- Microsoft shows off some significant features coming to Windows 11 23H2
- Some of these features include Window Copilot, Dynamic Lighting, and Taskbar labels.
- These features are expected to roll out with version 23H2, and some others will ship as soon as they’re ready.
Although the Windows 11 23H2 feature update won’t release until sometime in the fall, Microsoft is already confirming several of the new features expected to arrive with the new version. At the Build 2023 developer conference (via Windows Central), the company says that it is working on a handful of new features, including a new Copilot AI, Dynamic Lighting for RGB accessories, Taskbar changes like regrouping and showing labels for apps, native support to open 7-zip, RAR, and GZ files, the ability to restore apps on new devices, and more.
Perhaps one of the biggest announcements coming with version 23H2 is the new “Windows Copilot,” which is a deeper integration of Bing Chat and ChatGPT plugins to offer a native chatbot experience on Windows 11. The AI will help users with complex questions, and users can ask for rewrites, summarizations, and explain content without opening the browser.
Furthermore, the Windows Copilot can assist users in taking actions, customizing settings, and seamlessly connecting across their favorite apps. Also, through the support of plugins, developers will be able to build their apps so that they can interact with the AI capabilities.
The Copilot will be available as an interface that will slide in from the right, but you will be able to change the position to the left or right, or you can undock it and move it around as an app.
An early preview of the Windows Copilot is expected to arrive for testers sometime in June.
In the near future, you will no longer need to use third-party tools to open 7-zip, RAR, and GZ files as the company plans to integrate the libarchive open-source project into Windows 11 to bring native support to open additional archive formats.
In addition, Microsoft is also working on standardizing the experience of controlling RGB accessories with a new Dynamic Lighting feature available through the Settings app. This feature will allow you to control lighting peripherals (such as keyboards, mice, monitors, etc.) without needing to download third-party software for each brand.
As part of the Taskbar improvements, the development is already working on bringing back some legacy features, including the ability to hide the time and date from the System Tray, and soon, you will also be able to ungroup and show apps labels in the Taskbar with a new never combine option.
Even further, the context menu for apps in the Taskbar will include a new option that will allow you to terminate the application without having to open the Task Manager. (This feature is coming soon.)
The company also explains that it is working to improve the way users switch devices by enhancing the backup and restore experience for apps. (This feature is coming soon.)
In addition to these changes, Microsoft is working on a major redesign experience for File Explorer that will continue to modernize the application with the WinUI 3 framework, redesigned header with new buttons, and a new command bar that is now located at the bottom of the new address bar. The overhaul will also include a new “Gallery View” that will improve the ability to view and manage images from File Explorer.
Finally, the company is also announcing that it’s bringing AI to the Microsoft Store app, among other features. In the announcement, the company says that the Microsoft Store app will soon include a new “AI Hub” with apps that will “curate the best AI experiences built by the developer community and Microsoft.”
The store will use AI to generate and suggest search tags for apps to improve discoverability. Additionally, as part of the AI improvements, the store will “improve” the ability for customers to scan reviews by using AI to compile thousands of reviews into a simple summary.
Finally, the company plans to expand its ads experience to 150 regions in addition to the United States.
Microsoft is now rolling out the third feature drop (Moment 3) update for Windows 11, which is a minor release that introduces various fixes, improvements, and some new features, including new privacy settings, enhancements for the System Tray, badge notifications in the Start menu, new Widgets board layout, and Bluetooth Low Energy Audio support.
The update also rolls out a bunch of new features for organizations, such as isolation for Win32 applications, desktop message push, and some other security improvements.