German news site Deskmodder.de says we can expect finalization of Windows 10 2004, also known as 20H1, by 17 December. Though it cites the date as general availability, it’s more likely that this will be the RTM date (Release to Manufacturing).
Microsoft names its version with the year, followed by the month the newest build is traditionally finalized. Last year, that meant 1903, but Microsoft chose 2004 to avoid confusion with Windows Server 2003.
Of course, Deskmodder’s source comes with the caveat of “If everything goes to plan”. It wouldn’t be the first time Microsoft has run into a bug or driver issue at the last minute. The company is yet to confirm reports of an early release, so take them with a grain of salt.
If correct, it would be a much faster turnaround than we’ve come to expect. Usually, Microsoft’s releases get finalized in March and begin shipping the next month, depending on bugs.
However, it would make sense for Microsoft to be ready slightly earlier than usual given that 19H2 was a relatively minor update and Microsoft has been testing 20H1 for some time via its ‘Skip Ahead’ Insider ring.
Thanks to the testing, we know all of the changes 2004 brings to Windows 10. There will be new DirectX features, including improved raytracing. You’ll also be able to perform quick web searches from the search home, which include weather, top news, history, and new movies.
The Xbox Game Bar also got an upgrade. It can now show an FPS counter and achievement overlay. I’ve been testing this via the Release Preview Ring but it doesn’t appear to work in all titles.
Meanwhile, Virtual Desktop users will be happy to hear they can rename them. This will be very useful for the organization, while Task Managers’ support for GPU temperature will make troubleshooting easier.
You can find all of the other features in 20H1 in Microsoft’s documentation. There’s no single addition that stands out, but together they should improve quality of life in Windows 10.