Microsoft is working on secret new features for Windows 11 (or 12)

These are some of the new features coming to the operating system post version 23H2.

Windows 11 23H3 with Copilot
Windows 11 23H3 with Copilot

Microsoft is already working on other new features and improvements for Windows 11 (or Windows 12). Although the company is still rolling out version 23H2, the development of the operating system continues, and the latest preview builds through the Canary Channel already show various changes coming in future updates and possibly to Windows 12.

In X (formerly Twitter), Albacore (@thebookisclosed), the developer responsible for the ViveTool has discovered a new scope of features that Microsoft is working on and hasn’t publicly announced. These changes include Smart notifications, Spotlight activity, Pointer Indicator, Depth Effects, “Your device” card, and Energy Saver page.

New features expected in future updates for Windows 11 (or 12)

These are unannounced features and changes that are currently planned for future updates of the operating system.

  • Smart notifications: On Settings > System > Notifications, the “Notifications” setting is getting a new “Enable smart notification filtering during standard business hours” option. It’s unclear how the feature will work, but it could be the case that the system will be able to stop most notifications from breaking your workflow by allowing only work-related notifications. (I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft uses AI for this feature.)

    Smart notifications
    Smart notifications / Image: @thebookisclosed
  • Spotlight activity: On Settings > Privacy & security > Camara, the page includes a new “Spotlight activity” displaying suspicious peripheral and sensor usage.

    Camera Spotlight activity
    Camera Spotlight activity / Image: @thebookisclosed
  • Pointer indicator: On Settings > Accessibility > Mouse pointer and touch, the settings page will now include an option to enable “Pointer indicator,” a feature that adds a crosshair effect to better locate the mouse pointer. The company is even adding the “Windows key + Ctrl + X” keyboard shortcut. This is not an entirely new feature. The operating system has included a feature to locate the mouse for a long time, but it’s now integrated into the Settings app.

    Pointer indicator
    Pointer indicator / Image: @thebookisclosed
  • Your device card in Settings: On the homepage of the Settings app, Microsoft is working to add a new card called “Your device,” which will include basic technical hardware and software information about your device. Some of this information includes processor, memory, edition, and version of Windows 11.

    Settings Your Device card
    Settings Your Device card / Image: @thebookisclosed
  • Energy Saver: On Settings > System > Power, the “Battery Saver” setting will soon be renamed to “Energy Saver.”

    Energy Saver
    Energy Saver / Image: @thebookisclosed
  • Depth effects: On Settings > Personalization > Background, in the past, it has been discovered that Microsoft is working on a new Depth effects feature that adds a parallax effect to background images as you move the mouse around. In early builds, the feature was noted to use AI, but in the latest update of Windows 11, the Canary Channel removes the “AI” references, which could indicate that the feature will not use AI.

    Depth Effects no AI
    Depth Effects no AI / Image: @thebookisclosed

Since these features and improvements haven’t been officially announced, it’s unclear if the company plans to roll them out as soon as they are ready through monthly updates or if these are some of the changes that are expected for the next version of the operating system that may or may not carry the “Windows 12” name.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.