Windows 11 2023 Update (23H2) launch; essential facts to know

Windows 11 23H2, also known as the “Windows 11 2023 Update,” has finally been released, showcasing exciting new AI features like Copilot and Cocreator in Paint, ungrouping options for the taskbar, a modern File Explorer, and more. These features were previously introduced to users in stages with Windows 11 Moment 4, but now they are available for everyone.

One important thing to note is that the Windows 11 2023 Update does not change the hardware requirements and is compatible with existing apps, services, and drivers. It acts as an enablement package for version 22H2, meaning that both versions will receive the same updates.

Users can manually download the update through the Settings menu, while businesses have the option to use Windows Update for Business. The update process is expected to take around 5-10 minutes.

In terms of support, the Windows 11 2023 Update extends the support cycle for Windows 11 Home, Pro, and other consumer editions until October 2025, and for Enterprise and Education editions until October 2026. Microsoft plans to eventually upgrade devices to this new version.

This update marks a significant shift for Microsoft and is believed to be the last major release for the operating system before the rumored launch of Windows 12 in the fall of 2024.

Microsoft started rolling out Windows 11 23H2 to testers in the Release Preview channel in September, and it is now ready for consumers.

In summary:
– Windows 11 2023 Update is the second major feature update.
– It was released on October 31, 2023, as an optional update.
– While 23H2 remains optional, Microsoft plans to auto-upgrade PCs in the coming months.

Since the Windows 11 2023 Update is an enablement package for version 22H2, there are no changes to the hardware requirements, and existing apps, services, and drivers will continue to work. The same cumulative updates will be compatible with both versions.

“We will deliver this feature update using servicing technology,” states John Cable, Microsoft VP for Windows Servicing and Delivery.

To install the Windows 11 23H2 update, go to Settings > Windows Update, enable the “Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available” toggle, and select “Check for updates.” The installation process will take around five to ten minutes.

For enterprise and commercial devices, the update can be obtained through Windows Update for Business (WUfB), Windows Server Update Service (WSUS), or the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).

Currently, the Windows 11 2023 Update is available for manual download via the “Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available” toggle in Settings. However, automatic installation on systems may be implemented later this year or early next year.

The support cycle for Windows 11 2023 Update is as follows:
– Windows 11 Home, Pro, Pro Education, and Pro for Workstations editions will be supported until October 2025, 24 months after the release date.
– Windows 11 Enterprise and Education editions will be supported until October 2026, 36 months after the release date.

Microsoft plans to force device upgrades to this new version of the operating system, which will have a longer support period compared to the existing version 22H2. Windows 11 22H2 consumer editions will be serviced until October 8, 2024, giving users less than a year to upgrade.

The Windows 11 2023 Update introduces several new features, including Windows Copilot, Dynamic Lighting, labels and ungrouping options for the taskbar, an improved Spotlight experience, and more. These features are a great addition for users who haven’t installed the Windows 11 Moment 4 update.

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