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Windows 11 to get Feature, Web, and Online Service Experience Packs

Windows 11 Cumulative Updates written against a blue background and a Windows 11 laptop

Windows 11 will receive just one Cumulative Feature Update per year, during its active service life. However, Microsoft has indicated that there will be other ways and channels through which it will deliver new features to the operating system.

Apart from the annual feature updates, Microsoft plans to roll out new and experimental features to Windows 11, according to a blog post from the company. One particular sentence stands out, reported Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet:

"We will deliver updates to features and experiences in builds from the Dev and Beta Channels by releasing Feature, Web, and Online Service Experience Packs on top of these builds too."

Microsoft has regularly hinted that Windows 11 users would likely get other OS updates in addition to this feature update. However, it refrained from offering any specific details. It did, however, indicate that new features could arrive, either as full OS updates (feature releases) or Cumulative Updates (servicing releases).

It appears Microsoft will adopt three additional channels to deliver new features to Windows 11. They are as mentioned below:

Feature Experience Packs: This medium delivers new feature improvements to customers, but it is in addition to major Windows feature updates.

Online Service Experience Packs: According to Microsoft, “The difference between Windows Feature Experience Pack and Online Service Experience Packs is that the former can deliver broad improvements across multiple areas of Windows, whereas the Online Service Experience Packs are focused on delivering improvements for a specific experience such as the new Your Microsoft account settings page.”

Web Experience Packs: These should be available through the Microsoft Store. The Windows Feature Experience Pack and Online Service Experience Pack will be available through Windows Update. There's no clear indication about the contents, but it is likely that such packs could update or maintain web apps such as PWA, UWP, Android, etc.

In addition, Microsoft stated in its blog post that the Insider channels will remain the same as Dev, Beta, and Release Preview Channels with the Dev channel slated to become more of a means to test features that may never make it to general release builds.

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