Microsoft has today announced that it will begin updating Windows 11 with new features and enhancements on a more frequent basis in a new update cadence that aims to deliver “continuous innovation” to Windows 11 users. This new cadence was announced alongside the general availability of the Windows 11 2022 Update, which is beginning to roll out now.
Starting next month, Microsoft says users can expect to start seeing the first wave of new features that will begin rolling out on top of version 22H2. Unfortunately, the company isn’t planning to formally name these feature drops for easy identification, though internally we know the company refers to them as “Moments.”
Here’s a breakdown of all the new features rolling out in the first “moment” for Windows 11 version 22H2:
- Enhancements to File Explorer: Microsoft is introducing tabs to the File Explorer app with this first feature drop, along with improvements to the left-hand navigation pane that reorganizes the folder view for a better experience.
- A new photos app: An updated Photos app with a new photos-managing experience, new photo gallery design, simplified photos browsing and finding, and easy backup of Photos to OneDrive.
- Suggested Actions: A new UI that will appear whenever you copy a phone number or date, offering quick actions to deal with that data such as adding a phone number to your contacts list or creating an event in Outlook around the date you’ve copied.
- Taskbar Overflow: An updated interface on the Taskbar that better handles overflowing icons. Useful for PCs with small screens or users with busy Taskbars.
- Share to more devices: An update to the ability to share files to more devices, including desktops using nearby share.
- Microsoft Store improvements: In October, expect to see updates to the Microsoft Store with screenshots in search results, the ability to restore apps with a single click, and Android apps appearing in search results.
These new features will rollout in the form of Microsoft Store updates and servicing updates, tied to the security updates that Microsoft rolls out to Windows on a monthly basis. Not every month will see new features ship, but my sources say the company intends to roll out new feature drops up to four times a year. The next one is currently scheduled for early 2023, likely in February or March.
You can read more about the new update cadence here, including how annual feature updates will continue to factor into the equation as a much less major event going forward.
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