Microsoft is gearing up to introduce the Windows 11 23H2 update, designed to enhance user experience, streamline workflows, and introduce innovative functionalities. This article takes a closer look at the key features of Windows 11 23H2, including Windows Copilot, a modernized File Explorer, dynamic lighting, Windows Ink enhancements, an enhanced volume mixer, a revamped Windows Spotlight experience, and efforts towards a passwordless future.

Windows Copilot: AI Assistance Redefined

The standout feature of Windows 11 23H2 is Windows Copilot, a pioneering AI assistant integrated directly into the PC platform. This feature combines Bing Chat and additional plugins to provide assistance through the Copilot sidebar, revolutionizing PC use. Activating Windows Copilot is effortless, accessible from the taskbar across all windows, programs, and apps. This AI assistant streamlines operations, interacts with applications, personalizes settings, and executes actions seamlessly.

Windows Copilot enhances various functions, from Snap Assist to copy/paste and personalization. It offers a utility layer, capable of rewriting, summarizing, and explaining copied content. Integrated with Bing Chat, it handles a wide range of inquiries, from simple tasks like checking time to complex ones like planning trips.

However, initial impressions reveal that the AI integration in Windows Copilot falls short of native integration, resembling a web wrapper more than an inherent part of the OS. Copilot sometimes misunderstands user intent, and its performance can be sluggish due to internet reliance.

Modernized File Explorer and Dynamic Lighting

Windows 11 23H2 brings a modernized File Explorer powered by Windows App SDK and WinUI. It showcases recommended files for Azure Active Directory users through a carousel presentation. Quick Access, Favorites, and Recent sections receive a refreshed look. The address bar distinguishes between local and cloud folders and shows sync status for OneDrive users. A revamped details pane displays file information, allowing collaboration without opening files.

Dynamic Lighting introduces native control of lighting devices, enhancing the RGB ecosystem’s interoperability. This feature offers APIs for app control and a custom settings page, partnering with major device manufacturers.

Windows Ink Enhancements, Volume Mixer, and Spotlight

Enhancements to Windows Ink allow inking directly onto edit fields, improving recognition technology and introducing a scratch-out gesture. While presently limited to English (U.S.), language support expansion is anticipated. The enhanced volume mixer in Quick Settings permits per-app audio customization and device swapping, accessible through a keyboard shortcut. The Windows Spotlight experience offers greater immersion through preview images and full-screen views.

Towards a Passwordless Future

Microsoft aims to eliminate passwords with improved passkey experiences, enabling passkey creation and sign-in via Windows Hello. Users gain control over saved passkeys, enhancing security.

Narrator Natural Voices and Local File Sharing

Narrator introduces fresh natural voices in various languages, enhancing the reading and writing experience. Local file sharing receives improvements, including a redesigned share window and enhanced nearby sharing.

Windows 11 23H2: Changes and Enhancements

The update introduces alerts for camera streaming issues, improved notifications, taskbar enhancements, Unicode Emoji 15, improved lists design, accessibility flyout, energy-saving recommendations, and more.

Anticipated Arrival in Fall

Microsoft confirms the release of Windows 11 23H2 in Q4 2024 as a compact enablement package, facilitating quick installation for users already on version 22H2.