Windows 11: A Comprehensive Guide to Obtain Free Updates for 23H2

I will be updating my Windows 11 Field Guide to fully document all the new features in Windows 11 version 23H2. This will include new content and screenshots to cover the top-level user interface changes, such as Copilot and Windows Backup.

The timing of this update is a challenge due to the numerous features to document and Microsoft’s shifting schedule. Here is an overview of the timeline:

– September 26: Most 23H2 features became available in a Week D preview update for Windows 11 version 22H2. However, due to Microsoft’s Controlled Feature Release (CFR) deployment scheme, the mix of features can vary across different PCs.

– October 10: As part of the Week B “Patch Tuesday” release schedule, most 23H2 features will be pushed to all PCs running Windows 11 version 22H2 through a non-optional security update. This release represents the stable version of the September 26 preview update. CFR deployment will still be in effect, resulting in variations in the new features seen by different users.

– November 14: Microsoft aims to make “most” of the CFR-ed features from the October 10 security update “broadly available” to all users by this date.

– Later: Microsoft will release the Windows 11 2023 Update for all PCs running Windows 11 version 22H2. This update, delivered as an enablement package (eKB), will be immediately available to all users without a CFR-staggered release of new features. The exact release dates for the preview and stable versions of 23H2 are uncertain, but they could align with November 28 and December 12, respectively. However, considering the holiday season, the releases might occur earlier, and a preview release may not be necessary since 23H2 primarily includes Microsoft Teams (free) as a new feature.

In summary, it is expected that all the new features will be broadly available between November 28 and December 12.

To begin writing the updated content, I need multiple PCs with the 23H2 bits on them. However, this is challenging due to the CFR system. Currently, I have enrolled multiple PCs in the Windows Insider Preview’s Release Preview channel, resulting in a mix of configurations. Some PCs are on 22H2 but have all the features, including Copilot, while others have already upgraded to 23H2 but lack Copilot. This uncertainty poses difficulties for the book.

Here’s the plan: Before our departure to Mexico City on Friday, October 13, I will tie up various projects related to my 2023 digital decluttering work. During our three-week trip, I will make every effort to update the book with 23H2 content. These trips tend to be productive for me as there are fewer distractions. By waiting a bit, I hope to have all my Release Preview PCs caught up with the CFR-blocked features. This will allow me to write and capture screenshots of a consistent set of experiences.

I have not determined the specific release method or timing for the new content. I may choose to release it chapter by chapter or wait until there is a core set of updated/new chapters to publish all at once. As of now, I anticipate continuing the updates even after our return home on November 7, aligning with Microsoft’s schedule. Ideally, the major updates will be completed around the time 23H2 becomes broadly available (between November 28 and December 12).

These updates will be available in both the ebook on Leanpub and the web version of the book here on Thurrott.com. Premium members can access the web version for free.

Thank you!

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