What to expect in Windows 11’s big ‘2H22’ feature update – PCWorld

Microsoft is finalizing the next major feature release of Windows 11, also known as Windows 11 22H2. What should you expect? A somewhat minor update, but with some features that consumers have been asking for for some time.

With news that Microsoft may be picking up the pace of how it releases features — with an eye toward Windows 12 in 2024 — it may be that the era of “feature releases” is coming to a close. No matter. We’ll still see some key features added to Windows 11 in the fall, based on the Windows 11 builds that Microsoft has begun testing.

In fact, it’s fair to say that Microsoft has finalized Windows 11 22H2, as the operating system has been released into Microsoft’s Release Preview Channel of its Windows Insider program. Here, Microsoft trials new features and builds with a small group of beta testers who opt in to trying them out before they release to the general public. When will Windows 11 22H2 “ship” to your PC? If history holds, September or October, with October perhaps more likely since some of the features listed below have some issues.

Originally, Microsoft released Windows 11 22H2 Build 22621 to the Release Preview Channel in June. (Right now, it’s at Build 22621.317.) Whatever the final version ends up as, we can be confident that Microsoft will simply fix bugs from here on out, while keeping the tally of features essentially unchanged.

While your experience will differ, installing Windows 11 22H2 Build 22621 took about five minutes on a Razer Book (late 2021) review unit, which we repurposed as one of our test machines.

New features in Windows 11 22H2

A revamped File Explorer?

In 2017, Microsoft showed off Sets, then a rethinking of Windows 10’s File Explorer that combined browser, Mail, Calendar, File Explorer and more into a single window with various browser-like tabs denoting the separate apps. That endeavor was killed before seeing the light of day. Since then Microsoft has shown off a tabbed File Explorer (and just a tabbed File Explorer) in 22H2’s Dev Channel, but that feature does not yet appear in the version of File Explorer that ships in the current Release Channel build, 22621.317.

File Explorer looks a bit warmer and friendlier, with pinned folders now populating the left-hand nav bar. If and when tabbed folders appear, you’ll see a browser-like “+” sign appear in the File Explorer’s window bar.

Mark Hachman / IDG

It sounds like Microsoft isn’t as committed to a “release date” as it used to be, however, so we still may see that feature show up before long.

Microsoft also is revamping the left-hand navigation pane in File Explorer. The emphasis here is less upon showing what Windows wants to show by default — Documents, Downloads, Music, etc. — and more what you’d like to see, in terms of frequently used and pinned folders. There’s greater emphasis on making the OneDrive cloud part of your desktop, too, including greater visibility into how much OneDrive storage you’re using. Part of that includes being …….

Source: https://www.pcworld.com/article/821337/what-to-expect-windows-11-2h22-features-update.html

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