The first feature drop for the Windows 11 2022 Update is now available
Microsoft released the first feature drop for its Windows 11 operating system today. The company published the first feature update for Windows 11, called the Windows 11 2022 Update, late last month. It announced back then that it would introduce some new features in October, using a new delivery technology that it developed over the course of the year.
You can check out my analysis of Microsoft's new approach to introducing new features here, in case you missed it. Basically, it is separating some features from feature updates. The main idea behind this is that it is now possible to drop features and updates of certain features, without having to roll out a major feature update for the operating system.
Feature drops install much like cumulative updates for Windows, and Microsoft revealed that another one is coming at the beginning of the next year. For now, the first feature drop is bringing a set of smaller features to the Windows 11 operating system. The main feature of this first update is tabs for File Explorer, but there is also the suggested actions feature, a tweaked "open with" interface, taskbar overflow and link to Task Manager options, the Amazon App Store in more countries, a share to more devices feature, the ESPN app, and an updated Photos app.
As usual, all features may not launch in all markets, or may launch at a later time. In any event, it is necessary to install an update to get these. Microsoft released optional updates for Windows 11 today, and the new features are part of it. Windows 11 administrators who do not want to install optional updates on their devices may wait for the November 2022 security update releases, as these will include the features as well.
Here is a quick overview of all features that Microsoft included in the update (availability still varies):
- File Explorer tabs: adds tabs to File Explorer to display different directories in a single File Explorer window. The functionality is still very basic, and third-party solutions offer better functionality.
- Suggested Actions: Windows may highlight phone numbers or dates to suggest certain actions, such as calling or scheduling an appointment.
- Taskbar: the new overflow option adds all taskbar icons that are not visible on the taskbar itself to the menu. Good for small resolution devices with crowded taskbars. A right-click displays a link to the Task Manager again, which Microsoft removed in the release version of Windows 11.
- Share to more devices: Windows Share detects and displays more devices to share files with.
- Photos app. The updated Photos app makes the organization of photo collections easy, according to Microsoft. Also, there is a new Memories experience that displays pictures that were saved to OneDrive before. Also, seamless access to the iPhone "with direct connection" to the iCloud photo library.
- The Amazon Appstore, and along with it support for installing Android apps on Windows, is now available in 31 different countries.
- The ESPN application is now available across 239 markets.
The new features are released with an optional update, which essential is a beta release. Most Windows administrators may want to wait for the November 2022 cumulative update to install these new features.
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