Microsoft's Windows 10 20H1 Preview Build 18990 Now Available, Here Is What's New

Windows 10
Microsoft continues to add new features and functions to the 20H1 update that is headed to Windows 10 next year, and if you are a member of the Windows Insider program, you can test them out through preview builds. The latest preview build, version 18990, introduces a few more goodies to the mix.

The latest build is available to Insiders who subscribe to the Fast ring. These builds are less polished than the ones that appear in the Slow ring, and "may contain bugs that might be painful for some." So, keep that in mind before hopping into the Fast ring (it's not possible to switch rings without doing a clean install).

Among the changes in the build 18990 is automatic restarting of Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps. This follows up last month's introduction of a new separate setting to control if registered desktop apps from the previous sign-in session are restarted when signing back in to Windows.

"In the latest Insider Preview builds, in addition to registered desktop apps, when you opt into this setting, the majority of open UWP apps are now also automatically restarted as well! To reduce sign-in time, UWP apps are restarted minimized, in a suspended state, giving Windows and other apps more resources to get started," Microsoft explains.

You can try this out by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options and turning on Automatically save my restartable apps when I sign out and restart them when I sign in, which you will find under Restart apps. Then start one or more UWP apps (like Feedback Hub), sign out, and sign back in to Windows.

Microsoft also made some improvements to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). Specifically, it did the following...
  • Improved the performance for directory listings in \\wsl$
  • [WSL2] Injected additional boot entropy [Github Issue 4461]
  • [WSL2] Fixed Windows interop when using su / sudo commands [Github issue 4465]
For a running tally of changes made to WSL with each new preview build, head over to the WSL release notes page.
The latest build brings updates to the Xbox Game Bar as well. Microsoft has started rolling out a frames per second (FPS) counter and achievement overlay, with an update headed to the Microsoft Store.

In addition, Microsoft is adding the ability to reset your PC from the cloud, and of course the latest preview build includes the usual round of general changes, improvements, and fixes. There are still a handful of known issues Microsoft is working to fix, though it has plenty of time—the 20H1 update will not be pushed out to the public until sometime in the first half of next year.

A 19H2 release is more immediate and could arrive next month. However, it appears this will be more akin to a Service Pack from the olden days, rather than a true major upgrade to Windows 10.

It's nice to see new features being added regularly (albeit sometimes Microsoft breaks things in the process). As it stands, Windows 10 is now installed on 900 million active devices, according to Microsoft.