Windows 11

What’s new and improved in Windows 11 22H2, coming soon

Windows 11 version 22H2 also known as Sun Valley 2 is slated to release later this year. Unlike the original Windows 11 version, it won’t be a massive update with drastic design changes.

Instead, Sun Valley 2 will be similar to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, so you can expect minor improvements and a few new features.

Version 22H2 will contain a number of improvements and will be offered as a full feature update instead of an enablement package.

Start menu improvements

Microsoft is testing a new feature that allows you to pin more apps or activities to the Recommendations section of the Start menu.

Additionally, you can soon force the Start Menu Recommendations tab to open files in the Office web only if your device doesn’t come with full desktop apps.

There is a possibility that Start Menu features will be released using Windows Feature Experience Packs, which is a new way to update and improve the operating system without major feature updates.

Taskbar

Microsoft is restoring the ability to drag and drop. This means that you can finally drag your files to the apps pinned to the taskbar. Or you can also drag apps to the taskbar to create shortcuts.

Task Manager

22H2 will update Task Manager with a new design based on Fluent UI and WinUI.

New hero item in Windows Task Manager

Like the current version of Task Manager, the new version can also display the same set of screens, such as processes, performance, app history, startup apps, users, details, and services. However, there are some notable changes.

As you can see in the screenshots below, the task manager will now use a new sidebar or hamburger menu to display processes and performance options. This will make Task Manager easily accessible on touch screen devices.

Task Manager

In addition, the top bar in Task Manager now shows the device brand, name, model (if available), a picture of the device, and the CPU or RAM used.

New flyout design

Microsoft updates the design for hardware indicators such as sound and brightness.

The media controls that appear on the lock screen when you play music in a supported app also get a new look.

Flyout Media

The updated table matches the design described for media controls across the operating system and Microsoft’s vision for WinUI.

Interestingly, the media controls will use a dark theme to compliment the rest of the lock screen’s visual style.

Microsoft has also indicated that the updated media controls reflect Windows 11 design principles, and more posts will be updated in future preview releases.

A new capture experience

Microsoft has updated the experience of resizing app windows in snap layouts by overlaying the relevant app icon on top of an acrylic background.

Capture some windows with snap help, resize the clipped window layout with buffer, and watch other captured windows go out of focus with their app icon.

Taskbar optimized for tablets

Microsoft is adding a new taskbar status specifically designed to improve the taskbar for tablets and make you feel more confident and comfortable when using your device as a tablet.

There are two instances of this taskbar

  • Folded state: The taskbar gives you more screen space, and prevents you from invoking the taskbar by mistake.
  • Extended Status: The taskbar has been improved to be easier to use with touch, but common options remain on screen.

Windows Update takes advantage of renewable energy

Windows Update will use data from our partners electricityMap or WattTime to perform update installations to reduce carbon emissions. Windows 11 will attempt to install updates in the background at times when there are greater amounts of clean power available.

You can still install updates right away by going to Settings > Windows Update And choose “Check for updates”.

File Explorer Improvements

File Explorer’s default home page is now called the home page. Quick access name of Pinned/Recursive folders section has been updated and Pinned files are now called Favorites for compatibility with Office and OneDrive.

Windows Spot Lite

Microsoft is trying a new Windows Spotlight on the desktop which is similar to the current Spotlight feature for the lock screen.

memory integrity

Memory integrity is designed to prevent attacks from introducing malicious code into high-security processes. This feature can be found in Windows Security under Device Security > Core Isolation and is a new feature exclusive to new devices.

How to try these changes today

If you are interested, you can download and install the preview update today as these changes are currently available in the Windows Insider Beta channel

If you are a member of the Windows Insider Program, head to the Windows Update page, click Windows Insider Program Settings, and select the Beta Channel to install the update.

2022-05-15 22:15:20

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