New features of the Windows 10 May 2019 update

Microsoft released a new feature update for Windows 10 in May. Since the feature updates are delivered in waves, it may take a while until a majority of users has installed such a feature update. But meanwhile, most Windows 10 users should already work with the latest Windows update, build 1903. Therefore, the most important innovations of the new build are presented in this blog.

Windows 10 Update 1903

1. New Update Policy

The major feature updates are now separate from the more frequent security updates. The feature updates are no longer automatically downloaded and installed, only a note appears in the Windows update menu and the user can manually initialize the update. But when the support of the currently used Windows 10 build comes to end of life, the feature update will be installed automatically again. The individual builds are usually supported and provided with security upates for 18 months. This innovation also applies to Windows 10 Home, where previously updates could not be deferred.


2. Windows Sandbox

The most interesting new feature is Windows Sandbox, a kind of virtual machine. The activation of the Windows Sandbox is very easy and will be explained in the video. Unlike other sandboxes for Windows 10, the new, integrated Windows Sandbox launches not just a program but a complete virtual Windows 10 environment. In this virtual Windows environment, potentially dangerous programs and websites can be tested without risk. Furthermore, the Sandbox is useful if you want to try alternative programs, but do not want to install them on the main Windows installation and then uninstall them again. Closing the Windows sandbox will reset all changes. The Windows Sandbox is officially only available for Windows 10 Pro. But there are already workarounds to activate it in Windows home: Link.

3. Revised Search

Windows search has been revised. The digital assistant Cortana has been disconnected from Windows search. In the task bar and in the Windows menu “Search” and “Cortana” are now two separate points. On the start page of search, you can now find the “top apps” and your latest activities (picture). In addition, one can change the search settings to “advanced”, in this case, windows searches in all files of the computer and not just in individual libraries.


4. Reserved storage

Windows 10 reserves from now on 7 GB of storage in addition to the disk space needed for the system files. The idea behind it is to ensure, that there is always enough free storage to keep a smooth functioning of essential features, such as Windows Update. Even if disk space is lost initially, this innovation makes perfect sense, because freeing up space for an update can be really tedious. In addition, these 7 GB of hard disk space are only reserved if Windows is freshly installed with the build 1903, for updates of existing installations no space is reserved.


5. Skip & Sketch

The Windows 10 built in screenshot tool “Snip & Sketch” (Windows + Shift + s) has been enhanced with the “Cut Window” function and now has all the basic functions of the popular “Snipping Tool”.


6. Windows Emoji Panel

As everyone knows, you can use the keyboard shortcut “Windows +. (dot)” to open the Emoji panel in a new window. This bar has been extended by a feature that is useful for serious business users as well. In addition to Emojis and Kaomoji, you will also find an easy to use character table (picture). So you do not need to google special characters or search in the confusing, classic Windows character table. With a click on the characters, they are inserted into the text field of an opened program, eg. in Word, Notepad or the Google search bar in a browser.


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