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February 19, 2020

20H1 Gets May 2020 Update Moniker

The command line can tell you all kinds of interesting things, if you know how to use it. Thus, for example, I read Tero Alhonen’s recent Tweet with great interest, which shows PowerShell output for get-vmhostsupportversion when running the latest Insider Build (18980.1). Check it out for yourself: here’s what it looks like, juxtaposed against winver output for that build:

20H1 Gets May 2020 Update Moniker.ps-output

Say Hello to Windows 10 May 2020 Update!

As you can see from the preceding output, the penultimate line in the PowerShell output identifies the 18980 Build as “Microsoft Windows 10 May 2020 Update/Server 2003.” Amusingly, this conflates the old release nomenclature (version 2003, on the Server side, for 2020 month 03) with the new release nomenclature (1903 is officially known as “Windows 10 May 2019…”). Gosh! It looks like the first half release has now permanently  moved from an official release in March (Month 3) to May (Month 5) in any given year. Actually, it’s nice to see MS re-synching its nomenclature with actual release behavior, instead of tying Insider Preview release advance dates to specific Windows versions.

It’s not unreasonable to suppose that this fall’s release will take the name “Microsoft Windows 10 November 2019/Server 1909,” following the same model posed by the preceding nomenclature. That said, none of the methods I found in the interesting and fairly long list of “get Windows 10 version info inside PowerShell” commands that I found at StackOverflow used this specific nomenclature, so I’m forced to speculate here. Check it out:20H1 Gets May 2020 Update Moniker.19H2

None of the many ways to get Windows version info through PowerShell shows the new nomenclature creeping into 19H2 (Release Preview) just yet. I bet this will change!
[Click image for full-sized view.]

There’s still over a month for MS to catch this nomenclature up with the 20H1/May 2020 release. I’ll be interested to see if that actually happens. Stay tuned!

Author: Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.

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