Microsoft Is Adopting Small-Large Pattern With Windows 10 20H1 And Later Cumulative Feature Updates

The Microsoft Windows 10 May 2020 Update, also known as Win10 v2004 and 20H1 Update is now part of a “Small and Large” Pattern. Apparently, Microsoft appears to be readying and deploying Cumulative Feature Updates wherein one update brings new features while the other improves and extends existing functions.

The Windows 10 v2004 or May 2020 Feature Update is most likely part of the Large Update. Meanwhile, reports indicate, the Windows 10 20H2, also known as the Autumn 2020 Feature Update, will be part of the Small Update. In other words, the upcoming May 2020 Update will include new functionalities and features, while the subsequent update will include bug fixes, stability and performance improvements for the functions introduced in the previous Windows 10 v2004 20H1 Update.

Windows 10 20H2 Autumn 2020 Update To Be A Small One:

Microsoft will apparently release a “Small” and a “Large” Windows 10 feature update again this year. As the Windows 10 20H1 or May 2020 Feature Update is a Large Cumulative Update, the Windows 10 20H2 or Autumn 2020 Update, expected to be released at the end of the current year, will be a Small Cumulative Update.

According to a new report, Microsoft decided to adopt the new Small and Large Cumulative Update Deployment Strategy after the Windows Insider team switched to the further development of the Windows update in the home office. The decision was reportedly due to the ongoing health crisis. The report adds that Microsoft, like last year, is dividing the two planned Windows 10 Update versions so that new functions appear in the Spring, while the Autumn release only improves and extends existing functions.

It is interesting to note Microsoft had claimed that the Windows 10 Autumn Update 2019 was an exception. The Windows 10 November 2019 update was the first half-yearly update of Windows 10 that did not include any major new features. Instead, it mostly contained bug fixes and stability improvements. Needless to add, several Windows 10 OS users were reportedly quite upset about the lack of new features and claimed Microsoft had hinted at several new features but did not deliver.

As previously reported, Microsoft has been making some substantial and fundamental changes to the way updates are readied and deployed for Windows 10 OS. Simply put, new functions no longer appear to be version-bound. Instead, they at least partially start on a certain date for older versions of Windows 10.

Essentially, it has become very difficult for end-users of Windows 10 OS, who only use the final stable releases, what to expect from the big half-yearly updates. This significantly erodes the incentive to update. In other words, a large number of Windows 10 OS users now update their systems only when it is absolutely necessary, which means when their installed Windows 10 version is at the end of support.

Microsoft Hinted About The Small-Large Update Pattern For Windows 10?

One of the questions during last year’s presentation clearly asked how Microsoft plans to proceed with updates for Windows 10:

Will we see this cycle every year now? Major feature update in H1, more minor feature update in H2, a cumulative update for both?

Microsoft did not offer any definitive answer:

Deploying the 19H2 feature update through a cumulative update and an activation package is a pilot project. There is no formal plan to deliver future releases in the same way. We are monitoring the feedback closely and hope to get out to learn this type of publication to influence our future plans.

It now appears that Microsoft may have realized that a Small-Large Update deployment strategy could help in offering new features in the first half of the year. Meanwhile, the Cumulative Update in the second half of the year could include solutions to the problems caused by the previous update.

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Alap Naik Desai


A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.
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