Unlike the tradition of update releases in April and October, Microsoft has delayed first installment of 2019. There would be Windows 10 May Update available publicly in the next month.
It will be version 1903 which is codenamed as 19H1 during development. We tested the everything new in Insiders Preview Build 18362.30 and listing all the new features coming with it in this article.
Decide whether to Install or Avoid the Update
This was the most anticipated feature. Users were not in position to update but Microsoft aggressively pushed the Feature update ensuring that everyone is on the latest version.
From now onward, you will have control over the update installation. You can choose not to install Feature update but still be able to receive security patches on current version.
However, you can keep the current version and delay the latest update till 180 days. This is because each version is supported with Security patches for 6 months from the date of its release.
There is a good news for Windows 10 Home users too. You can now pause updates just like Pro users. However, you can only pause it every 7 days and it is limited to 5 times. This gives you a delay of maximum 35 days.
Speed Improvements (Spectre Fixes)
Spectre is a critical vulnerability in modern microprocessors which made news in 2018. It allows program to steal data which is currently processed on the computer . Microsoft fixed this vulnerability soon but it resulted in slow down of some computers.
In May 2019 Update, Microsoft has worked upon it to eliminate any performance issues. To understand how they did it, you can read detailed document on mitigating Spectre with Retpoline.
7 GB Space Reserved for Updates
Lack of hard disk space results in failing of Windows update so Microsoft decided to resolve this issue in May Update.
Windows will reserve 7 GB of space for updates from now onward. Though it is reserved only for Windows update but can be used to save temporary files too. So, this space isn’t completely wasted because the files which were otherwise saved will reside in reserved space.
Windows installer will wipe out temporary files while installing the Feature update.
In terms of changes in appearance, next update will have a bright new Light theme. It was one of the most requested features.
Light theme not only themes your apps, but also the Windows Shell, including the Start Menu, Taskbar, Action Center, notifications, touch keyboard, even some context menus.
It’s a clean, fresh take on the UI that many users are going to take to and enjoy.
Windows 10 will have an inbuilt Sandbox where you can test any software or run suspicious file in a container.
Sandbox provides an integrated, isolated environment which doesn’t affect the host operating system.
It is very similar to Virtual Machine software but everything will be deleted once you close the sandbox. It will run a machine in clean state every time to start it.
Windows 10 Sandbox makes it possible to run a program or file as if it is inside a different computer.
Cleaner Start Menu
Microsoft has attempted to present a cleaner and simpler cleaner start menu. It has been de-cluttered by moving unnecessary items like Candy Crush saga to “Play” Folder.
Also, it is now just a single column menu make it simpler to use.
However, it must be noted that the changes won’t be visible on existing PC. You will need to start using a new PC or create a new user account on existing PC to see the changes.
Another noticeable change is that you can now unpin group of tiles in one go. You don’t have to remove tiles one by one anymore.
Uninstall In-built Apps
Windows 10 initially allowed uninstall of built-in apps like Solitaire, My Office, and Skype. In next update, you can uninstall built-in apps like 3D Viewer, Groove Music, Mail, Paint 3D, and more.
Bear in mind that you can remove most apps not all. There is still no way to uninstall Edge browser or App Store for that matter.
Cortana separates from Search Bar
Cortana is integrated into the Windows search bar but now they are separating. In Windows 10 May update, search bar acts as a normal text box and cortana button is moved besides it on the taskbar.
You can hide cortana or search box or both from the taskbar. And even replace it with Alexa.
Search box sports a new design and gives pre-populated options like “All,” “Apps,” “Documents,” “Email,” and “Web” after you click it.
In short, you are not forced to use or see Cortana while using search feature.
One thing still hasn’t changed is that Search results still integrates links from Bing search.
More Power to Start Menu Search
Start menu search can now lookup files everywhere on the PC. Till now, search results were limited only to Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos, and your Desktop.
Moreover, you can configure which locations are indexed and searched from within the Settings app.
To enable this feature – Open Settings > Click on Search > Select “Enhanced (Recommended)”. Indexer will now consider entire PC for search results.
This feature will come into handy and avoid relying on third party software for searching files on computer.
Login without Password
Microsoft now allows users to create online account without need of password. Instead they use SMS verification code sent to your mobile phone aka One time Password whenever you want to login.
