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Microsoft sheds light on the new developer features coming with Windows 11 23H2 update

A Windows 11 logo

Earlier today Microsoft officially started rolling out the Moment 4 update to Windows 11 users. The update brings a subset of features that Microsoft has planned for the Windows 11 23H2 update which is slated to roll out towards the end of the year.

In preparation for the launch of the new update, Microsoft has shed light on the new features and changes that are coming to the new update. These features are aimed at developers as Microsoft aims to improve the development experience on Windows 11.

First up, Microsoft has announced a new option that will allow developers to state their intent when setting up a new machine for the first time. Microsoft currently asks users about their use case with the “Let’s customize your experience” page. It will now include a Development option as well which will allow users to take advantage of Dev Home.

Speaking of Dev Home, the feature is a new addition to Windows 11 and will allow developers to manage all their apps and services from a single screen. Dev Home connects with services like GitHub and offers a dashboard that helps you monitor both system and dev projects. The dashboard is customizable and can connect with tools as well as services to fetch the latest data.

Microsoft is also bringing WinGet Configurations to all users with the new Windows 11 update. This was something Microsoft had announced at Build earlier this year and is now making its way to Windows 11. Microsoft has some samples available on its website and the company claims that this will reduce time for developers drastically.

Moving on to Dev Drive, a feature that was also announced earlier this year. Microsoft is finally bringing it to Windows 11 users with the new update. Dev Drive essentially allows users to set up a new storage volume that is tailor-made for developers. It is based on Resilient File System (ReFS) and offers better performance as well as security.

Microsoft is also updating the Windows Defender with new features to aid developers. The company is bringing asynchronous scanning to dev drives, which will offer better performance to developers while offering malware protection. The new options can be controlled from Windows Defender settings.

Microsoft is also bringing the following improvements to Windows 11 starting today, in line with the community feedback:

Starting today, all these improvements will become available in the stable version with the latest Windows 11 update.

You can now quickly identify and access any instance of each app housed in the taskbar with just one click. All instances of the app are ungrouped with labels on the taskbar.

You can now hide your Time and Date with a setting on the taskbar.

You can quickly and easily shut down applications with a simple right-click on the app directly from the taskbar without opening the Task Manager. This setting can be enabled within the Developer settings page to then have “End task” appear within the context menu when you right-click on the icon within taskbar.

For Developers settings page has moved from “Privacy & Security” to System. This provides a quick and easily discoverable entry point to developer settings.

You can now get improved performance of archive functionality during compression on Windows. We have added native support for additional archive formats, including tar, 7-zip, rar, gz and many others using the libarchive open-source project.

Next up on the list is File Explorer. Microsoft is bringing new features to improve the File Explorer experience as well. With the new update, ItemsView will offer "LinedFlowLayout and Island functionality provides an easy way to adopt WinUI3 look and feel in any part of your app without having to change your entire application". The company has also updated File Expolrer with WebUI3 which unlocks new features and experiences. Microsoft has also introduced multi-threading to File Explorer. The feature will greatly improve functions like copy and paste. Microsoft claims that the new experience show over "40% improvements in bulk delete operations, giving time back to developers."

Lastly, Microsoft has made updates to the Windows Terminal and Windows Subsystem for Linux. Windows Terminal is getting new features like Suggestions UI, Broadcast Input, and Web Search while Windows Subsystem for Linux will come auto-shrinking of VM drive, Hyper-V firewall protection, IPv6 support, and more. WSL features are currently in testing and you can sign up for experimental features to try them out.

Do note that many of these features will be available with the Moment 4 update starting today. However, you may have to wait for 23H2 update to get the rest of the features. We have a consolidated article on what's new with the 23H2 update if you like to get more insights into the upcoming update.

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