Windows 10, version 20H2 available for commercial pre-release validation

Published Aug 20 2020 03:41 PM 102K Views
Microsoft

Windows 10, version 20H2, is now available for commercial customers to begin feature exploration and validation prior to being released for general availability.

As previously announced, version 20H2 will be delivered to devices currently running Windows 10, version 2004 using an enablement package. This is the same technology we used to update devices from Windows 10, version 1903 to version 1909. Do you want to see how quickly devices update from version 2004 to version 20H2, and how little downtime is involved? Do you want to explore the new Local Users and Groups mobile device management (MDM) policy, which allows administrators to make granular changes to a local group on a managed device? Now you can!

You can access Windows 10, version 20H2 through all standard outlets, including Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), and Azure Marketplace, or you can download an ISO file. If you manage updates directly from Windows Update, or have devices enrolled in the Beta Channel (previously the Slow ring) or the Release Preview Channel for validation purposes, you don’t need to take any action. Windows 10, version 20H2 will be automatically deployed to all commercial devices in the Beta and Release Preview Channels and those who have devices on Windows 10, version 2004 will get to experience the remarkably fast update that comes with moving from version 2004 to version 20H2 via an enablement package.

Note: We consider a device a commercial device if it isn’t running the Home edition of Windows 10, is being managed by an IT administrator (whether via Microsoft Endpoint Manager or a third-party MDM tool), or if the device has a volume license key, a CommercialID, or is joined to a domain.

As with Windows 10, versions 1903 and 1909, versions 2004 and 20H2 share a common core operating system with an identical set of system files. New features are included in monthly quality updates for version 2004 in an inactive and dormant state. These new 20H2 features remain dormant until they are turned on through the “enablement package,” a small, quick-to-install “master switch” that activates the Windows 10, version 20H2 features.

The enablement package is a great option for installing a scoped feature update like Windows 10, version 20H2 as it enables an update from version 2004 to version 20H2 with a single restart, reducing update downtime.

If you are managing updates with WSUS, you will have the option of taking a full feature update to 20H2 or testing out the enablement package path. As with any other validation done on pre-release updates published to WSUS, you will need to first ensure that you have synced the “Windows Insider Preview” category. Once you have synced this category, you should see the following updates show up in your console as shown below:

pre-release.jpg

Note: Windows 10, version 20H2 will be made available as an enablement package to devices already running Windows 10, version 2004 that have also installed the June 2020 monthly quality update. It will be available as a full feature update for devices running Windows 10, version 1909 and prior. To see the greatest number of new features, we recommend being on the latest cumulative update.

To test out this experience on a virtual machine, check out the Windows 10 Preview on Azure Marketplace or, if you would prefer, you can download the Windows 10, version 20H2 ISO.

We not only want to ensure that you have access to the upcoming Windows 10 feature update payload via any channel you may use today, we also want to enable you to validate with confidence. Therefore, customers in the Windows Insider Program for Business can once again receive Microsoft Support for the Windows 10, version 20H2 build available through WSUS, ISO download, Azure Marketplace, and directly from Windows Update in the Beta and Release Preview Channels. If you run into a severe issue that prevents you or other users in your organization from using a device, or compromises security or personal data, use the online form to request assistance directly from Microsoft Support—at no cost to you.

We hope you enjoy Windows 10, version 20H2!
~ The Windows Insider Program for Business team

For more information, check out these useful links for exploring and validating pre-release Windows feature updates:

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