If you have configured your account in such a away, it is possible to use those account on Windows 10 without need of password.
It is just an additional feature demonstrating the possibility. You can choose not to use it.
Windows Update Notifications
System tray will now show notification whenever Windows requires restart after update.
To enable this, open Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options and check on the “Show a notification when your PC requires a restart to finish updating” option.
An orange dot for notification is definitely better than having a full screen message, isn’t it?
Virtual Reality for Desktop Apps
With the advent of Mixed reality, it was possible to run Universal Windows Programs (UWP) to run in virtual reality environment. From now onward, in Windows 10 May update, you can also run desktop apps in virtual reality.
I agree that it is not an utility feature but fun thing to try once. It may have great impact in future when super-high resolution viewing hardware are available.
Customization in Console
You can now zoom-in and out in Windows 10 console. To do that, press Control (CTRL) key and move the scroll button of mouse to see the effect.
Text in console scales perfectly without pixelating no matter how much you zoom.
Along with this, there are some more experimental console features being worked on which will be seen in May 2019 update.
Windows 10 May 2019 also updates the properties page for consoles by adding in a new Terminal tab that introduces new customization settings. You can change elements like cursor shape and colors, as well as how your terminal looks.
Troubleshoot feature is present in Windows for a while now. However, you had to know the specific problem before running the troubleshooter. Now, Troubleshooting windows will automatically show you list of recommended actions.
To do that, just navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot.
To make it more easier, Windows can perform recommended troubleshooting in background, too. You can configure by visiting Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & Feedback. Here you can choose from
– Ask me before fixing problems
– Tell me when problems get fixed or
– Fix problems for me without asking.
Focus assist has been improved in May 2019 update. Initially, it used to block notifications while playing full screen games but now it works with any app. Notifications will be hidden while using web browser, video player or office document in full screen mode.
Access Linux File Easily
It will now be easier to access Linux files from within File explorer or any other application.
To do that, open Bash shell and type
File Explorer will open instantly with the current Linux directory.
Improvements in Notepad
Restore Unsaved – If you happen to keep notepad open and computer restarts during update, Notepad will re-open automatically after the reboot.
Encoding – Type of encoding is shown in status bar. Notepad can now save files in UTF-8 format without a Byte Order Mark, which is now the default. This should definitely help with interoperability on the web, where UTF-8 is now the default encoding.
Unsaved Reminder – Notepad will now have an asterisk in the title bar when the current file has been modified and not saved. For example, if you’re working on a file named Example.txt and make some changes, the title bar will say “*Example.txt” until you save the file.
Emoji 12 and Kaomoji
May 2019 Update will come with Emoji 12 officially.
To open the emoji picker, press Win+. or Win+; on your keyboard. In other words, hold the Windows key down and press either the period (.) or semicolon (;) key.
Emoji picker will include support for Kaomoji too. You can pick them from the panel.
Other Minor Improvements
With the above feature additions and improvement, here are few more minor things coming up with May 2019 Update.
There is a new default date format in in File Explorer called friendly dates, which basically shows dates in a conversational format.
Instead of seeing actual date, it will read as “Yesterday”, “Tuesday at 11 PM” and so on.
Luckily, this can easily be changed if you’d like to stick with the classic format.
Gamebar is transforming into an overlay widget with Spotify integration, system resource usage graphs, a built-in gallery for screenshots and videos, an Xbox social buttons.
No Internet Icon
There is a new disconnected icon when there is no Internet activity on your device. This will appear whenever the OS detects no connectivity from your Ethernet, WiFi or cellular adapters.
Detailed Protection History Pane
Windows 10 built in antivirus and security applications’ Protection history pane is redesigned to show more information about detected threats and available actions.
It now includes blocks initiated by Controlled Folder Access.
Acrylic effect on Login Screen
The Fluent Design adventure, meanwhile, continues. It simply blurs the wallpaper when you are logging into Windows.
Accurate Touch Typing
You will now be able to type faster and more accurately, as Windows 10 will now detect your typing behavior and dynamically adjust the hit target of each key.
Change Cursor Size and Color
You can make the cursor larger and change its color, making it easier to see. Head to Settings > Ease of Access > Cursor & Pointer to see available options.
That’s not all, there will be many more minor improvements which we will see in upcoming May 2019 update. We will prepare a video review once it is release publicly.