Microsoft is committed to updating Windows 11 once a year and also all the time

Increase / Windows 11 computer.

When we reviewed Windows 11 last fall, one of our biggest concerns was that we would have to wait until Fall 2022 to see changes or improvements to its new – and sometimes raw – UI:

Later in this review, we’ll identify a large list of early Windows 11 problems. We can probably expect bugs to be fixed quickly. But when it comes to major changes – such as restoring lost functionality to the systray and system tray, or continuing to modernize parts of the UI that haven’t been touched yet – will we have to wait a year for that?

Any project that changes as much as Windows 11 will benefit from a few small, quick updates and fixes to fix the most common complaints and problems. Hopefully, Microsoft will have room for these types of changes without having to wait until now next year to implement them.

Almost a year later, it became clear that Microsoft is not holding back changes and new applications for the annual update of the operating system’s features. One noteworthy batch of supplements was published in February, along with a commitment to “continuous innovation”. Other, smaller updates before and since then (not to mention the constantly updated Microsoft Edge browser) also highlighted Microsoft’s commitment to bringing new Windows features out as soon as they’re ready.

There has been speculation that Microsoft may be planning another major change to the Windows update model, moving away from annual updates that would be replaced by quarterly feature drops, purportedly internally called “Moments.” They will be punctuated by major updates to the Windows version approximately every three years. As part of the PR around the Windows 11 2022 (aka Windows 11 22H2) update, the company made it clear that none of this is happening.

“Windows 11 will continue to have an annual feature update cadence, released in the second half of the calendar year, marking the beginning of the support lifecycle,” Microsoft vice president John Cable writes, “with 24 months of Home and Pro support and 36 months of Enterprise support. and Education. “These updates will come with their own new features and changes, as will update 2022, but you must also install the latest annual update to continue to receive additional feature updates via Windows Update and the Microsoft Store.

Regarding the rumors about Windows 12, Microsoft simply told Ars that “there is no plan to release today.” This position leaves the company a lot of room to change plans tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. But we can safely say that the new numbered version of Windows will not be coming in the near future.

For minor changes that are not delivered as part of the Annual Feature Update or via the Microsoft Store Update, Microsoft will use something called Controlled Feature Rollout (CFR) to test the features on a subset of Windows users, rather than delivering them to everyone once.

If you check Windows Update regularly (and of course you do, right?), You may occasionally see optional monthly preview updates not being installed unless you run them manually; new features will first be made available to those who install these optional updates. The next month, when this update is no longer “preview” and becomes generally available, it will be sent to all Windows 11 computers (except for errors that were detected during the preview phase). The optional October update preview will add tabs to Windows File Explorer, for example, and the optional November update will make this feature available to anyone who has not installed the preview.

There is also a small change coming for Microsoft’s corporate and education customers, a risk-averse audience who cares more about keeping their systems patched and operational than minor tweaks to the Start menu and taskbar. By default, new features in the Annual Update will be disabled in Enterprise and Education editions of Windows. Administrators can manually enable these changes through Group Policy or mobile device management software if they wish. Otherwise, the features will not be enabled by default until next an annual Windows update is delivered. So the features included in Windows 11 22H2 will not be enabled by default on Education or Enterprise editions of Windows until the hypothetical 23H2 update; features in update 23H2 will be enabled by default in hypothetical update 24H2; and so on.

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