Microsoft says its new Windows 11 update will be generally available on March 14th. However, reports also indicate that the next feature update, also known as Windows 11 23H2, is due this fall—though without major changes.
Microsoft hasn’t given its latest Windows 11 update a formal name—some have called it Windows 11 22H2 Moment 2 or the Windows 11 February 2023 Update. A Microsoft blog post now identifies it as the “March 2023 quality update” and says that it will roll out on March 14th.
While the launch date wasn’t a dark secret, Microsoft was expected to roll out the release on Patch Tuesday or the second Tuesday of the month, it’s still worth knowing when you can expect these new changes on your PC. We’ve listed the Windows 11 updates that the patch will add like shortcuts to the AI-powered Bing Chat plus updated apps like a tabbed Notepad, Phone Link for iOS, and even ways to save money on your power bill. We’ve even gone hands-on with several of the new features. (Brad Chacos lists his favorite features, too.)
What Microsoft makes clear is that this is not a so-called Windows feature update, which usually merits a larger release. “Windows 11 will continue to have an annual feature update cadence, with a new version released in the second half of the calendar year,” the post adds. “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.”
That doesn’t necessarily signal a timeframe for Windows 12, which is suspected to be coming in 2024. (Microsoft is reportedly testing Windows 12 in its new “Canary” channel.)
So far, however, the next Windows “feature” update doesn’t seem to have many actual features. Windows Latest reported that Microsoft has scrapped a major overhaul in favor of pushing that update out to be branded as Windows 12. “Microsoft is moving to Germanium for the next-gen Windows and plans to use the existing Nickel (22H2) platform for Windows 11 23H2,” the site wrote, describing the code words for the various platforms. “In other words, version 23H2 would be more about under-the-hood improvements than ground-breaking changes.”
Remember, though, that Microsoft can release new bundles of features in “Moments” like the March 14th update. Whether Microsoft will release them or hold them back for a fall update, though, is anyone’s guess.