Microsoft is presently in the process of developing the upcoming significant journey of Windows which is known internally as Hudson Valley. This version, anticipated for release later this year, is colloquially referred to as “Version 24H2” or the Windows 11 2024 Update. Diverging from its predecessor, version 23H2 from the previous year, 24H2 promises to be a substantial OS upgrade built on a fresh iteration of the Windows platform. This update will significantly enhance performance and security while introducing notable features for Windows 11.
A key emphasis of version 24H2 lies in harnessing next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, a focal point that Microsoft has consistently highlighted in the past year. Microsoft will come up with an enhanced Copilot to leverage AI and machine learning to elevate the Windows user experience.
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Windows 11 24H2 key features, changes, improvements
There is a buzz in the tech world about the upcoming major update from Microsoft that it will be declared as “Windows 12”, the next-generation operating system with excellent AI capability. Well, this is basically a rumor that is underway and we cannot but wait to get the confirmation from Microsoft. Read: Windows 12 vs Windows 11 24H2: What will be the 2024 Release?
Currently, Microsoft is in the process of testing features slated for the next release. However, we have got a sneak peek at some of the new features anticipated for the upcoming release of Windows version 24H2. Sources suggest that version 24H2 is on track for a September release, with development expected to wrap up in the summer. Microsoft is aiming to position this release as AI-focused and aligning with the planned launch of the next generation of AI computers set for 2024.
The upcoming 24H2 version of Windows is still in the works as it is based on a new Windows platform named Germanium. Microsoft is set to release Germanium in April, and once that is complete, they will kick off the final stages of developing the 24H2 version which will build upon Germanium.
This time around, the Windows update process will use the “OS replacement” method. In simpler terms, it means replacing the entire operating system with a newer version. This is a departure from the approach used for version 23H2 which allowed for maintaining the existing OS installation – a viable option when the platform version does not change. As a result, version 24H2 will not reach users until the second half of this year. However, some next-gen AI PCs will start shipping with the pre-installed 24H2 as early as June or a bit later. For existing Windows 11 users, the update to version 24H2 will not be generally available until September to make sure that it is fully ready for widespread use.
This upcoming release is geared towards supporting the next generation and AI-powered computers. These advanced machines, some of which are already announced, will hit markets in different parts of the world next month. They will come equipped with potent “neural processors” (NPUs) to leverage exciting and new AI features.
Microsoft has some exciting updates in the pipeline that start with a shift of the Copilot button to the far-right corner of the Windows taskbar. This move aims to make it more convenient for users, with this update in place, a quick hover over the corner will open up the Copilot interface for them.
In version 24H2, there is a new addition to the Settings app called “Copilot in Windows.” This option will allow users to toggle the display of the Copilot user interface on or off when using large-screen PCs. Besides, users can customize chat providers and third-party plugins through this setting.
There’s another buzz about the inclusion of the “Advanced version of Copilot” in the 24H2 update to leverage the power of next-generation AI computers to boost performance with apps, files, and search functionality. Among the anticipated features is a new AI-powered history/timeline interface which will enable users to effortlessly locate any word, file, image, or application that they’ve previously used on their PC, thanks to the combination of Windows Copilot and artificial intelligence.
Binding Snap Layouts
Microsoft is on a mission to make Snap Layouts even more user-friendly in version 24H2. This feature taps into machine learning to identify your frequently used apps.
Imagine this – when you hover over the maximize button in an app window, the snap layouts interface will automatically suggest your go-to apps.
For instance, if you often pair up Edge with Notepad, opening the snap layout menu in either of these apps will give you a one-click option to snap Edge and Notepad side by side. No more manual fuss, it’s all about making things snappy and convenient for you!
In the upcoming 24H2 release, File Explorer will not only support ZIP files but also can create TAR and 7zip compressed archive files. It is a neat addition to what was introduced in Release 23H2 which allowed extracting these archive files. Now, you can create them too! Plus, Microsoft has worked on enhancing File Explorer performance, especially when dealing with large ZIP files to make everything smoother and faster.
But that’s not all! PNG files are getting some attention too. You can now view and edit metadata for PNG files. This means, that in the properties dialog, you can set a star rating, tweak the description, and add keywords to your PNG files.
With this update in place, the Quick Settings interface will have a new look, it’ll be paginated which means you can smoothly scroll through all your Quick Settings instead of clicking around to find what you need. And guess what? You will still be able to arrange them just the way you like by clicking and dragging.
For those dealing with Wi-Fi networks, there is a fresh update in the Quick Settings panel in the 24H2 update. A handy refresh button has been added – give it a click, and your Wi-Fi list will get a quick update.
And if you are into using VPN on your Windows, good news! Managing your VPN in the Quick Settings panel is getting an upgrade as well which will come with a new split toggle that lets you turn it on and off with just one click.
Oh, and the Quick Settings panel is now zippier! No more waiting around as it will open up quickly even after you restart your PC.
One exciting addition to this update is the ability to use your connected phone as a webcam which is like how iPhones seamlessly integrate with Macs.
In version 24H2, a new settings page is making its debut for mobile devices which will be a handy spot where you can set up and configure the phones you’ve connected to your PC. And here’s a neat option, if you don’t plan on using the Link to Phone services, you can easily disable them from this settings page.
So, connecting your phone to your PC is about to get even more versatile and user-friendly with the September update of Windows 11!
First off, there is a brand new “Power Saver” mode that is getting introduced in this 24H2 version both for PCs with or without batteries. When activated, it will help your PC use less power by tweaking its performance. This will not only extend the life of your laptop battery but also cut down on power consumption for desktop PCs.
Keep an eye out for a power-saving icon on your taskbar which is similar to the battery indicator available on laptops, though without the battery percentage. The aim here is to make your computer more energy-efficient and contribute to a smaller carbon footprint.
Microsoft is also giving you more control over power through the Power & Battery segment of the Windows Settings app. You will be able to customize the lid and power button controls while setting your PC to go to sleep after a specific period. This is something that was previously only customizable in the desktop Control Panel app. So, get ready for a more energy-conscious and customizable power experience on your PC!
Microsoft is planning a variety of other updates targeting the 24H2 release of Windows 11. During the initial system setup, there’s a handy new “Install Drivers” button being tested on the Wi-Fi setup page. This is particularly useful for system builders aiming for a clean installation of Windows without the hassle of dealing with drivers separately.
Some built-in Windows apps are getting a makeover too under the upcoming update in 2024. You won’t have Cortana, Maps, Mail, Calendar, People, and Movies & TV installed in your computer system by default. WordPad is also on the list for removal in a future update, sooner or later.
The Windows taskbar will have a subtle animation added to the Wi-Fi icon when you are connected to a network. Right-clicking on the icon will bring up a shortcut menu for “Diagnose Network Problems,” which will allow you to swiftly troubleshoot any connection issues.
And here’s a cool feature – ‘Windows Protected Printing’ to ensure that your PC exclusively uses the modern Windows print stack which is perfect for Mopria-certified printers, without relying on third-party software.