Since the release of the version we reviewed in October, Windows 11 has changed significantly, and Microsoft has released a steady stream of redesigned app updates, bug fixes, and user interface improvements.
However, the company’s large yearly Windows updates remain critical. They are the locations where Microsoft makes the most significant changes to Windows 11’s look and feel, as well as its under-the-hood features. Rumors circulated this week that Microsoft is nearing completion of Windows 11 version 22H2, the operating system’s first yearly update. That build, build number 22621.1, is currently available in the Windows Insider Beta channel and will serve as the foundation for the next year of Windows updates.
We cover new Windows Insider builds on a regular basis, depending on how significant the changes are. To save you the trouble of scrolling through months of articles, we’ve compiled a list of the most notable differences between the current public build of Windows 11 21H2 (for the record, 22000.675) and the most recent beta of version 22H2.
Microsoft’s approach to Windows updates has shifted in the last year. Instead of waiting for a major yearly OS update like it used to, Microsoft now releases many app updates and UI tweaks when they’re ready. Because of the more flexible schedule, Microsoft has already been able to address some of Windows 11’s early flaws, such as missing taskbar features and apps that have yet to be updated.
This also implies that this overview will not include all of the Windows features that will be included in the 22H2 update when it is released. Apps like the new Sound Recorder, which is currently in preview in the Dev channel, are likely to be released to the public before the 22H2 update is formally released. Still-in-development features such as the tabbed File Explorer could be completed in due course. These and other changes could be included in the 22H2 update, released before it is released, or never released at all.
As a result, this overview is only a snapshot of Windows 11 22H2 as it currently exists. When it’s available to the public, we’ll take another look, noting any other new features we notice and devoting more time to minor changes that we won’t cover in this roundup.