With Home windows 10 19H1 improvement winding down, it’s time to take a step again and consider this main new Home windows model. Moderately than a proper assessment—Home windows 10 is Home windows 10 is Home windows 10, in any case—I figured it will make a bit extra sense to sift via the various modifications and enhancements that Microsoft will deliver with this launch and give attention to the perfect of one of the best as an alternative.
Any record like that is, in fact, subjective, and you might recognize another options greater than these I observe under. You possibly can definitely discover extra full lists of latest Home windows 10 19H1 options on the market: Microsoft, for instance, maintains its personal record at its Microsoft Docs web site. And How-To Geek’s Chris Hoffman has a really full overview as properly. However I’ll focus simply on the easiest modifications. You already know, for my part.
Let’s dive in.
- 1 1. Improved Mild theme (app mode)
- 2 2. Cortana is reduce off on the knees
- 3 three. Pause updates for 7 days
- 4 four. Uninstall extra in-box apps
- 5 5. Signal-in with a password-less account
- 6 6. Simplified Begin
- 7 7. Home windows Sandbox
- 8 eight. Clipboard historical past enhancements
- 9 9. Home windows Mail enhancements
- 10 10. Display snip enhancements
- 11 However wait, there’s extra
1. Improved Mild theme (app mode)
Microsoft has lengthy confused issues with its Home windows 10 system themes, which, so far, have truly been referred to as app modes as a result of the phrase “theme” was used earlier to explain bundles of wallpaper pictures, sounds, mouse cursors, and colour schemes. In Home windows 10 19H1, the time period app mode seems to be going away. However you continue to entry the system themes—not the old-school themes—in the identical place in Settings: Personalization > Colours.
As with the previous couple of Home windows 10 releases, Home windows 10 19H1 consists of each Mild and Darkish, um, themes. However the Mild theme has been dramatically overhauled on this launch. It’s a lot lighter than earlier than, a fair comes with a lighter new wallpaper. However extra substantively, the brand new Mild theme is dramatically extra professional-looking and—spoiler alert—it additionally occurs to trace on the new UI coming in Microsoft’s future Chrome OS rivals. I assumed the Mild theme was a bit too mild once I noticed it in pictures, nevertheless it’s simply nice wanting in actual use. In contrast to the Darkish theme, which nonetheless seems to be prefer it was cobbled-together by unprofessionals.
2. Cortana is reduce off on the knees
Like reside tiles in Begin, Cortana has lengthy been irritating and principally pointless in Home windows 10. And Microsoft made the grave mistake final yr of creating its private digital assistant annoying, too, by forcing all customers to endure her scatting and screeching throughout Home windows Setup, a horrible ploy to make it look like it was addressing some non-existent Accessibility want. However in Home windows 10 19H1, Microsoft is taking steps to roll again the insanity, lastly.
First, and maybe most dramatically, Microsoft is “decoupling” Home windows Search and Cortana, each visually and functionally. Meaning we’ll now have two issues to take away from the default taskbar, a Cortana button and a Search field, as an alternative of only one combo Cortana/Search field. That’s effective as a result of the extra substantive change right here is that Search and Cortana at the moment are utterly totally different experiences. So as an alternative of being confused by Cortana’s UI when all you need to do is discover a file in your PC, now you can safely ignore a know-how that makes little sense on a PC anyway. (Once more, like stay tiles.)
For many who do use Cortana, no worries: The assistant has truly gotten a pleasant improve in 19H1, too, with help for Microsoft To Do (for these in Australia, India, the US, or the UK), new sensible house options, and Amazon Alexa integration. (As all the time, Cortana is presently solely out there in supported markets, which can additionally assist clarify why eradicating it from Search is sensible.)
The opposite massive change is that Microsoft is disabling the horrible Cortana voice-over in Home windows Setup … however solely in Home windows 10 Professional, Schooling, and Enterprise. Home windows 10 House customers will nonetheless need to nervously attempt to discover the Mute button after Cortana scares the shit out of them when establishing that model.
three. Pause updates for 7 days
Home windows 10 Professional and better have all the time had controls for pausing and deferring Home windows 10 updates, although the interface is a bit hidden and fairly obtuse. So Microsoft, to make the most typical use case extra apparent, has added a “Pause updates for 7 days” choice proper on the prime of the record of choices in Home windows Replace Settings in 19H1. Extra amazingly, this feature is now obtainable in Home windows 10 Residence, making this Home windows 10 model the primary and solely time that Home windows 10 House customers might explicitly pause updates in any significant means.
Sure, I’d wish to see extra. However I’m nonetheless applauding this primary and essential step. Microsoft is lastly backing away from the abyss.
four. Uninstall extra in-box apps
Home windows 10 ships with a ton of Retailer apps and most of them are both ineffective or are outright crapware. In earlier Home windows 10 variations, solely a few of them—Microsoft Solitaire Assortment, My Workplace (renamed to Workplace in 19H1), OneNote, Print 3D, Skype, Ideas, and Climate—could possibly be absolutely uninstalled with out resorting to difficult PowerShell-based trickery. However in 19H1, Microsoft has dramatically expanded the record of in-box apps that the consumer can uninstall. So the record now consists of the next, too: 3D Viewer, Calculator, Calendar, Groove Music, Mail, Films & TV, Paint 3D, Snip & Sketch, Sticky Notes, and Voice Recorder.
Eradicating these apps gained’t save an considerable quantity of disk area. However it’ll declutter the Begin menu fairly a bit, and in case you favor to not even see these entries there, peace of thoughts will comply with. It’s all good.
