Microsoft said Tuesday it’s starting to release the next version of its Windows 10 operating system for PCs and tablets. The Windows 10 October 2020 Update, aka version 20H2, irons out technical and security issues and provides a handful of software enhancements. This brings the build number to Build 19041.1128, so the HoloLens isn’t actually changing the major build number to 19042 like Windows 10 PCs did with version 20H2.
According to Microsoft, the Windows Holographic 20H2 version brings a great set of new features to HoloLens 2 users and IT professionals. From Auto Eye Positioning, to Certificate Manager in Settings, to improved Kiosk Mode functionality, and new Autopilot setup capabilities. This new update enables IT teams to take more granular control to configuring and managing HoloLens devices, and offers users even more seamless holographic experiences.
More than 1 billion devices run Windows 10, making it more popular than Apple’s MacOS and Google’s Chrome OS. Windows contributes about 16% of Microsoft’s revenue, as consumers and businesses buy machines with the operating system installed.
Microsoft introduced Windows 10 in 2015. Since then the company has issued two updates per year. This marks the second year Microsoft is bringing out a relatively low-profile update in the fall that seeks to boost the performance and quality of Windows, rather than a release packed with attention-grabbing new features that people might have to learn how to use.
Major Improvements in Windows Holographic 20H2 version
Auto Eye Position Support
The HoloLens now supports automatic eye positions, meaning you don’t need to manually calibrate the headset for it to adjust to your eye position. In HoloLens 2, eye positions enable accurate hologram positioning, a comfortable viewing experience and improved display quality. Eye positions are computed as part of the eye-tracking result. However, this requires each user to go through eye-tracking calibration, even when the experience does not require eye-gaze input.
According to Microsoft, Auto Eye Position starts working in the background automatically from the moment the user puts the device on. This feature actively computes eye positions without users going through active calibration.
In Windows Holographic version 20H2, Microsoft is adding a Certificate Manager in the HoloLens 2 Settings app. The simpler certificate manager in the Settings app or improvements to provisioning packages, so that having packages on a USB drive automatically prompts the provisioning page. It’s also possible to automatically confirm provisioning packages during OOBE, so it’s possible to set up devices without even wearing the headset.
These feature settings provide a simple and user-friendly way to view, install, and remove certificates on your device. With the new Certificate Manager, admins and users now have improved auditing, diagnosis, and validation tooling to ensure that devices remain secure and compliant.
It gives three feature abilities including:
- Auditing: Ability to validate that a certificate is deployed correctly or to confirm that it was removed appropriately.
- Diagnosis: When issues arise, validating that the appropriate certificates exist on the device saves time and helps with troubleshooting.
- Validation: Verifying that a certificate serves the intended purpose and is functional, can save significant time, particularly in commercial environments before deploying certificates at a larger scale.
To install a certificate:
- Connect your HoloLens 2 to a PC.
- Place the certificate file you want to install in a location on your HoloLens 2.
- Navigate to Settings App > Update & Security > Certificates, and select Install a certificate.
- Click Import File and navigate to the location you saved the certificate.
- Select Store Location.
- Select Certificate Store.
- Click Install.
The certificate should now be installed on the device.
To remove a certificate:
- Navigate to Settings App > Update and Security > Certificates.
- Search for the certificate by name in the search box.
- Select the certificate.
- Click Remove
- Select Yes when prompted for confirmation.
There are plenty of other improvements, such as support for Autopilot over Wi-Fi connections instead of Ethernet, improvements to kiosk mode, new policies for HoloLens devices, and the addition of Research Mode, which has been improved since the first-generation HoloLens, with support for hand and eye tracking and access to sensors like the accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer.
Below is the complete table of what is New in Windows Holographic, version 20H2
|Auto Eye Position Support||Actively computes eye positions without users going through active calibration.|
|Certificate Manager||Allows new simpler methods to install and remove certificates from the Settings app.|
|Auto-launch provisioning from USB||Provisioning packages on USB drives automatically prompt the provisioning page in OOBE.|
|Auto-confirm provisioning packages in OOBE||Provisioning packages are automatically applied during OOBE from the provisioning page.|
|Automatic provisioning without using UI||How to combine the provisioning auto-launch and auto-confirm together.|
|Using Autopilot with Wi-Fi connection||Use autopilot from device Wi-Fi without need for ethernet adapter.|
|Tenantlockdown CSP and Autopilot||After tenant enrollment and the policy is applied, the device can only be enrolled in that tenant any time the device is reset or re-flashed.|
|Global Assigned Access||New configuration method for multiple app kiosk mode which applies the kiosk at the system level, making it applicable to all.|
|Auto-launch an app in multi-app kiosk||Sets an application to launch automatically when signing into a multiple-app kiosk mode.|
|Kiosk mode behavior changes for handling of failures||Kiosk mode failure now has restrictive fallback.|
|HoloLens Policies||New policies for HoloLens.|
|Cache AAD Group membership for offline Kiosk||New policy allows users to uses group membership cache to use Kiosk mode offline for set number of days.|
|New device restriction policies for HoloLens 2||Device management policies enabled newly enabled for HoloLens 2.|
|New power policies for HoloLens 2||Newly supported policies for power timeout settings.|
|Update Policies||Newly enabled policies allowing control of updates.|
|Enabled Settings page visibility for HoloLens 2||Policy to pick which pages are seen in Settings app.|
|Research mode||Using Research mode on HoloLens 2.|
|Recording length increased||MRC recordings no longer capped to 5 minutes.|
|Improvements and fixes in the update||Additional fixes in the update.|
For the end user, Microsoft also offers some improvements including:
- Theme-aware tiles in Start – The redesigned Start menu has a more streamlined design that removes the solid color backplates behind the logos in the apps list, and applies a uniform, partially transparent background to the tiles. This design creates a beautiful stage for your icons, especially the Fluent Design icons for Office and Microsoft Edge, as well as the redesigned icons for built-in apps like Calculator, Mail, and Calendar.
ALT+TAB between tabs in Microsoft Edge – We introduced ALT+TAB (task switcher) allowing you to toggle between open windows way back in Windows 2.0! In Windows 10, version 20H2, you can now use ALT+TAB to rotate between not only your open apps but also the tabs in Microsoft Edge. Now rotating through ALT+TAB will allow you to open Microsoft Edge in the specific tab you’re needing, not just the latest active tab. You can modify the ALT+TAB experience in Settings > System > Multitask.
Improved notifications – Toast notifications now have the app’s logo in the top left corner of the notification, so you can immediately see where the notification is coming from. We’ve also turned off the Focus Assist notifications, which tells you when Focus Assist is enabled – whether via automatic rule or manually enabling it.
Settings – We continue to improve the Settings page, adding more and more classic Control Panel capabilities. In addition to added settings, we also added a [COPY] button to Settings > System > About so you can easily copy that information and paste it into a help desk ticket. Watch for even more improvements to come!
Tablet experience – Previously, when you detach a keyboard on a 2-in-1 device, a toast notification would appear asking if you wanted to switch into Tablet Mode. If you tapped Yes, you would switch into Tablet Mode. But selecting No would bring you the Windows desktop. In Windows 10, version 20H2, the default is changed: the toast notification no longer appears and you are instead brought into the new tablet experience. You can change this behavior in Settings > System > Tablet.
Refresh rate of display – Change the refresh rate of your display, giving you a smoother motion. This change can be made at Settings > System > Display > Advanced display settings. Note that this may require supported hardware.
Microsoft Edge (built on Chromium) – And of course, Windows 10, version 20H2 is the first version of Windows to come with Microsoft Edge browser built on the Chromium engine.