Microsoft Unveils Upcoming Windows 11 23H2 Update

Microsoft has confirmed the release of a major Windows 11 23H2 update planned for the fourth quarter of 2023

Microsoft has confirmed the release of a major Windows 11 23H2 update planned for the fourth quarter of 2023, while rumors circulate about a possible “Windows 12” release in 2024.

Although specific details about the update have not been revealed, Microsoft has several unreleased features in the beta testing phase that could be included. Notably, Windows Copilot, which utilizes GPT generative AI technology from Bing and Microsoft 365, will introduce an OS-wide personal assistant and is currently available for testing.

Another anticipated feature is the next File Explorer, which includes tabs, favorites, and a modernized interface. Gamers can look forward to native RGB lighting settings on Windows 11, eliminating the need for separate hardware-specific software. Additional features in the pipeline include built-in support for RAR and 7-zip compressed files, as well as a dark mode for Paint.

The Windows 11 23H2 upgrade will be downloaded to systems running the current version, 22H2, in advance but will remain dormant until Microsoft is ready for its release. An enablement package, known as an eKB, will serve as a master switch, activating the new features and updating the OS version number.

Microsoft has previously utilized a similar upgrade approach with Windows 10, such as the transition from version 1903 to 1909 almost four years ago. This method ensures that both the outgoing and incoming versions have matching code bases, reducing concerns for IT departments and individuals regarding potential disruptions after the upgrade.

IT departments can continue with business as usual by deploying the current Windows 11 22H2 version and implementing monthly updates. Later this year, system administrators can seamlessly switch to 23H2 using Windows Server, Update for Business, or Autopatch, providing a smooth transition.

In addition to the 23H2 release, Microsoft has announced a new Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) version of Windows 11, set to arrive in the second half of 2024. The LTSC versions are suitable for specialized use cases, allowing computers running critical systems like HVAC to receive security patches without the burden of new feature additions.

According to reports, Microsoft has returned to a three-year operating system release schedule after considering Windows 10 as a service and the final version of the OS. This implies that a new Windows version will be introduced in 2024, making the upcoming Windows 11 feature update potentially the last significant one.

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