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

Zoom / Windows 11 PC.

When We reviewed Windows 11 last fallone of the Biggest Fears is that we will need to wait until fall 2022 to see changes or improvements to the new – and sometimes rough – UI:

During the remainder of this review, we’ll outline a large list of early issues in Windows 11. We can most likely expect bugs to be fixed quickly. But when it comes to bigger changes — like restoring lost functionality to the taskbar and system tray or keeping the untouched parts of the user interface refreshed — do we need to wait a year for that to happen?

Any design that transforms as much as Windows 11 has will benefit from a host of small, quick updates and tweaks to address the most common complaints and pain points. I hope Microsoft will leave room to make these kinds of changes without having to wait until this time next year to implement them.

After nearly a year, it has become quite clear that Microsoft is not blocking changes and new applications for the annual OS feature update. There were a few notable additions Released back in February Along with a commitment tocontinuous innovation. Other smaller updates Before And the Where (Not to mention the constantly updated Microsoft Edge browser) He also emphasized Microsoft’s commitment to delivering new Windows features when they’re ready.

he was there speculation That Microsoft may plan to make another major tweak to the Windows update model, moving away from annual updates that will be replaced by feature projections once a quarter, allegedly called “Moments” internally. It will punctuate larger Windows version updates every three years or so. As part of the public relations around the Windows 11 2022 update (also known as Windows 11 22H2), 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 that marks the beginning of the support lifecycle,” Writes Microsoft VP John Cable, “With 24 months of support for Home and Pro editions and 36 months of support for Enterprise and Education editions.” These updates will include new features and changes to them, As does the 2022 updatebut you’ll also need to install the latest annual update to keep getting additional feature updates via Windows Update and the Microsoft Store.

As for the Windows 12 rumors, Microsoft simply told Ars that it “has no plans to share it today”. This situation leaves the company with plenty of room to change its plans tomorrow or any day after that. But we can safely say that a new, digitized version of Windows will not happen in the near future.

For smaller changes that aren’t delivered as part of an annual feature update or via a Microsoft Store update, Microsoft will use something called feature control (CFR) to test features with a subset of Windows users rather than deliver them to everyone at all. Once.

If you check Windows Update regularly (and of course you do, right?), you may sometimes see optional monthly preview updates that aren’t installed unless you run them manually; New features will be rolled out first to people who install these optional updates. In the following month, when this update stops being a “preview” and becomes generally available, it will be sent to all Windows 11 PCs (except for stop display errors caught during the preview phase). The optional October update preview, for example, will add tabs to Windows File Explorer, and then the non-optional November update will make this feature available to anyone who hasn’t installed the preview.

There’s also a small change coming for Microsoft’s enterprise and education customers, the risk-averse masses who are more interested in keeping their systems upgraded and running than with simple Start menu and taskbar tweaks. By default, new features will be turned off in the Anniversary Update for Enterprise and Education editions of Windows. Administrators can enable these changes manually via Group Policy or mobile device management software, if they wish. But other than that, the features won’t turn on by default until a file is played next one Windows Update is shipped annually. So the features included in 22H2 of Windows 11 will not run by default in Education or Enterprise editions of Windows until the default 23H2 update; The features in the 23H2 update will be enabled by default in the 24H2 default update; and so on.