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Windows 10 is an operating system developed by Microsoft. Microsoft described Windows 10 as an operating system as a service that would receive ongoing updates to its features and functionality, augmented with the ability for enterprise environments to receive non-critical updates at a slower pace, or use long-term support milestones that will only receive critical updates, such as security patches, over their five-year lifespan of mainstream support. Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, argued that the goal of this model was to reduce fragmentation across the Windows platform.

PC version history

Version 1507 (RTM)

Windows 10 Version 1507 (build 10.0.10240), codenamed "Threshold 1", is the first release of Windows 10. It carries the build number 10.0.10240; while Microsoft has stated that there was no designated "RTM" build of Windows 10, 10240 has been described as an RTM build by various media outlets. It has been retroactively named "version 1507" by Microsoft per its naming conventions for future stable releases of the operating system. The final release was made available to Windows Insiders on July 15, 2015, followed by a public release on July 29, 2015. As of August 2, 2016, the Threshold 1 release is the only available release in Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB). Support of version 1507 ended on May 9, 2017.

Version 1511 (November Update)

Windows 10 November Update, or Windows 10 Version 1511 (build 10.0.10586), codenamed "Threshold 2", is the first major update to Windows 10. It carries the build number 10.0.10586 and version 1511, referencing its date of release, November 2015. The first preview was released on August 18, 2015. The final release was made available to Windows Insiders on November 3, 2015, followed by a public release on November 12, 2015 to existing Windows 10 users, and as a free upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Unlike the initial release of Windows, this branch was also made available to existing Windows Phone 8.1-devices and the Xbox One and as a preview release to Windows Server 2016 and was pre-installed on new Windows 10 Mobile-devices like the Microsoft Lumia 950. The Threshold 2 release of Windows 10 is supported for users of the Current Branch for Business (CBB).

Version 1607 (Anniversary Update)

Windows 10 Anniversary Update, or Windows 10 Version 1607 (build 10.0.14393), codenamed "Redstone 1", is the second major update to Windows 10 and the first of the 4 major updates planned under the Redstone codenames. It carries the build number 10.0.14393 and version 1607. The first preview was released on December 16, 2015. It was released to the public on August 2, 2016. The Redstone 1 release of Windows 10 is supported for users of the Current Branch (CB) and Long-Term Support Branch (LTSB)

Version 1703 (Creators Update)

Windows 10 Creators Update, (or Windows 10 Version 1703, codenamed "Redstone 2", build 10.0.15063), is the third major update to Windows 10 and the second of the 4 major updates planned under the Redstone codenames. The first preview was released to Insiders on August 11, 2016.

Version 1709 (Fall Creators Update)

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (also known as version 1709 and codenamed "Redstone 3", build 10.0.16299) is the fourth major update to Windows 10 and the third in a series of updates under the Redstone codenames. The first preview was released to Insiders on April 7, 2017. The final release was made available to Windows Insiders on September 26, 2017 before being released to the public on October 17.

Version 1803 (April 2018 Update)

Windows 10 April 2018 Update (also known as version 1803 and codenamed "Redstone 4", build 10.0.17134) is the fifth major update to Windows 10 and the fourth in a series of updates under the Redstone codenames. The first preview was released to Insiders on August 31, 2017. The final release was made available to Windows Insiders on April 16, 2018, followed by a public release on April 30, and began to roll out on May 8.

Version 1809 (October 2018 Update)

Windows 10 October 2018 Update (also known as version 1809 and codenamed "Redstone 5", build 10.0.17763) is the sixth major update to Windows 10 and the fifth in a series of updates under the Redstone codenames. The first preview was released to Insiders on February 14, 2018. The update was originally made available to public consumers on October 2, 2018, but its rollout was halted on October 6, 2018, due to a serious bug that deletes users' personal files after updating. On October 9, 2018, Microsoft re-released the update to Insiders, stating that all known issues in the update (including file deletion bug) had been identified and fixed. On October 25, 2018, Microsoft confirmed the existence of another bug that overwrites files without any confirmation, when extracting from a ZIP file. The ZIP bug was fixed for Insiders on October 30, 2018, and the public rollout of the update resumed on November 13, 2018.

