back to article Mayday! Mayday! The next Windows 10 update is finally on approach to a PC near you

Microsoft has finally nudged the next version of Windows 10 into Release Preview and given it a name: The Windows 10 May 2020 Update. This week's build 19041.207 is the lucky winner of the "we think this is the one" prize and received the deeply unimaginative, if inevitable, sobriquet. Also called Windows 10 2004, but known …


  1. johnnyblaze

    Just wait

    I think the best advice is to defer all Windows 10 feature updates for at least a month, if not three. Just wait and see how buggy the release is first, but based on the fact MS have released 7 (yes SEVEN) cumulative updates for 2004 this year alone, it says to me it was far from ready. I'd fully expect another massive day 1 update too.

    Everyone is now peddling frantically on the Microsoft hamster wheel, but remember, it's not too difficult to jump off if you want an easier life!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Just wait

      So, who's first to risk the chance of hosing their computer with this update in the middle of a pandemic?

      1. aks

        Re: Just wait

        me! me! me! i love the excitement!!!

        (not on my main machine, obviously)

        1. MrDamage Silver badge

          Re: Just wait

          I'll try it out on my main machine. I take weekly snapshots of my machine, and its not like restoring SSD to NVMe will take much longer than brewing the kettle and making a cuppa.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Just wait

            Same here.

            Desktop has a second internal drive with a partition just for images.

            And an external USB harddrive ditto. And rotated with a second external one from time to time.

            Because where computers are concerned there's no such thing as paranoia. Too much value on a rather fragile ecosystem.

            1. Paul Shirley

              Re: Just wait

              Paranoia is imaging to a NAS closer to the emergency exit and another copy on USB stick in my wallet.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just wait

          *limps off his pedal powered self arse kicking machine and wipes the sweat off his brow*

          I could do with a break. I've been testing this thing for an hour and I've got ass meat like veal. Need something to fill the time before I move onto my next project...according to Professor Von Schkeedmarck I have to drag my balls across a slab of ultra hard polymer with tiny shards of ceramic embedded in it for 1 hour. Every 10 minutes I have to dunk my sack in Dettol and rate the resulting sensation on a scale of 1 to 100 while they watch behind mirrored glass.

          So yeah, I've got about an hour to kill. Don't let my eye patch and hook hand put you off though. They're the result of an unfortunate lab accident. You see we were funded to find out what would happen if we starved a pack of hyenas for a week then tried to comfort them by slowly approaching them whilst wrapped in meat.

          It's amazing what they let us do with taxpayers money here.


          Dr Wolfgang ArschBlitz Von ZackenSchkrape PhD MasSci Dip. Reiki III

          Chief Device Tester

          Masochistic Sciences

          Oxford University

          PO Box 973, Oxford, England, United Kingdom, Europe, Earth, The Milky Way, Gamma Quadrant, Realm 57981, Dimension 1947429

          1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Just waiting on Madness to Take and Make an Appearance in AI Theatres of Engagement

            Crikey, AC, that's a helluva palaver..... and surely not at all really enjoyable. Why do it or even imagine it palatable for presentation both universal and/or highly selective?

            You realise whenever they be tendencies, they are easily enticed elsewhere to fend and tend other insatiably good needs and feeds and seeds where the rewards are quite different and virtually unknown and practically omnipotent.

            The Guardians there ensure Omniscients Retain and Maintain Overall Absolute Control for Most All Actors in the Field Do Battle and Joust with the Ghosts and Hosts of MADness ...... Pimping and Pumping Mutually Assured Destruction.

            Such is Not Ever Really Prime Leadership Materiel, methinks, ..... whenever stuck in such a default or strange configuration.

            Fortunately though, and surely, with just a few almighty tweaks here and there is that easily changed for the better ..... and succinctly enigmatically recorded as a successful monumental recovery from a failed experimental model.

            You win the Lottery then ...... with the Stay Out of Jail Forever Free to Sin Saintly with the Vices of Desire to Quench and Supply to the Satisfaction of Sole Beings and Heavenly Souls alike.

            And when you be in the Last Chance Saloon then, make sure everyone enjoys it ...... for death awaits otherwise..

            Crikey, I wonder what a Freud would make of all of that? Apart from a pretty penny or two, of course :-) The more things change the more they tend to be more of the same? :-) ......... is only the result of a Lack of Applied Imagination.

            Would El Regers and Anonymous Commentards agree nowadays there is no Lack of Applied Imagination but there Persists a Crazed Resistance to Sudden Presentation from Terrified Established Mass Multi-Media Mogul Operations ?

