Windows 10 has new version number format

Windows 10 has a new versioning scheme format to better reflect when the feature update will be available.

Windows 10 20H2 download
Windows 10 20H2 download

Microsoft is changing the version number format starting with the next release of Windows 10, known as version 20H2. According to the company, the format will change to reflect the year and part of the year the release will be available in retail and commercial channels.

For example, the upcoming feature update will be known as “Windows 10 version 20H2,” and the “20H2” represents the year (20) and the part of the year (H2) indicating that the feature update will release during the second half of 2020. Then on year 2021, there will be two more releases, which will be known as “Windows 10 version 21H1,” “Windows 10 version 21H2,” and so on.

The new change means that moving forward you’ll no longer see any other number format, such as “version 2004” or “version 2009,” which usually don’t align with the month the update will be available and forces the company to accelerate the rollout of a new version.

The versioning scheme isn’t new, it’s the same approach the company has been using to identify new version of Windows 10 with participants of the Windows Insider Program, and it’s designed to offer consistency in the version names across releases for commercial customers and partners.

Microsoft also says that will continue to use friendly names, such as May 2020 Update or November 2019 Update for marketing purposes with consumers.

Alongside the new change, the company also announced that Windows 10 version 20H2 will release sometime in the second half of 2020, and as previously rumored, it’ll be a smaller update that will be delivered as a cumulative update that won’t require full reinstallation for devices already running Windows 10 version 2004, similar to a service pack.

If you’ll be upgrading from an older version than the May 2020 Update, then the process won’t change, and full reinstallation will be required.

The next refresh for the operating system will include some new features and enhancements to improve the overall experience, but the company is not sharing all the details. However, the 20H2 update will be the first release to ship with the Chromium version of Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft has also made available the Windows 10 build 19042.330, which is the first preview of version 20H2, which includes fixes and the Chromium version of Microsoft Edge.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].