In the middle of the month on September 15, Microsoft released a Windows 11 22H2 Insider Build, 22621.2359, on the Release Preview channel under KB5030310. Sharp-eyed Neowin readers mzta cody and bikeman25 noticed that the PSF file size for the update had increased by 190MB which indicated newly added code. The new code was the result of 23H2 (Moment 4) features being enabled.
X (Twitter) user and a Windows enthusiast PhantomOcean3 noticed some of these unannounced features and these included:
- Settings Home page
- New Phone Link toggle in Bluetooth & devices
- Support for reading additional archive formats (7z, RAR, TAR, and more)
- New Windows Backup app
- More uninstallable inbox apps (Camera, Cortana, People, Photos)
You can read about these features in detail in our dedicated feature article.
At the Surface 2023 event yesterday, Microsoft, alongside all the new Surface devices, slightly surprised everyone when it announced that more of such supposedly Moment 4 update features would be available on September 26th, which is less than a week from now. Much of the press and media, including Neowin, assumed that the company had chosen this date to release its 23H2 feature update as the tech giant had already declared Q4 availability.
However, it was soon clear this was not the case as Microsoft, in a blog post, clearly mentioned that these features would be delivered as part of 22H2 itself. Most of the announced features centred around the addition of AI-based apps and AI-related capabilities to existing apps. You can read about them in detail in the linked articles:
- Copilot in Windows (in preview)
- Paint with Cocreator (in preview) alongside other features like background removal
- Photos with AI background blur and more
- Snipping Tool updates
- Clipchamp with auto-compose and more
- Notepad with automatic session saving
- New Outlook for Windows
- Modernized File Explorer
- Voice access improvements
- Windows Backup app
Additionally, in a separate blog post, Microsoft also announced security-related improvements which include going passwordless with Passkeys, and more. Microsoft says (PDF):
We are improving the passkey experience for Windows users, who will be able to go to any app or website that supports passkeys to create one and then use the Windows Hello native experience (face, fingerprint, PIN) to sign in.
Microsoft 365 Boot and Microsoft 365 Switch are also reaching general availability (GA) status on the same day.