As Windows 10 lands on 900m devices, Microsoft shows us the shape of clunk to come (again)

A billion by next year?

Microsoft dropped a fresh build of 2020's Windows 10 last night as the company trumpeted 900 million devices running the operating system.

Build 18990, also known as 20H1, was passed around to Windows Insiders on the Fast Ring and continued the recent trend of minor tweaks coupled with enhancements to the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

For non-Linux fans, Microsoft has added support for automatically restarting Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps upon login. While there continues to be some debate as to the point of UWP nowadays, as Microsoft pulls the plug on its phone platform and allows desktop apps to run in S Mode, the gang has continued to flog the dead horse.

Should a user turn on the catchy "Automatically save my restartable apps when I sign out and restart them after I sign in" setting, Windows 10 will restart UWP apps in a minimised state on the next sign-in.

Windows Subsystem for Linux has taken a bit of a breather after the wave of fixes in the previous build. This time around there is a fix for Windows interop when using su / sudo, additional boot entropy and a noticeable improvement for directory listings in \wsl$

Other fixes included tweaks to the File Explorer Search box to make it a little bigger and add a missing context menu option for pasting clipboard contents. An issue that stopped the credentials prompt appearing when connecting to "certain" VPNs was also dealt with.

It was, however, the announcement that the 1 billion Windows 10 devices target is now within sight that will have brought a weary smile to the faces of those toiling within bowels of the software giant.

It seemed an achievable goal when set back in 2015 but the demise of Windows phone and a marked reluctance of users to allow Windows 7 to be prised from their fingers has meant things have taken a tad longer than planned.

That one billion device (which includes the likes of HoloLens) mark looks likely to be hit at some point next year – helped no doubt by Microsoft finally pulling extended support for Windows 7. ®

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