As Microsoft readies its AI-powered Windows Copilot for a public preview in June, the company is also disclosing even more new features that may arrive on your PC in the next few weeks. including tweakable Widgets, new VPN badging, and more.
Microsoft made the announcement at Build, its developer conference. We can expect to see Microsoft talk more about Windows over the next few days, but the company has already announced several updates: the AI-powered Windows Copilot, tweaks to Edge, and its first business browser, Edge for Business, as well as an improved setup process for new PCs.
Microsoft will begin pushing these new features to your PC over the next few weeks, especially if you’ve already opted in to frequent updates on your PC. (Go to the Windows 11 Settings menu, then Windows Update, and toggle “Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available” to “On.”) Otherwise, they’ll debut as part of the “June 2023 optional non-security preview release of all editions of Windows 11, version 22H2,” according to Microsoft, which will be pushed to your PC automatically in June.
Microsoft earlier released some of these new features within a beta release of Windows 11, part of the next “moment” release Microsoft detailed earlier in May. That preview release detailed several features that will be coming to Windows PCs, including a Content-Aware Brightness control, new Widgets picker, and more. Microsoft said today that even more new features will be rolling out over the next few weeks as well.
Most of the additional features may seem relatively minor, for consumers. Remember, the major update to Windows will be Windows Copilot, the AI-powered assistant for Windows. It will preview in June.
Widgets: Perhaps the most significant addition to Windows is a tweak to Widgets, which will allow a dedicated space for user-pinned apps. To date, Microsoft has largely dictated the layout and content of Widgets, and Microsoft will now allow users greater control. The default view will now feature a larger layout with dedicated space for user-pinned apps.
Bluetooth: Windows will now support Bluetooth Low Energy Audio, a first for PCs. The low-power audio standard is supported by earbuds like the Galaxy Buds2 Pro, and that’s coming to the PC.
Microsoft account badging: One of the “improvements” you may not want is account badging, which is another name for the notifications that you’ll see in the Start menu when your account needs attention.
Privacy: Microsoft is allowing you to turn off presence sensors, if your PC supports them, when you leave your PC. If you use a VPN, you’ll see badging on your taskbar that will indicate that.
Win32 isolation: Intel has already proposed an X86S architecture, which essentially eliminates the legacy 32-bit code environment in favor of dedicated 64-bit code. A 32-bit app would be run in emulation. Microsoft is backing that transition by allowing Win32 apps to run in isolation, preventing them from having unauthorized access to Windows processes.