because Microsoft will support them at the same time. The rightmost number signifies Windows Update revision, which will be kept equivalent between 1903 and 1909. The leftmost number gets a +1 bump in 1909 to signify the extra features. Basically, users can opt into 1909 or they can stay on 1903; both streams will receive the same patches.
If this pattern is long-term, then it is both weird and sensible at the same time.
First, it seems odd that Microsoft would carve out a set of features that only a subset of users will see before everyone’s (presumably) pushed up to 2003 in the April/May timeframe. On the other hand, there is some benefit to having these features extra-tested by non-Insiders for about 6 months. It also recognizes that some people want to upgrade less frequently than every 6 months.
Also, the Edge development cycle seems to be decoupling from Windows 10. Previously, Microsoft would release a new version of Windows 10 for every browser update, versus the much faster release cycle of Chrome and Firefox. The Chromium-based Edge might do the same (in which case I’m speaking nonsense) but, if it’s updated independently, then that would give Microsoft a little slack in the rest of their OS’s release schedule.
Whatever the reason, this pattern (if it becomes a pattern) would be laid out as follows:
- April-ish: Everyone gets an update
- October-ish: Enthusiasts get a little extra if they want it
Windows 10 November 2019 Update, while small, has a few noteworthy features.
The most interesting for our audience should be its (proclaimed) better support for favored cores. AMD and Intel know what each of their cores are capable of when they are tested after manufacturing. If a certain core just happened to lithograph better than their expected tolerance, then it can clock higher and do so at a lower voltage. If this could be added into the CPU as some form of post-manufacturing metadata, then work could be prioritized to this core for either increased performance or reduced power consumption.
Intel started doing favored cores with Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0, while AMD started doing it with recent Ryzen models. Reddit comments seems to claim that Microsoft is doing this to help Intel’s implementation rather than AMD, but I am willing to wait (albeit not confidently) until the update is generally available just in case.
There are also a handful of improvements with certain OS auxiliary features, such as Notifications and the Calendar pop-up. The calendar is now able to create events without opening the Calendar app. Notifications will now (by default) sort by the app that most recently displayed a notification (versus alphabetically by app name). You can also disable the notification sound.
There is still no official release date for Windows 10 November 2019 update, although the rumors point to November 12th. Also, there might be some extended rollout period like what we saw for the May 2019 update. Microsoft maintains a list of known issues, so, if there are a few major bugs for 1909, Microsoft will probably scan the target machine before dumping the new build. In my case, I remember it taking until late June or something.