One of the new Windows 11 announcements is that there’s only one Feature Update per year instead of the two Windows 10 Feature Updates we’re used to. The theory that this would make it more difficult to maintain OS changes doesn’t seem to hold.
Officially, Windows 11 is transitioning to annual feature updates, but Microsoft has made it clear that the operating system will receive new features throughout the year.
There is a long tradition among more conservative Windows users than to wait for the first service pack before upgrading to the new Microsoft operating system.
The logic is that new users will initially run into issues related to early releases, while wiser users will upgrade to a more mature version of the new operating system with wrinkles. was soon resolved.
If you are one of those people and are waiting for Windows 11 22H1 before updating to Windows 11, the good/bad news is that this will no longer happen.
The first of these new features starts rolling out in February 2022, adding several new features. These include redesigned Notepad and Media Player apps, new taskbar functionality, and a public preview of native Android app support. However, the second version requires at least 8GB of RAM and an SSD – more stringent than Windows 11.
As reported by Windows Central, a number of new features are likely to launch later this year, potentially as part of update 22H2. They are supposed to look like this, with all the new functionality available for testing soon:
- Applications folder in Start
- Drag and drop on the Taskbar
- Improved Quick Settings / Notification Center
- Pinned files in File Explorer
- Acrylic title bar – that’s what the latest Windows are reporting too
- Snap Bar snapping
- UX Gestures for Start / Quick Settings with Touch
- New live subtitles feature
How to determine what new features have been added
The best way to find out what might have been added is to check the KB number of the maintenance update.
When a new update is applied, a KB reference number is assigned to that change. And that KB number is listed in Windows Update History. You will have to scan the article to see what new entries have been added.
For example, in my system on Feb 15, 2022, preview KB5010414 (OS Build 22000.527) was installed. When you click ‘learn more’, information for KB5010414 is displayed. Scan that article, you will see the following:
This non-security update includes quality improvements. The main changes include:
- New! Provides the ability to share cookies between Microsoft Edge Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge modes.
- New! Open Microsoft Office files included in the Start menu suggestions in the browser. This occurs if the device does not have the appropriate Microsoft Office license and the file is stored in Microsoft OneDrive or Microsoft SharePoint. If a license is available, the file will open in the desktop app.
- New! Add the clock and date to the taskbar of other displays when you connect the other displays to your device.
- New! Add weather content to the left side of the taskbar if the taskbar is centered. When you hover over the weather, the Widget panel will appear on the left side of the screen and will disappear when you stop hovering over that area.
- New! Add the ability to quickly share open application windows directly from your taskbar to a Microsoft Teams call.
- New! Add support for hot-add and remove non-volatile memory (NVMe) namespaces.
- New! Add the ability to instantly mute and unmute Microsoft Teams calls from your taskbar. During a call, an active microphone icon will appear on the taskbar so you can easily mute the sound without having to return to the Microsoft Teams call window.
What is clear is that if you ever thought you were beginning to understand the Windows update process, it’s time for a new understanding. Or, maybe wait a few weeks, as it will most likely change again.
George Cox is the owner of Computer Diagnostics and Repair. He can be reached at 346-4217.