            And yes, thank you. The nurse has been and successfully dispensed medication. :-) ..... Engel

            How's everyone doing in these strange emergent times of lockdown and social distancing? All going well? Or FUBAR?

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Just wait

        I'm (begrudgingly) allowing a win-10-nic "test VM" to go update itself. I made a backup first. I figure the downloads should last through the night and into tomorrow afternoon...

        sad face because I know I need to do this for the testing VM, but I hate actually doing it. Just recently DL'd Win 8.1 "updated" version which in my opinion actually has WORSE "user experience" than Win-10-nic, which is a frightening reality [it even tried to strong-arm me to do a 'Microsoft Logon' - go fig].

        But it doesn't have tracking, as far as I can tell, but it's the "updated" release so who knows...

      3. Colonel Mad

        Re: Just wait

        Mine's already running it, apparently!

      4. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Just wait

        Just had to use TeamViewer to sort out a neighbour's Windows 10 laptop because the latest KB last week mutes microphone input for Realtek sound but you don't get to see it unless you go right down into a Windows 7-style device properties dialog box, in all of Windows 10's TIFKAM windows it looks like its working, even the microphone test.

        And that really helps when people are trying to do classes online.

        And that's not even Windows 2004.

        Microsoft haven't got a effin clue about testing.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Just wait

          The excuse in the past, supported over the years by commentards here when I've said such things ( down voted lots) is that they can't test all the different combinations of stuff.( Upvoted much).

          My response was always that most people aren't techies, so didn't customise their computers and used fairly standard set-ups - a handful of PC makers, with a handful of lines each- most of which were pretty similar, so they should have been able to pick up almost all of the many quite appalling errors before people's computers stopped working (down voted much).

          But I stand by this. Any upgrade to Windows ought to be able to handle the hardware on all well known brands ( because they're well..... - so predictable) with all the standard graphics and sound cards (ditto), HDDs/SSDs and connectivity. If there's some obscure hardware out there it's for their manufacturers to ensure they provide MS with updated drivers etc. Dammit they churn this stuff out month after months. There shouldn't be any combination of commonly used hardware they don't know about- and they should even know how these devices interact with each other and the PCs. In fact they should be aware of the pitfalls while they write the stuff. Before it even gets turned into usable code.

          1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

            Re: Just wait

            Sorry, but I don't think you understand the scale of the combinations of hardware out there.

            Let's take a typical laptop from a typical laptop manufacturer as this keeps the amount of user changes down to a minimum.

            Just a single model of a laptop with a bland and seemingly consistent branding and model number will typically have a good number of hardware and firmware (BIOS) revisions from first launch to 9-12 months later when it's replaced by an almost identical model using cheaper, newer components but for a slightly higher price. To keep things simple let's assume only 5 revisions of the hardware between release and retirement, these changes are usually small, but will often require slightly different drivers or if not, they are still different somehow - otherwise they'd be the same. To keep things simple each of these 5 revisions is just a single change in some hardware, doesn't really matter what.

            That's 5 revisions just for this single manufacturer's laptop model that lasts 6-9 months before it's replaced. However this is very far from the end of the these changes, because this model can be fitted with an option integral webcam and an option TPM chip. So we're now up to 20 different versions of the same laptop. But wait, there's a different US version due to some local WiFi nonsense therefore there's a US version and "rest of world" or "international" version. OK, we're now up to 40 different versions of the same laptop. It gets better though, because this is an international company and therefore the keyboard is available in American, English, German, French, Spanish, Portugese and so on.... let's just assume only 10 different keyboards are available. That means that we are now up to 400 versions of the same laptop/

            * Assuming no numerical model interactions between the US only WiFi and American keyboards, it could be that the US WiFi model is only available with an American keyboard for instance - if this simplification offends you, just add some more keyboard layouts to the example...

            It's a simplified example but it doesn't include the almost unlimited extra things that could be plugged into the laptop such as external monitors, docking stations, mice, keyboards, dongles, USB storage devices and so on. Many of which will have their own versions of hardware and drivers and integrate closely with the host system through DMA. This is before the different BIOS versions come into play and the different operating system versions and languages and installation options and whatever the user failed to click "no" to at the appropriate time.

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Re: Just wait

              It doesn't matter, they almost all generally have one sound output (speakers or line out) and two sound inputs (mic, line in). A lot of effort was put into Windows to abstract it from the hardware. There is a lot of scope for automated testing, the test is does it record something and then play it back.

