Windows 10 was originally supposed to ship new versions (not just patches, but actually new features) 4 or more times per year but that was reduced several times to what we have in 2020 which is two releases:
- a substantial new version each Spring named after the year and half or the year and the month (ie. Windows 10 20H1 = Windows 10 2004)
- a major patch with few feature upgrades in the fall again named after the year and half or the year and the month (ie. Windows 10 20H2 = Windows 10 2010)
One of the reasons Microsoft changed to a monthly patch/fix cycle combined with a Spring and Fall new version cycle was because upgrades were taking along time (sometimes hours) and making customers cranky.
One way to fix the slowness of the upgrades (not patches) to push the upgrade files a month or two in advance so it can be preinstalled but not activated until Microsoft officially releases it… and that is what an enablement package is. They are just turning on the code and features you received in advance of the official release date.
Microsoft’s official explanation is:
“…Windows 10, versions 1903 and 1909 share a common core operating system with an identical set of system files. Therefore, the new features in Windows 10, version 1909 were included in the latest monthly quality update for Windows 10, version 1903 (released October 8, 2019), but are in an inactive and dormant state. These new features will remain dormant until they are turned on through the “enablement package,” a small, quick-to-install “master switch” that activates the Windows 10, version 1909 features.
The enablement package is a great option for installing a scoped feature update like Windows 10, version 1909 as it enables an update from version 1903 to version 1909 with a single restart, reducing update downtime. This enables devices to take advantage of new features now. For version 1903 devices that receive updates directly from Windows Update, devices automatically get the enablement package by installing the feature update to Windows 10, version 1909.