5. Signal-in with a password-less account
As a part of Microsoft’s ongoing effort to remove passwords from on-line accounts, Home windows 10 19H1 now helps all the methods in which you’ll be able to sign-in to your Microsoft account (MSA). And that features new, password-less MSAs for which you will have an related telephone quantity. Once you first sign-in to Home windows 10 19H1 on a brand new or reset PC, you’ll be able to optionally achieve this utilizing solely that telephone quantity. Then, you sort within the code that was despatched by way of textual content messaging to finish the sign-in, and you may then configure Home windows Whats up facial recognition, fingerprint, and/or PIN so that you simply’ll by no means as soon as should sort in your password. Superb. And safe.
6. Simplified Begin
As a result of stay tiles are ineffective on PCs—they have been designed for the “at-a-glance” interplay that’s typical on smartphones—I often cull that space of Begin on my PCs after which just about ignore it utterly. So I used to be to see that Microsoft has adopted my trimmed-down tiles space design because the default in Home windows 10 19H1. This new format consists of 1 column of tiles as an alternative of two, making a sleeker and thinner default Begin menu and is seemingly simply step one to additional enhancements. (Which I assume will embrace the entire removing of stay tiles in a future launch.) This one isn’t rocket science—once more, I’ve been configuring my Begin menu like this for years—nevertheless it does look higher. And that’s an excellent factor.
7. Home windows Sandbox
These with Home windows 10 Professional and higher and the suitable hardware chipsets of their PCs have all the time been in a position to make use of Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization platform. And that continues in Home windows 10 19H1. However Microsoft has additionally added a brand new, extra light-weight virtualization answer referred to as Home windows Sandbox that can be utilized to check one-off purposes with out the overhead and time wanted to fireside up Hyper-V, create a brand new digital machine (VM), and set up (and keep) Home windows. As an alternative, Sandbox comes up shortly, letting you check purposes with out compromising your actual Home windows 10 set up. And if you’re completed testing, it goes away, utterly. This one gained’t profit most customers, I assume, nevertheless it’s a a lot quicker and easier expertise for many who do want it.
eight. Clipboard historical past enhancements
Home windows 10’s “cloud clipboard” performance is little-understood and under-used as a result of it’s disabled by default and you must navigate to Settings > System > Clipboard to even discover it. However this function is fairly superb: It shops a historical past of the textual content, pictures, information, and different gadgets that you simply copy to the system clipboard, does so over a number of PCs if desired (and may embrace your smartphones too, albeit in a extra restricted style), after which presents a visible listing of these gadgets if you use the WINKEY + V keyboard shortcut to stick.
That’s fairly wonderful. Nevertheless it’s getting even higher in Home windows 10 model 1903, with a redesigned consumer interface that exhibits extra of the gadgets you possibly can paste. Additionally, I’m mentioning it right here as a result of, once more, most individuals don’t even find out about this function.
9. Home windows Mail enhancements
Home windows Mail is probably the most unprofessional and weakly-featured e-mail software that Microsoft has ever created and the truth that it’s included with Home windows 10 makes this reality notably embarrassing: The in-box apps must be showcases for what’s potential in Retailer apps, not poster youngsters for what’s mistaken with the platform. However as is the case with another gadgets on my listing right here, Microsoft is once more subtly acknowledging the issue by taking some child steps in the direction of fixing them.
For instance, Microsoft is lastly addressing my largest Mail grievance by including a function, referred to as Default font, that different e mail purposes have provided because the 1990s: The power to customise the font face, measurement, colour, and emphasis of textual content displayed in e-mail messages. For the previous three and a half years, Mail has as an alternative relied in your system zoom settings to find out what this textual content seemed like, and whereas it did supply guide zoom capabilities—which by no means “caught” and couldn’t be set—they didn’t respect the mail message container by providing auto-wrap.
Additionally, Microsoft is lastly formally supporting the Home windows 10 Darkish “theme” in Home windows Mail (and Calendar), which means that the app itself, in addition to the contents it shows, will probably be themed in response to what the consumer chooses. Microsoft says that this modification signifies that Mail will now “present a calmer studying expertise for those who work in a low mild setting or simply favor screens which are much less vibrant, and helps to scale back eye pressure.” I’ll simply name it constant and extra mature.
Sure, Mail nonetheless wants much more work. However once more, child steps.
10. Display snip enhancements
OK, Home windows 10 has means too some ways to create screenshots. However the Snipping Software app that I discovered so superfluous in earlier Home windows 10 variations has been up to date properly, and in Home windows 10 19H1, it’s develop into the popular approach to seize all or a number of the display.
First, it’s been renamed to Display snip, and can also be obtainable by way of a keyboard shortcut (WINKEY + SHIFT + S) and the Motion Middle’s Fast Settings tile grid for straightforward entry. There’s a full-screen overlay that seems now, too, with slightly toolbar providing rectangular, free-form, window, or full-screen snip choices. And if you make a snip, you possibly can optionally edit it instantly by way of the notification banner that seems. Good.
Nonetheless too difficult? Navigate to Settings > Ease of Entry > Keyboard, discover the choice “Use the PrtScn button to open display snipping,” and allow that. Now, you possibly can simply set off Display snip with the Print Display button in your keyboard!
However wait, there’s extra
OK, I reduce the record off at 10. There’s much more coming in Home windows 10 model 1903, in fact, so I’ll be writing extra about this launch quickly.