              The update they just did hosed sound for a good number of people who depend on their computers for studying, working, and keeping in contact in a pandemic.

              And that was just that problem, there's also this:

              KB4549951 issues include broken Bluetooth, WiFi, connectivity problems, BSOD, poor system performance, and even complete system crashes for some users and not everyone.

              Microsoft are idiots, enforcing constant updates but none of them are reliable.

              1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                Re: Just wait

                Yes. And most of the variations are generic and known, which means that automated testing through the pathways ought to be sufficient to root out the commonly supplied machine combinations. particularly since the update should be designed to work robustly with these issues. And in theory it is, which is why most systems aren't wrecked most of the time. There may well be " 5 (bios) revisions just for this single manufacturer's laptop model" but the Microsoft update should be able to patch the OS without falling over minor BIOS changes, otherwise no update could ever be permitted because there would be so little chance that they work. In fact most do work fine most of the time. But many get caught by poor updates from time to time. This is not a matter of the number of different combinations of system. It's a matter of poor testing for direct function on mostly fairly standard items, irrespective of revision numbers. Update failures are seldom if ever reported as affecting small subsets of otherwise identical devices.

    2. robidy

      Re: Just wait

      It's the corona update :)

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: Just wait

        have a beer then!

        (I'll let you guess the brand)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Just wait

          Bloody limeys!

      2. Red Ted

        Re: Just wait

        It’s the corona update

        Where “every bubble has passed its fizzical”?

    3. RegGuy1 Silver badge

      Re: Just wait

      ... it's not too difficult to jump off if you want an easier life!

      Indeed. But if you go to Redhat be aware they use Gnome 3. If you think Windows is a pile of shite (as I do) then be ready for more shite as Gnome totally fucks up X-Windows as it tries to emulate the big boys.

      BRING BACK Gnome 2 !!!

      1. alisonken1

        Re: Just wait

        Fedora - but it's the KDE spin of Red Hat.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 1809 - The Nightmare release. Clunky Windows Update (bag of Rusty Nails)

      I'm sure there are still some people, who haven't yet recovered from the loss of their Documents folder after upgrading to the 1809 release and finding all their documents missing. Some nightmares don't leave you.

      Backup, Backup, Backup, Windows Update is still as clunky as ever (aka. a bag of rusty nails) and it must be 13 years since started publicly calling Windows Update 'Clunky', nothing changes.

  2. Semper Phoenix

    What tweaks to Notepad?

    Richard? What have Micro$quash done to the Notepad?

    1. regadpellagru

      Re: What tweaks to Notepad?

      Ah ah, made me laugh, this one.

      I thought for a split second they didn't focus on the uber important notepad for important updates.

      Pffff, not ! We're safe ...

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: What tweaks to Notepad?

      Last time the changes were:

      - You can save as something like script.cmd without changing filetype to all files first

      - Improved support for Unix line endings

      - If the file has been modified after the last save, it shows an asterix in the title bar

      Other text editors have had those features for decades, but still, they are good improvements.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: What tweaks to Notepad?

        in 20h2 can we expect to have notepad replaced with Visual Studio Code?

  3. Terry 6 Silver badge


    are one of the dwindling group of Windows Mixed Reality users,


    One of the massive majority of Windows actual Reality users who saw no point to that pile of useless shit and were mildly inconvenienced by its existence making the Start menu and My Computer that bit more messy and disorganised ( or taking longer to knock it back into shape..)

    1. carl0s

      Re: Huh

      erm, I dunno. I have a Lenovo Explorer headset that is a Windows Mixed Reality headset. I don't actually do anything 'windows mixed reality' with it once I have got into Steam, but by the sounds of it, I still need Windows Mixed Reality stuff to work, or at least as well as it did. It often says it can't find the headset and stuff.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Updating Cortana

    I guess this will be dubbed the 'Corona' release.

    Any business allowing this update to be applied at the present time need their heads examined. MS should have made this a security fix only.

    1. aks

      Re: Updating Cortana

      we're not all corporate users.

      let the local bofh play with it for a while, break it, then wait for the fixes.

      never let a new release be rolled out corporate-wide. are you mad, or something!

  5. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Praise where and when praise is due ....... and wonderfully earned is the question hanging here ?

    Where WSL was a compatibility layer, WSL2 uses a lightweight virtual machine to boost both compatibility and performance for Linux developers.

    Thanks, Microsoft. Such is much appreciated and proved itself invaluable .... n'est-ce pas ‽ Relatively Anonymous and Autonomous Second and Third Party Improvements are bound to be at least exciting beyond all earthly expectation to host and carbon copy for sharing/downloading as Microsoft Kernel Approved Improvements.

