Microsoft is preparing several major feature updates for Windows 11 and the first update could be released as early as February-March. This has been confirmed through multiple Microsoft sources, including the always reliable WalkingCat (a Twitter handle that monitors all things Microsoft).
WalkingCat sources revealed that the next Moment update will be released in February or March and that the “Continuous Innovations” update is scheduled for May 2023. “Continous Innovations” could be another name for “Moments” updates, which are minor updates with a limited set of improvements.
So what can you expect in the first Moment update of the year? According to the preview build changelog, Microsoft is working on a tablet-optimized taskbar. For those who don’t know, the tablet mode-optimized taskbar has been in development for a while, starting with Windows 11 21H2 internal builds.
The feature was later retired and returned to the drawing board after users reported problems with the system tray. Microsoft is bringing this feature back next year with two different modes: collapsed and expanded.
As the name suggests, collapsed mode hides the taskbar, giving you more screen real estate.
This is especially useful for people with a small screen. On the other hand, extended mode brings back the full taskbar with options for widgets and the Start menu. To switch between the two modes, you can swipe up and down at the bottom of the screen.
It’s also worth noting that Windows 11 can automatically detect 2-in-1 laptops and switch to the optimized taskbar when you remove the keyboard.
Microsoft is still working on the tablet-optimized taskbar, including a new and modern notification area with touch-friendly buttons. The drag-and-drop feature for system tray icons is now enabled. This was disabled in the early internal builds of Windows 11 22H2, drawing criticism from users.
Other changes include a new search function in the Task Manager and improvements to the taskbar, such as the ability to enable seconds on the clock. Similarly, Microsoft is also bringing a full screen widgets panel, which was teased last year.
Three major updates planned for 2023
According to sources familiar with the development, Microsoft is preparing as many as three updates for Windows 11. The first update will be released in February or March, the second update is scheduled for May, and the last major update is expected in the fall. to Windows 11 22H2.
To begin with, let’s not forget that this is based on rumors and that Windows 11 23H2 is also on the way, but it will not be a new version of the operating system. Instead, 23H2 will be based on 22H2 and may be delivered via an activation pack-like update.
Microsoft plans to deliver several minor feature updates to Windows 11 outside of major feature updates.