Windows 11 2022 Update is out

Microsoft announced just a moment ago that the first feature update for Windows 11, the Windows 11 2022 Update, is rolling out to users from all over the world.

Panos Panay, EVP, Chief Product Officer, Windows + Devices, highlights some of the new features of the feature update on the official blog. The long buzz-word filled blog post is difficult to read, but here is a quick summary in case you are wondering what is new and improved in the Windows 11 2022 Update.

Improvements to the Windows 11 Start Menu, “faster and more accurate search”, Quick Settings improvements, and improved Widgets are mentioned specifically. Tabs are coming to File Explorer, but the roll out starts in October with the first Moments update for the operating system.

Additionally, there is system-wide support for live captions (US-EN only), a voice access preview (also US-EN only), and natural voices for Narrator (you guessed it, also US-EN only).

Smart App control gets a mention by Panay, but it is a feature that most Windows 11 users won’t be able to experience as it is limited to off-the-shelf devices and Windows 11 devices that are reset.

Microsoft 365 customers will gain access to identify theft monitoring, if they live in the United States, and all subscribers will gain access to Microsoft Defender for individuals, which “extends Windows’ built-in security and expands device protection to your Android and iOS phones and Macs”.

Additional features include improvements to the Snap Layouts feature, Focus improvements,  and performance and battery optimizations.

Other features that Microsoft highlights are Windows Studio Effects, designed to “improve video and audio calls”, new “creator tools” and “additional gaming features and updates to the Microsoft Store experience”. Windows Studio Effects is designed to improve the sound and visual quality during conference calls.

New Windows Studio camera and audio effects help you look and sound your best on conference calls, enabled by advanced AI – with Voice Focus to filter out background noise and make sure you are heard, Background Blur so only you are seen, Eye Contact to help you make a better connection with people you’re talking to and Automatic Framing so the camera stays with you as you move.

Microsoft mentions Clipchamp, the video editor specifically as one of the new creator tools. Gamers may benefit from the new Variable Refresh Rate feature, which is now system-wide, and improved windowed gaming.

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Panay confirms Microsoft’s plan to deliver features more frequently using built-in updating capabilities. The first feature drop is scheduled for October, and it will bring tabs to File Explorer and the following confirmed features:

  • An updated Photos app “that brings a gorgeous gallery, simplifying browsing, finding, management and consumption of your collection of photos”. It will also support backups to OneDrive according to Microsoft.
  • Suggested Actions on copy to make calls or add events to calendars.
  • Taskbar overflow to display all app icons for which there is no place on the taskbar.
  • Share to more devices.

Verdict

The first feature update for Windows 11 brings improvements across the board; most users will like the majority of these improvements. While these won’t convince pre-Windows 11 users to upgrade in huge numbers, it is not making things worse either.

Now You: what is your take on the Windows 11 2022 Update?

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