Microsoft releases Windows 10 May 2020 update with Linux and Cortana upgrades

Microsoft today started the official public roll-out of the May 2020 upgrade for Windows 10. Also known as version 2004, the upgrade has been in testing since early 2019 when it was simply referred to as 20H1.

There aren’t a ton of major user-facing changes inside the May 2020 update, but it does include a pretty major feature under the hood: Windows Subsystem for Linux 2. This means a true-to-life Linux kernel now ships with Windows 10, providing GUI and GPU support that wasn’t present before in WSL. Future upgrades to the kernel will ship through Windows Update so you can expect them much more frequently.

Another major feature is the revamped Cortana app. The new app is resizable as a window, and it can remember your preference of interaction whether it be via voice or a keyboard. Its new UI looks much more conversational than before, and Cortana will no longer bug you on your taskbar since it’s being removed from this area of Windows. Speaking of which, Cortana is also being removed from iOS and Android as a standalone app.

Of course, more minor features are scattered throughout the May 2020 update. Notepad gets a few improvements with text selection and wrapping, Windows Search now powers the search field inside Explorer, virtual desktops are now renamable, Bluetooth devices are now easier to pair to, accessibility gets a handful of new features, and the Settings app sees a number of tweaks.

To install the May 2020 update, Microsoft says you can do so via the Windows Update section of the settings app. However, it’s a very gradual roll-out, so if you don’t see the update now you might not for a few more days or weeks. I’d keep checking every couple of days just in case it hits your device and you don’t get notified.