Microsoft has announced that Windows 11 version 23H2 will be released on September 26th, during its special event. This update will be available as an enablement package and shares the same code base and servicing branch as Windows 11 version 22H2. Windows 11 version 23H2 will introduce several AI-themed additions including the new Windows Copilot, which has been rebranded as “Copilot.” It is described as a cross-device assistant that can utilize context from conversations had on your phone. Copilot will also be deeply integrated into Microsoft’s Edge browser.
In addition to these updates, the next annual update for Windows 11 will include the following new features:
1. Modernized File Explorer: File Explorer will have a redesigned address bar and search box, as well as a new Gallery feature for accessing your photo collection.
2. Windows Ink Anywhere: Users will be able to input text with Windows Ink anywhere they can type on Windows.
3. Native .rar support: Windows 11 will support more archive formats, including .rar and .tar.
4. New Outlook for Windows: The new web-based Outlook client, which has been in public preview, will replace the Windows Mail and Calendar app.
5. Dynamic Lighting: Users with devices that have RGB lights will be able to control them from the Settings app.
6. Windows Backup app: A new app will simplify the process of backing up files, apps, and settings for easy restoration on a new Windows 11 PC.
7. Taskbar updates: Microsoft is reintroducing app labels and the never combine mode to the Windows 11 taskbar.
8. AI features in Photos: The Photos app will allow users to add a background blur effect to images, as well as search for photos stored in OneDrive based on their content.
9. Snipping Tool updates: The Snipping Tool will enable users to copy text from an image and hide text to protect sensitive information.
10. Paint updates: Paint will have support for background removal and layers, along with a new AI-powered Cocreator feature in public preview.
Although Windows 11 version 23H2 is not yet available for Insiders in the Release Preview ring, its release is expected to happen soon. Microsoft seems confident about the level of polish in this update, which may explain the delayed Insider availability.