    Win Win with/for Attendant Immaculate Graces by all accounts if one can believe the Rumour Mill and Greater Almighty Spins.

  6. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "inclusion of a Linux kernel in the form of the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2"

    So now we can run Wine on Windows. It's getting almost as recursive as GNU...

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: "inclusion of a Linux kernel in the form of the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2"

      You already can. Results may be even more variable than running wine natively, but it will let you run some very old windows binaries that don't work in Windows 10.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Have they started naming it after Flu variants?

  8. bombastic bob Silver badge

    daubing the veteran OS with the Fluent Design brush.

    anything would be an improvement over the 8.x-ish 2D FLATSO FLATTY McFLATFACE FLUGLY

    But Micro-shaft STILL DOES NOT GET IT when it comes to overall appearance and WHY people STICK WITH 7 *DESPITE* the "lack of support"

    If they REALLY want to make CUSTOMERS happy, they need to:

    a) RE-ENABLE PERSONALIZATION PREFERENCES (including 3D SKEUOMORPHIC features for people who WANT them!)


    c) STOP the TRACKING, Cloudy "Microsoft Logon", the SPYING, the ADS, and "The Store" (in general)

    d) eternal support for 'start' replacements

    e) SOME EASY WAY to stop "hitting the web" for LOCAL searches (or JUST DISABLE IT ALWAYS)

    f) 'NoScript' and similar plugins for whatever-replaces-Edge


    If MS *FINALLY* gets a @#$%'ing CLUE [my clue-bat is ready to help] and does THESE things, the complaints about Win-10-nic should dwindle into nothing

    But NOOooo... they have to "daub the OS with the Fluent Design brush".

    talk about 'majoring in the minors', 'walking over dollars to pick up pennies' yotta yotta...

    1. aks

      Re: daubing the veteran OS with the Fluent Design brush.

      Find someone who will provide you an alternate skin.

      Personally, I much prefer the flat Metro design, but then I hated Windows XP by comparison with Windows 2000's much plainer approach. Windows for me is a tool. I don't want a pretty hammer or screwdriver, so why would I want a pretty operating system.

      1. Irongut

        Re: daubing the veteran OS with the Fluent Design brush.

        XP was the ugliest thing Fischer Price have ever produced. I stuck with Win2k until Win 7 because I hated it so much.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: daubing the veteran OS with the Fluent Design brush.

          at least you COULD stick with the Win2k look. I did that, too, initially. At least 'small icons' fixed most of the problems with the XP UI, no longer so bulbous and oversized with 'small icons'. Same with 7, I think.

          I don't like the "message center" at ALL and want it to go away and die a horrible tortuous death in HELL. I always shut OFF "Defender" because I don't need my compiled work-in-progress SCANNED [and delayed] by some stupid *THING* trying to "HELP" me... and all of the OTHER "notifications" are merely "irritations" and need to JUST GO AWAY.

          but anyway... I'll tolerate THAT in lieu of the OTHER things that 8 and later do.

          1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

            Re: daubing the veteran OS with the Fluent Design brush.

            You do realise that it was very easy to set directory exclusions for Windows Defender?

        2. Updraft102

          Re: daubing the veteran OS with the Fluent Design brush.

          Go to service manager, disable the theme service, done... XP reverts to Win2k look. First thing I did with every XP installation.

    2. Updraft102

      Re: daubing the veteran OS with the Fluent Design brush.

      The flatness is just a theme. Don't like it, change it. You can get by quite well in 8.1 without ever having to see that "Metro" (Modern, TIFKAM, whatever) stuff... not like 10, where they moved half of Control Panel to Settings. When I ran Windows, I used 8.1 with a Classic theme that was a dead ringer for Windows 7 Classic , along with Old-New Explorer to get rid of the ribbon, Classic Shell (it was still called that back then), and some other assorted things. I had the Windows 7 start button (orb thingy) too, and if you didn't notice the centered text in the title bar for any given window, you'd think you were looking at Windows 7 with the Classic theme. I also had a thing called metro killer to prevent anything Metro from appearing. I did have to use third party programs for things like wireless network selection (I used Intel Proset) and bluetooth (Toshiba stack), and for others, like creating new accounts, just use MMC.

      I agree completely on the ugly flatness, and I am very firm in my opinion that Win2k was the pinnacle of MS UI goodness, but on the Win32 bits of 8.1, it's just a theme, and there are hundreds more to choose from. You just need to install one of the hacks to get Windows to stop looking for the signature in the theme (Microsoft's attempt to thwart attempts to make Windows not match their branding).

