Windows 10 May 2020 update now available: Here are the best new features

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Update May 27: The reports were correct, the Windows 10 May 2020 update has started rolling out to customers. 

"When is the Windows 10 May 2020 Update?" It's the question that's been whizzing around the tech world. The highly anticipated update, also known as Windows 10 version 2004, started rolling out today.

Windows 10 May 2020 update is now available

The release date for Windows 10 May 2020, or Windows 10 version 2004, is now available and will start rolling out to users over the next few days and weeks.

This gradual roll-out strategy allows Microsoft to pick up on issues and bugs reported by early adopters of Windows 10 version 2004. With this method, the Redmond-based tech giant can rectify those issues as the Windows 10 May 2020 update is released en masse.

A leaked fact sheet delved into the end-of-service date for Windows 10 May 2020, which is December 21, 2021. That indicates that this version will only receive updates for 18 months.

New features you can expect from Windows 10 version 2004

Cortana: Instead of being a native entity in Windows, Cortana is now a system app that can operate independently from the operating system. This makes it easier for Microsoft to update Cortana; it won't have to wait for the next Windows 10 update to make changes to the virtual assistant.

Another change with Cortana is that it isn't only voice-controlled. You can also chat with Cortana by typing your commands and queries. This is useful for when you're in a classroom or an office meeting -- and shouting voice commands at Cortana isn't appropriate.

Virtual desktops: A feature that allows power users to create multiple desktops on their PCs is getting some much-needed love, too. As it turns out, before Windows 10 version 2004, you couldn't rename your virtual desktops. Also, if you rebooted your PC, you'd lose the desktops you created. With Windows 10 version 2004, you can rename your workspaces and they can all be saved despite reboots.

Settings app: This crucial app got a few tweaks as well, including cursor-speed control and the ability to disable lock-screen password logins if you have Windows Hello biometric authentication set up.

Task Manager:  The update makes the Task Manager more informative. If you have a discreet GPU that supports WWDM 2.4 or higher, the Task Manager can tell you the temperature of your graphics card. The new Task Manager can also determine whether you're using an SSD, a mechanical drive or removable storage.

There is a slew of other enhancements that Windows 10 version 2004 offers, but these are the ones that caught my eye the most.

The Windows 10 May 2020 update won't be forced upon anyone; the Redmond-based tech giant doesn't coerce its users to update anymore unless you've got an old Windows version that is poised to expire.

When you're ready to install the update, go to Settings>Update & Security>Windows Update. 

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!