Microsoft is preparing to launch Windows 10 19H1 in November. Once the minor upgrade is in the wild, full focus will be placed on Windows 10 20H1. Interestingly, it seems Microsoft may be ready to sign-off on that future upgrade sooner than expected.
According to information from Windows Central, the Windows 10 20H1 update could reach release to manufacturing (RTM) in December.
If you have observed Windows 10 updates in recent years, this would be a departure from the norm. Typically, Microsoft signs off a Windows update a month before it goes public. For example, Windows 10 1803 (April 2018 Update) made RTM in March (hence the build number). It was then launched in April.
This year, Microsoft has changed its Windows 10 update strategy. As we reported in June, Microsoft has changed major Windows 10 updates to once-yearly events. The Fast Ring will now handle major Windows 10 updates, which will be moved to once annually. For several years, Microsoft has been sending out two major upgrades for the OS per year.
As for the Slow Ring, it will now be solely for testing minor updates. These will arrive in the second half of the year with bug fixes and improvements for the major release.
According to Windows Central, Microsoft finalized features for Windows 10 20H1 in August. Since then the company has been shoring up the platform by squashing bugs and making improvements. Because of this, Microsoft is likely to push it to RTM in mid-December.
That means 20H1 could drop to public release in January or even before the close of 2019. Interestingly, this would be the third Windows release in a year. In reality it would the be the H1 2020 release. Microsoft would then start preparing Windows 10 20H2, which would RTM in June 2020.
A December/June release cycle for Windows updates coincides with a realignment of the development cycles of Windows to match those of Azure.