Windows 10 October Update

October 25, 2020

Microsoft has announced that their Windows 10 October Feature Update is now available to the general public. As most Engineers know, Windows 10 receives two annual updates around March and September, so this is the second of those. Among the features updated, our Engineers will find the new Chromium version of Edge. This change will bring Chrome add-ons to the Edge browser. According to the PCWorld article, John Cable, vice president of program management for Windows Servicing and Delivery, said in a blog post: “We are throttling availability over the coming weeks to ensure a reliable download experience, so the update may not be offered to you right away. Additionally, some devices might have a compatibility issue for which a safeguard hold is in place, so we will not offer the update until we are confident that you will have a good update experience.”

If you would like to install the new release right away, you’ll need to open the Windows Update settings (Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update) and select Check for updates.

Ian’s Take

The one thing I am not sure on what the Chrome add-ons are doing.  How are they different from the previously supported Edge Extensions which could be side-loaded from the Chrome store.  Perhaps one of our listeners can put that in the Discord channel ?  

There is a new Alt+ Tab behavior bas been enhanced to show recent apps as well as recent Edge Tabs.  With all things Microsoft if you hate this, and many people do, you can disable by going to System > Multitasking > Alt + Tab.  

New Alt+Tab Screen

There are changes to the start menu with some of the new design language.  More consistent icons and live tile apps have been updated.  I would really love to know the marketshare of users who actually take advantage of the live tiles.  Apple lifted the idea from Microsoft and Palm and have actually made it into something people like

The classic version of the Control Panel continues to be slow taken away.  In this version of Windows, the System page in Control Panel has been removed. 

The Your Phone feature has been been updated, but I honestly don’t know who actually uses that feature as it’s limited to a small number of Samsung Phones.  I like the idea but the execution is cumbersome.  I’ve personally tried to use it multiple times, but the phone always needs to be synced up for it to start. It’s nowhere near as easy as Apple’s integrated Messages approach, and also not as easy as the PWA version offered by google. 

This is a boring update and that is a good thing.  Keep on making changes under the hood and people will have nothing to complain about. I think Microsoft has lost excitement about its operating systems and that is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just that their marketing hasn’t keep up with Apple’s.  

If I were Microsoft I would be looking at jump starting their own silicon independent of Qualcomm to take track of their own destiny.  If Apple really succeeds in their ARM transition, Microsoft better be able to bring all their apps over.  The 64-bit x86 emulation helps, but only time will tell.  

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