- The Windows 11 2022 Update, Microsoft’s first significant update to Windows 11, touts accessibility, customization, and security enhancements.
- Many users have yet to update to Windows 11 because Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 until 2025.
On Tuesday, Microsoft announced the commencement of the first significant update to Windows 11, the current version of its PC operating system. Installing the free update might make PCs more accessible, convenient, secure – and possibly even greener.
Microsoft has diversified its business away from Windows over the last decade by expanding its Azure public cloud and acquiring assets such as the LinkedIn corporate social network, but Windows still accounts for 12% of the company’s income.
The improvements demonstrate that Microsoft has not given up on updating Windows, which goes back to the 1980s and is the most popular operating system for personal computers. However, the corporation only releases one significant upgrade to Windows each year, compared to two for Windows 10, the precursor of Windows 11.
“Our effort to ensure Windows evolves and adapts to you is never done,” wrote Panos Panay, Microsoft’s product chief, in a blog post about the changes.
According to data collected by privately held StatCounter, Windows 10 remains the most popular version of Windows, with approximately 72% share. Support for that operating system expires in 2025, although many organizations continue to use it for their PC fleets. However, Windows 11, which was introduced in October 2021, is gaining traction, with a 13% share in August, up from 2.6% in January.
The latest version, dubbed Windows 11 2022 Update, includes a video editing program, new Start menu customization options, and access to other Android apps.
Here are some of the most significant changes:
The start menu has changed
Apps can now be pinned to the Start menu, which now appears in the center of the screen. By dragging one app icon on top of another, you can now create a collection of apps in the Start menu. Furthermore, the density of the grid of programs in the Start menu can be adjusted. In the Start section of the Settings app, click the “More pins” icon. Alternatively, you can view further suggested files in the Start menu by clicking “More recommendations.”
A novel approach to window organization
Windows 11 includes a method for neatly organizing windows on your screen. The latest update goes much further. Instead of lingering over a window’s maximize button to see what Microsoft refers to as Snap Layout options, you’ll be able to drag a window to the top of the screen and then drop it on a zone that appears. Additional windows can then be placed in different zones. This function is now compatible with touchscreen devices.
A MAJOR update is coming to Windows 11.
Here's what you need to know: https://t.co/zqdEQZMvtG
— Jez (@JezCorden) September 20, 2022
New video editing software
Microsoft bought Clipchamp, a business that created a video-editing tool, a year ago. It is now pre-installed in Windows. The free edition allows you to rotate and cut videos, add effects, draw on stock photos and films, and make watermark-free exports.
Windows Update, the program for obtaining and installing operating-system upgrades, can schedule updates to be installed when local utilities use lower-emission energy sources. To utilize this feature, your PC must be plugged in, turned on, and connected to the internet, and information about carbon intensity in your area must be available. Microsoft also stated that it has adjusted the default power settings for the “Sleep” and “Screen off” modes, which would reduce emissions when PCs are idle.
Android app access has been expanded
Because of the introduction of the Amazon Appstore, one of the most prominent aspects of Windows 11 is its ability to run Android apps. According to Microsoft, it is now available in 31 countries and has over 20,000 Android apps. The company promises better graphic performance for Android apps.
Do not launch that app!
Smart App Control, is a feature, that can prevent you from opening an unsecured program or file. You can disable the feature, but Microsoft advises against it, and you won’t be able to re-enable it unless you reinstall Windows.
— Windows Developer (@windowsdev) September 20, 2022
Improved graphics for older games
Graphical improvements will also be visible in games that use older DirectX 10 or DirectX 11 application programming interfaces and are not in full-screen mode. Variable refresh rate might result in more new images being displayed per second for devices with higher refresh rates.
Better video calls with powerful PCs
Some new PCs include artificial-intelligence chips, and if you have one, Windows 11 will be able to reduce background noise from video conversations, have the camera follow you as you walk around on calls, and modify your video feed so that you appear to be making eye contact with others on your talks.
Improve your search
When you search for apps and settings in the taskbar’s search box, the results will appear faster and more accurately.
Close caption everything
Closed captions are increasingly being used when watching videos, and a new accessibility feature in Windows called Live Captions makes this available for audio or video in any program.
Voice Access is another accessibility feature that allows you to operate your PC by speaking. That may be a more convenient way to navigate than typing on the keyboard or clicking the mouse.
More voice options
Because some people didn’t like the sound of the voice that reads text on the screen in Windows’ Narrator accessibility feature, Microsoft is now introducing three natural-sounding voices that use artificial intelligence.
How to Install the Windows 11 2022 Update
Users of Windows 11 can install the latest update by opening the Settings app, going to Windows Update, and hitting the “Check for updates” button. Windows 10 users can use the PC Health Check program to verify if their PCs are capable of running Windows 11, and Windows Update will tell them if they are eligible to update to the Windows 11 2022 Update, also known as Windows 11, version 22H2.
Not all of the Windows features made accessible to early adopters through Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program will be immediately available. The option to see multiple folders as tabs in File Explorer, which debuted in Apple’s macOS in 2013, should be available in October.