Microsoft is set to release a major update to Windows 11 on September 26, bringing a host of exciting new features and improvements. Known as 23H2, this update coincides with the launch of two new devices from Microsoft: the Surface Laptop Go 3 and the Surface Laptop Studio 2.
One of the standout features of Windows 11 23H2 is the inclusion of the AI-powered Windows Copilot. Previously available only as part of the Edge browser, Copilot will now be integrated natively into Windows. This means that users can utilize Copilot across various applications and functions within the operating system, such as Powerpoint and Teams. With Copilot, users can compose text messages using calendar data, explore navigation options in Outlook, generate Spotify playlists, and much more. Additionally, Copilot’s generative AI capabilities allow it to shop for items based solely on a photo, remove photo backgrounds, and access the Bing Image Creator, which is soon to be based on the vastly improved Dall-E 3. Bing Chat is also now a native feature accessible from the sidebar.
Beyond AI enhancements, Windows 11 23H2 brings several quality of life improvements to the traditional operating system experience. Native support for RAR and 7-zip file formats eliminates the need for third-party archiving apps. The File Explorer has undergone a complete redesign, featuring large file thumbnails and a carousel interface. The Paint app has also received a makeover, with a new dark mode and forthcoming transparency layers. Other notable updates include a redesigned volume mixer and updated RGB lighting controls called Dynamic Lighting, which utilize the open HID LampArray standard. Leading gaming PC and accessories manufacturers, including Acer, Asus, HP, Razer, and Logitech, have pledged their support for this effort.
Existing features in Windows 11 have also received minor updates in 23H2. The passkey experience and data migration to new PCs have been optimized for smoother transitions. Voice controls have been expanded, and the photos app now offers new editing options.
Perhaps the most intriguing addition to Windows 11 23H2 is the newly announced Ink Anywhere feature. Exclusively for stylus users on touchscreen PCs or hybrid devices, Ink Anywhere allows users to draw on the screen in any text box within the operating system. The handwritten input is then converted to text and used in various innovative ways. This feature is particularly useful for instantaneously uploading handwritten notes, and it also showcases AI capabilities by automatically answering queries. Microsoft demonstrated the tool being used to solve a handwritten math problem.
In summary, the upcoming Windows 11 update, 23H2, offers a wealth of new features and improvements. From the integration of AI-powered Windows Copilot and the native support for RAR and 7-zip file formats to the redesigned File Explorer and Ink Anywhere feature, users can expect a more efficient and innovative operating system experience.