Version 1903 (May 2019 Update)

Windows 10 May 2019 Update (also known as version 1903 and codenamed "19H1", build 10.0.18362) is the seventh major update to Windows 10 and the first to use a more descriptive codename (including the year and the order released) instead of the "Redstone" or "Threshold" codename. The first preview was released to Insiders who opted into the exclusive Skip Ahead ring on July 25, 2018. The update began rolling out on May 21, 2019. Notable changes in the May 2019 Update include:

  • A new "light theme"
  • Separation of Search and Cortana in the taskbar
  • Windows Sandbox (not available in Windows 10 Home)
  • Ability to pause updates for 35 days or under (incl. Windows 10 Home)
  • New default wallpaper
  • Recommended troubleshooting
  • Notifications hidden while in full-screen

Version 1909 (November 2019 Update)

Windows 10 version 1909, codenamed "19H2", build 10.0.18363, is the eighth major update to Windows 10 and the second to use a more descriptive codename. The update is intended to be delivered as a cumulative update to the May 2019 Update. The first preview was released to Insiders who opted into the slow ring on July 1, 2019. The update began rolling out to the public on November 12, 2019.

  • Ability to create events from the Calendar fly-out on the taskbar
  • Improvements to notification management, including thumbnails demonstrating notification banners and the Action Center in application notification settings, and the ability to access per-application notification settings from their displays in Action Center
  • The Start menu's navigation sidebar icons expand into a drawer with text labels when the cursor is hovered over them
  • Support for using third-party digital assistants from the lock screen
  • OneDrive integration with File Explorer's search

Version 2004 (May 2020 Update)

Windows 10 version 2004, codenamed "20H1", build 10.0.19041, is the ninth major update to Windows 10. The update began rolling out on May 27, 2020. Notable changes include:

  • Faster and easier access to Bluetooth settings and pairing
  • Improved Kaomojis
  • Virtual Desktops are now renamable
  • DirectX12 Ultimate improves graphics
  • Introducing a chat-based UI for Cortana
  • Greater integration with Android smartphones on the Your Phone app
  • Windows Subsystem for Linux 2
  • Ability to use Windows Hello without the need for a password
  • Ability to use Windows Hello PIN while in Safe mode
  • Cloud download option to reset Windows
  • Accessibility improvements

Version 20H2 (October 2020 Update)

The Windows 10 October 2020 Update (codenamed "20H2") is the tenth major update to Windows 10 as the cumulative update to the May 2020 Update, and carries the build number 10.0.19042. The first preview was released to Insiders who opted in to Beta Channel on June 16, 2020. The update began rolling out on October 20, 2020. Notable changes in the October 2020 Update include:

  • New theme-aware tiles in Start Menu
  • Improvements to Microsoft Edge
    • New Chromium-based Microsoft Edge included by default (replaced EdgeHTML-based Microsoft Edge Legacy)
    • Switch between multiple tabs and Windows apps by pressing Alt+Tab
    • Quick access to active tabs for pinned sites in the taskbar
    • Price comparison tool
  • New personalized and out-of-box experience for taskbar
  • Improvements to notification experience as well as tablet experience for 2-in-1 devices
  • Migrated Control Panel's System Information UI into the Settings About page in the Settings app
  • Improvements to Modern Device Management (MDM)

Version 21H1 (May 2021 Update)

The Windows 10 May 2021 Update (codenamed "21H1") is the eleventh and current major update to Windows 10 as the cumulative update to the October 2020 Update, and carries the build number 10.0.19043. The first preview was released to Insiders who opted in to Beta Channel on February 17, 2021. The update began rolling out on May 18, 2021. Notable changes in the May 2021 Update include:

  • Added multi-camera support for Windows Hello
  • New "News and Interests" feature on the taskbar
  • Performance improvements to Windows Defender Application Guard and WMI Group Policy Service
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