Microsoft is gearing up for the release of the next significant Windows 11 feature update, known as Windows 11 23H2. This eagerly anticipated update promises a slew of enhancements and features, with a special emphasis on the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into the Windows operating system. Scheduled to debut in preview form on September 26 and subsequently undergo a wider release in October, Windows 11 23H2 is set to redefine AI-enhanced computing.
Meet Windows Copilot
At the heart of Windows 11 23H2 lies the introduction of Windows Copilot. Formerly recognized as “Windows Copilot,” this feature combines the functionalities of Bing Chat and Cortana to create a cloud-based AI assistant capable of performing specific tasks directly on your PC. Operating with an internet connection, Windows Copilot delivers a seamless experience akin to using Bing Chat on the web. Although its current capabilities include tasks such as toggling between light and dark modes and capturing screenshots, its potential for growth is substantial. Microsoft has introduced Windows Copilot as a Dev Channel preview, hinting at further developments in the pipeline.
Exploring Windows 11 23H2’s Features
Windows 11 23H2 is poised to introduce a multitude of new features and improvements, catering to both AI-driven experiences and overall usability. Some of the standout features to anticipate include:
1. Streamlined Settings Homepage: This update will revamp the Settings Home screen, offering a consolidated overview of various sub-pages within the Settings menu to enhance user-friendliness.
2. RGB Lighting Mastery: Dynamic Lighting, a unified control panel for managing RGB lighting across peripherals, will debut with initial support for Razer peripherals.
3. AI-Infused File Explorer Recommendations: AI-driven file recommendations will be presented in a carousel view at the top of File Explorer, though SharePoint account users will have the option to prioritize files.
4. Windows Backup Revamp: The introduction of a new Windows Backup app and an enhanced Out of the Box Experience (OOBE) will simplify the transition to a new PC by transferring data to OneDrive and restoring desktop app pins on the taskbar and Start Menu.
5. Enhanced Security with Passkeys: Passkeys will replace traditional passwords for authentication, leveraging biometrics to streamline the login process.
6. Revamped Quick Settings Audio: The update aims to offer more robust audio controls, especially on a per-app basis, with a convenient shortcut (WIN+CTRL+V) for effortless management.
7. Refined In-Field Inking for Windows Ink: Inking within Windows fields will become more intuitive, with handwritten input presented as if it were typed.
8. Voice Editing Evolved: Windows will introduce new voice controls and revamp the Voice access home page, expanding support for various English accents.
9. A Fresh Look for the Paint App: Surprisingly, the Paint app will receive updates, including features like transparency and layers, enabling basic composite image creation.
Additional Tweaks in Windows 11 23H2
Beyond the highlighted features, Windows 11 23H2 will bring various other tweaks and improvements, such as:
• Taskbar badging for icons, offering more context for pinned apps.
• Enhanced Windows Spotlight with improved wallpaper preview and information.
• Enhanced sharing capabilities to make files accessible for Nearby Share.
• Notifications for screen casting to other devices.
• Inclusion of the latest emoji set, Emoji 15.
• Improved integration with Your Phone, allowing the copying of 2FA codes from Notifications.
• Active VPN indication.
• Bing improvements, including text-based image creation using Dall-E 3.
Windows 11 23H2 promises a substantial update to the Windows 11 experience, with AI-driven features taking center stage alongside enhancements aimed at improving usability. Microsoft’s commitment to infusing AI into everyday computing tasks aims to make Windows 11 more intuitive and adaptable, catering to a wide range of user needs. With a preview release set for September 26, users can catch a glimpse of the future of AI-enhanced computing, with a full-scale rollout anticipated in October.