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In the past year, Windows 11 received its first functional update called the 2022 Update, which brought with it several new features and a number of useful improvements that made the system much more convenient than the release version of Windows 11 from 2021.
Now it’s time to talk about what awaits Windows 11 in the upcoming 2023. Windows Central Editor Zach Bowden collected information from his sources and shared the timing of the release of updates and a list of innovations being developed.
First of all, it is worth recalling that over the past months, Microsoft has been working on updates under the single code name “Moments”. They are designed to ensure continuity of innovation throughout the lifecycle of Windows 11. Simply put, new features will now be released every few months as they become available, rather than once a year along with an annual feature update. The first such update was released in October and brought with it support for the tabbed interface in Explorer.
The next Moment 2 update is expected to be released in February or March 2023. It should bring with it the following changes:
The good news is that Microsoft is not afraid to make significant changes to the Windows user interface with these updates. The new taskbar for tablet mode is a lot like the implementation from Windows 10X. When the system recognizes that a touch screen is being used and not a mouse and keyboard, the taskbar will automatically collapse to a thin bar at the bottom of the screen to free up more space for running applications. The taskbar will easily expand to its normal state with a swipe from the bottom up from the bottom edge of the screen. At the same time, the distance between the icons of running and pinned applications will be greater than in the usual version, so that it is more convenient to click on them with your finger.
In addition, a modern taskbar overflow menu has been added, which appears when the taskbar runs out of space to accommodate new application icons. If you do not use it, you can always turn it off in the system settings.
Approximately in late spring or early summer (May-June), Microsoft intends to release the Moment 3 update for Windows 11. According to Zach Bowden, the company’s engineers are working to improve the system interface for folding devices with both one and two screens. However, it is not yet known if these changes will be part of Moment 3, or if they will appear in one of the following updates.
It is quite possible that in 2023 we will be waiting for new changes in Windows search, updates to pre-installed applications, and so on. Also, Microsoft is still planning to phase out the legacy Mail and Calendar app in favor of a new web-based Outlook client. A gradual transition could begin next year when the new client adds support for third-party email services.
In addition, Microsoft will continue to redesign legacy operating system components to better match the look and feel of Windows 11. Many Windows 8 and Windows 7 era components, including USB Autoplay, System Restore and Device Rename dialogs, Windows Firewall pop-ups, and more , will get a new design in the style of Fluent Design.
Microsoft is still committed to releasing feature updates for Windows 11 every year. This means that in the fall (September or October) we will be waiting for Windows 11 version 23H2. But there probably won’t be a platform update this time around, so it’s more of a Moment-style cumulative update rather than a full-fledged new version of Windws 11 as is the case with 22H2.
Interestingly, around the same period, the release of the Moment 4 update is planned. But is it possible to put an equal sign between Moment 4 and 23H2? There is no answer to this question yet. It is possible that Moment 4 will be released after the release of Windows 11 version 23H2, as was the case with Moment 1 and 22H2.
So, Microsoft’s main plans for Windows 11 for 2023:
Thus, users will now regularly receive new features and noticeable changes every few months. This approach is very different from what was used in the past, when innovations were introduced only once or twice a year.