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Microsoft confirms Windows 11’s second big feature update is arriving in the fall

In addition to the release of Windows 10 in 2015, Microsoft also introduced a servicing model for the OS and stated that it would release new features twice or three times a year.

As time went on, the frequency of these enhancements increased to twice yearly. Microsoft delayed the rollout of the second major Windows 10 update in the hopes that it would improve the user experience. Windows 10’s second “feature” update didn’t add any new functionality but rather refined what was included in the first update.

Microsoft has announced yet another major shift in the frequency of service updates with Windows 11. This time around, the tech giant promised to limit itself to “one major update per year,” instead delivering new features and improvements via the incremental updates released every month. These updates have previously taken the form of the Moment 1 and Moment 2 releases.

Some speculate that Microsoft will delay the release of Windows 11 Service Pack 2 (23H2) beyond the expected fall 2023 release date. As a matter of fact, Maintaining support for version 23H2, and it’s something we’ve covered before in our reports. The technology behemoth has now issued a statement confirming this.Written up in a blog the 28th of February, 2023.

Microsoft promised more feature updates for Windows 11 in the future, with the second one coming in the summer.

“Feature update releases are tied to a support lifecycle: 24 months of support for Home and Pro editions and 36 months of support for Enterprise and Education editions,” Microsoft explained.

Windows 11 23H2 is based on version 22H2, says sources

Windows 11 23H2, due out this fall, is not a major upgrade to the operating system like 22H2. Instead, Windows 11 23H2 is built on the same platform as Windows 11 22H2, so users shouldn’t expect any major changes to the OS itself but should instead focus on the many quality enhancements that are sure to be included.

Windows Insider Program
Shifts in the Windows Insider Program’s Streaming Options | Photo: Microsoft

The “Nickel” platform update forms the basis for Windows 11 22H2. However, the Windows 11 version 23H2 release that was scrapped in favor of Windows 12 was going to be built on the Zinc platform.

Microsoft has decided to abandon Zinc in favor of Germanium for Windows 11, 23H2, while keeping the Nickel (22H2) platform in use for future releases. As a result, version 23H2 will focus more on incremental enhancements than radical alterations.

You can look forward to some cool swag, such as a upgraded File Manager Microsoft has recently hinted at.

File Explorer
The new File Explorer design has been leaked, courtesy of TheWindowsFan.com.

Microsoft may have plans to use an enablement package (a service pack-like update) to transform 22H2 into 23H2 by re-enabling features that had been disabled in previous versions of Windows.

When the rollout begins later this year, Microsoft will add features from 23H2 to 22H2, and users will be able to activate them by toggling the aforementioned switch. This also means the same cumulative updates will be applied to both Windows 11 22H2 and Windows 11 version 23H2.

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