Windows 10 May 2019 Update gets official, late-May planned release

Microsoft today announced that the next Windows 10 feature update, codenamed "19H1" and known as version 1903, will be called the Windows 10 May 2019 Update and will begin rolling out to the public starting late May. This is the first "May" update for Windows 10 as previous spring releases always launched in April. While the May 2019 Update was finalized on time, Microsoft is giving it an extra few weeks in testing, to ensure everything is working as intended.

This means that starting next week, the May 2019 Update will be made available to testers in the Release Preview ring and will remain there until late May, where the update should then begin rolling out to the public. Microsoft is changing how the public receives new features updates, however, with the user no longer being forced to install feature updates once they're made available, as long as the version of Windows 10 they're currently running is still in support.

So, even though the May 2019 Update should begin rolling out in late May, if you don't want it you don't have to install it, unless you're running an older version of Windows 10 that isn't in support anymore. This is how Microsoft is handling the rollout of feature updates from now on and is rather unprecedented in the age of "Windows as a Service."

Related: The difference between 'feature updates' and 'quality updates'

As always, the update won't be made available to everyone on day one. Using machine learning and feedback from testers, the update will be made available in waves depending on whether your Windows 10 PC and install is compatible. So, there are now multiple steps between a user receiving a new feature update and it being installed, all in the name of giving the user more control. It will be very interesting to see how many Windows 10 users opt to remain up to date and how many choose to not deal with feature updates for as long as possible.

The Windows 10 May 2019 Update is a relatively small update. It has only a few new features, most of which are enhancements to existing features, and overall, it focuses more on improving already existing things in the OS. New features include a Sandbox mode for Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users, a new light mode that looks clean and modern, improvements to Start, Action Center, and the UI. Check out our complete changelog for a detailed list of new changes.

What are your thoughts on the May 2019 Update? Let us know in the comments.

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Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • so the May update that we are going to get in August?
  • Actually, there is one important event that is delaying the update. The current Japanese emperor (Heisei or Akihito) is supposed to abdicate at the end of this month, and the new era name has been recently announced (Reiwa). Many Japanese computer systems use both Gregorian years and Japanese eras at the same time, so Microsoft needed extra time to code in the new era names in the spring update. Even my Japan Rail Passes that I have used when I visit Japan (in 2017 and 2018) use Heisei years instead of Gregorian years. And Japanese corporations are preparing for this change as well. It does not matter to most of you, since I know for a fact that almost all of Windows Central's readers are outside of Japan.
  • lol wat :D
  • is there a link to their announcement?
  • 19H1 May 2019 Update 1903
    Damn I love it, just rolls off the tongue
  • Only small changes and even these are more likely to be enhancements to existing features? Mmmmm. The next big update better be a doozy or MS will be accused of preparing to walk away from Windows.