Microsoft is Preparing a Bunch of New Features for Windows 11

It looks like Microsoft is preparing to release a bunch of new features for Windows 11 Insiders in the coming weeks, including bringing back some features that users missed in the original version of Windows 11, as well as some new features to modernize the operating system and streamline its appearance.

Zack Bowden of Windows Central reports that his sources close to Microsoft confirmed to him that the company is preparing to roll out a bunch of big Windows 11 features that may be shipped as a part of the first major Windows 11 update, code-named "Sun Valley 2", that will be released later this year.

In recent days, news has been circulating on Twitter that Windows 11 Insider builds have jumped from version 22XXX to 25XXX, a big jump that indicates that Microsoft has started a new phase in the development of Windows 11 and that the upcoming preview builds of Windows Insider will be from the Copper cycle, which is the code name Microsoft gave to the Windows 22H2 development semester.

In addition, a few weeks ago, Microsoft announced a massive update that Windows 11 users will receive this month, and that includes most of the features that it has developed with Insiders since the launch of the operating system last October, which may mean that Microsoft has just finished work on the features that were to be part of the original version of Windows 11 (Build 22000) but they were not ready at the time of its release and that the company will now start testing Windows features that will be part of the upcoming 22H2 update.

Features that Windows Insiders will get in the coming weeks, according to Zac Bowden, include:

  • App folders in Start.
  •  Drag and drop on Taskbar.
  •  Quick Settings / Notification Center improvements.
  •  Pinned files in File Explorer.
  •  Acrylic title bars.
  •  Snap Bar snapping UX.
  • Gestures for Start/Quick Settings using touch.
  •  New live captions feature.

One of the features that users have been asking for since the release of Windows 11 is the app folders in the Start menu, a feature that allows users to drag an app icon over another to create a folder containing these two apps. You can put more than two applications within one folder, which will make it easy for you to arrange your Start menu and customize it to suit your needs.

Windows 11 will also get an additional new way to snap app windows called "Snap Bar", which is a "bar" panel that drops down from the top of the screen when you grab a window and move it around the screen. This new feature joins the two existing methods of snapping apps on Windows 11 that can be accessed either by hovering the mouse over the window's maximize button (or pressing Win + Z) or by dragging apps to the side of the screen.

In the coming weeks, Microsoft will also add an acrylic effect to older Windows 11 apps like the Run tool (Win + R shortcut), which will make those apps look modern, waiting for Microsoft to update their user interface as it did with Notepad and Paint.

Windows Insiders with two-in-one devices will enjoy a new way to open the Start menu and quick settings panel with gestures, as Microsoft plans to add a swipe-up gesture from the bottom of the screen to open them. Swiping up from the system tray opens the Quick Settings panel, and swiping elsewhere will open the Start menu.

Lastly, the taskbar will be enhanced with functions that were not part of the original Windows 11 version such as support for dragging and dropping files into open applications, a better way to display icons of applications that exceed space in the taskbar, as well as the auto-hiding of the taskbar when using your device as a tablet.

The addition of many new features to Windows 11 Insider Builds, and the move to a new development cycle may explain the delay in giving Insiders new preview builds for two consecutive weeks, as new features sometimes mean significant system instability, which leads Microsoft to postpone sending new Windows Insider builds to users to avoid harming their devices.

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