Microsoft made Windows 1809 available on Oct 2, 2018 through Windows Update, and planned to begin the automated rollout to all users starting Oct 9, 2018. However, a serious problem reported by a number of users (unexpected deletion of personal files, e.g., from the Documents or Music folder) caused Microsoft to halt the distribution of Windows 1809 under all mechanisms. As of Oct 13, the cause of the problem had been identified and a correction had been devised (it's possible some people permanently lost data).
Microsoft finally resumed distribution of Windows 1809 on Nov 13, 2018.
Although short on fundamentally new features, Windows 1809 is a goodie bag of "quality improvements", enhancing the functionality of many existing features. Several of the enhancements will greatly improve use of Windows for most users and are designated "new features" here - for example, the new clipboard features and the greater interaction with cell phones, including Android and iPhone.
The following list is not exhaustive but does cover significant changes in Windows 1809, including simple rearrangement and renaming of some items:
The Your Phone app new feature: for Android (7.0 and greater) and iPhone users. Synch images snapped on your phone instantly with your Windows 10 PC. Also - send SMS text messages from your laptop over a connected phone. The Your Phone app is not yet available in China. Note: the Your Phone app replaces the Phone Companion app.
(you can also use keyboard shortcuts).
Snip & Sketch: replaces the Snipping Tool, which Microsoft will no longer develop.
Skype for Windows 10 Numerous upgrades to give it more of the capability available in the stand-alone app.
Timeline: When you open a PDF using Microsoft Edge, the activity will now be listed in Timeline.
Sound - Some device properties have now been moved into Settings > System > Sound.
Storage - Improved support for High Efficiency Image File Format (.heic files)
Clipboard new feature - "clipboard history" feature added - it will save data previously saved to clipboard for later re-use, instead of immediately overwriting with the latest clipboard item. New Settings section: Settings > System > Clipboard.
- Books pinned to Start will have a live tile indicating how much of the book you've read.
Networking: Improvements in Mobile Broadband (LTE) connectivity
Post upgrade setup: when performing an upgrade, you may be asked to answer the bank of Privacy Settings questions. Microsoft explains that, since Windows may have changed so much since your initial setup, they are "giving you an opportunity to go through the setup questions you may have missed to ensure your device has the best setup possible".
Acrylic: Acrylic enhancements will now show up in more places directly tied to the system (such as context menus)
- Power usage column (per app)
- Power usage trend (past two minutes)
Registry - editing improvements: Ctrl+backspace to remove last term in address bar (making "backing up" easier when constructing addresses to find a key, and Ctrl + Delete to delete next following term.
Remote Desktop: Active Directory and Azure Active Directory users of Windows Hello for Business can authenticate to a remote desktop session using biometrics.
Time accuracy improvements:
Text controls: enhancements to actions available for touch-reactive text boxes.
Windows Security (formerly Windows Defender Security Center)
Third-party anti-virus software: Windows Security will now require that any such program be capable of running as a protected process to register with and appear in Windows Security. Windows Security will display more information for any such software as well.
Windows Defender Exploit Guard: available for all users, including Home Edition users.
Device Health: A time synch setting added (monitors how closely your device's time matches its time server):
Windows Defender Application Guard Improvements:
Display and Video
Projection: a control banner now appears at top of screen when you are in session.
Video: if your device has a light sensor, you can take advantage of a new setting (Settings > Apps > Video playback > "Adjust video based on lighting") designed to improve viewing of videos in bright light conditions.
HDR: a new HDR Color page will appear in Settings > System > Display for those systems that are HDR-capable.
Themes: Dark Theme added to File Explorer.
Ease of Access
Make text bigger: new section in Ease of Access > Display. Increases size of text "across the system", including icon names, notifications, text in UWP apps (apps from the Store), etc.
Narrator: Many improvements, including:
Search Previews enhanced - now includes apps, documents, and more
Also, autoplay permissions can be set for entire sites at a time.
Touch Keyboard and Handwriting
Handwriting panel: "Delete" button now a top level button, "switch languages" moved to "..."
The embedded handwriting experience will now be the default for text entry using a pen in modern applications.
The Microsoft Pinyin and Wubi IMEs have been improved:
Settings: The Privacy section of Settings has been reorganized; "Speech, inking & typing" has been split into separate pages for Speech and for Inking & typing.
Microphone: if you've chosen to disable your device's microphone, you will now see a warning the first time an attempt is made to activate the microphone and you'll be allowed an opportunity to retain or change the setting.
Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer: you'll now be able to view Problem Reports, the kinds of data that is (sometimes automatically) sent to Microsoft as the result of an app or system crash.
You can now install a font for use by a specific user. Users can do this without admin privileges.
Selecting skin tone has been made easier
Focus Assist now turns on automatically when you are playing a game.
The Game Bar is now available at any time from either the Start Menu or by using Win + G.
Windows 10 October 2018 Update will be compatible with all Tencent games.
Windows 10 Server
RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools): now available on demand, meaning it can be turned on once and for good in Settings > Apps > Manage Optional Features.