      I did port my theme over to 10 as a test when I tried 10 in 2015, but one of the first updates broke it completely, and it didn't work at all. By then I had given up on the idea that 10 would ever be usable, so I didn't bother to port it again.

  9. a_yank_lurker

    Surp is run by idiots

    With the current situation, Slurp could have announced a more sensible downgrade policy with new Bloat10 spyware releases. A once year major update with monthly security patches and bug fixes with biennial feature update release. Annual update would concentrate on implementing new specs such as the latest USB spec. Feature updates would add new features. Alas, the chief idiot did not see the opportunity make Slurp do something somewhat reasonable.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Surp is run by idiots

      no disagreements, though I think the problem is in their choice of project managers.

      Even though Sinofsky and Larson-Greene are *GONE*, their "legacy" lingers on... [to our ultimate dissatisfaction].

      Don't forget, Larson-Greene is ALSO responsible for "The Ribbon", and Sinofsky was actually FIRED over the tile-based interface of 8.0 . And from what I've seen, 8.1 isn't/wasn't much better.

      So I guess the *REAL* problem: Why is Micro-shaft DOUBLING DOWN on STUPID???

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: Surp is run by idiots

        Why are they doubling down? They’re _Microsoft_. That’s all the reason they need.

  10. amacater

    20H1 - a longer wait for WSL2

    I've been waiting for this for too long :( Another month's wait. This WSL should allow folk to run graphical environments as well and I was hoping it might be out at the same time as Ubuntu 20.04

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: 20H1 - a longer wait for WSL2

      Here's what *I* think MS should do instead: write a Wine-like layer that does NOT take over the desktop, but rather allows us to run Windows applications (even "The Store" stuff) on a LINUX MACHINE!!!

      I'd pay MONEY for THAT. It wold solve EVERYTHING for me. Wine is unreliable. An MS-blessed version that is SUPPORTED would be AWESOME! [they did this once for Macs, back in the noughties]

      But it makes TOO MUCH SENSE, yeah...

      one more thing - there was a subsystem called 'XMing' that let you run X11 applications on a windows desktop. I think it still exists.

      1. Updraft102

        Re: 20H1 - a longer wait for WSL2

        WINE doesn't take over the desktop. What are you talking about?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 20H1 - a longer wait for WSL2

          looks like bb forgot again to take his dried frog pills...

  11. Rol

    Not all conspiracies are bad.

    Oh how we laughed. Sat in front of our collared and leashed Win 7 machines, as the Win 10 crowd wailed and cried at every update.

    No more!

    I'm now the very nervous user of a Win 10 laptop. All my nightmares have come together in this single box of malevolence.

    My friends now laugh at me, for my stance on never allowing a laptop in my home has been thrown aside, as work thrust this work from home thing into my hands.

    No amount of black insulation tape over the camera can be sufficient, and strapping headphones over the built-in microphone to play Hendrix at volume 11, still has me whispering my disquiet, just in case.

    But Win 10, as sanctioned by the boss, has no diy fix.


    "Hi! Mr Icke..., Of course. David. I have some interesting information about Windows 10.....Yes it is important....It seems a study I just carried out verifies that Windows 10 can cause smallpox...Yes I can send the data over.....You will...Ten o'clock news....Excellent! Thank you so much for your time...No no you're welcome."

    Time for an early celebratory whiskey me thinks.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Not all conspiracies are bad.

      a) image your hard drive into a '.vhd' file or similar (using a linux box, let's say), and shrink it down so it will fit properly.

      b) put LINUX on the laptop

      c) load virtualbox, create a Win-10-nic VM using the imaged hard drive [this may be possible separately if you use a 2nd hard drive to boot Linux from, and create a virtual hard drive that maps to a real one with win-10-nic on it]

      Then, run Linux on the desktop, with Win-10-nic in a VM. It should do everything you want, it would be FIREWALLED by the VM'ing, you could SHUT OFF NETWORKING whenever you don't want it running, you could BACK IT UP and RESTORE IT more easily, and you could DISABLE THE CAMERA and DISABLE THE MICROPHONE for the VM [thus eliminating THAT problem].

      You can use a SAMBA share located on your Linux laptop to transfer things around, too.

      This kind of thing works pretty well for me. SOME things might not work well, but in general you should be able to do just about EVERYTHING you need to do this way!!

      NOTE: you could ALSO upgrade it to 7 and do the same thing with virtualbox and Win-10-nic


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