Windows 11 saw a number of small and large updates throughout 2022, with the biggest being the recent 22H2 update. We didn’t receive anything truly monumental, but the constant stream of updates helped make Microsoft’s operating system stronger than when it debuted. As things stand, Windows 11 is finally worth upgrading to.
But what can we expect from Windows 11 in 2023? There isn't a lot of information out there, but we’ll likely see another year of incremental improvements as Microsoft continues making its OS work seamlessly both on PC and mobile devices. Even if that isn’t terribly exciting, Windows users can at least rest easy knowing they’ll likely have an overall better experience in 2023.
Here’s what we expect from Windows 11 in 2023.
No more annual updates
It seems 22H2 was the last big Windows 11 update. According to sibling site Windows Central, Microsoft is returning to a more traditional three-year release cycle for major versions of Windows, with frequent smaller updates to existing packages between major releases.
Internally, Microsoft calls these updates “Moments.” Moment 1 launched a month after 22H2 and introduced features such as tabbed File Explorer, taskbar overflow, Android apps support, Amazon App Store, iCloud photos in the Photos app, and more.
As for the frequency of Moments, Microsoft will reportedly release no more than four a year. If this is true, it seems we should get one of these updates every three months — which is roughly one per season.
Given how the next major Windows update won’t happen until 2024, it’s not unreasonable to assume this update could be Windows 12. But it’s still early to discuss that.
What new features will we see?
So what can we expect to see in Moments updates? We don’t have anything concrete on that end, but some reports give us a hint of what to expect.
In a video from April 2022, Zac Bowden and Daniel Rubino from Windows Central discuss what they believe 23H2 would feature. Given how 23H2 (or the Sun Valley 3 update) is no longer happening as a stand-alone update, we could see its features distributed throughout the year as Moments.
Bowden believes Windows 11 will become even more touch-friendly. This part is not too surprising given how well Windows 11 works on touchscreens like those found on the Microsoft Surface Pro 9. Bowden says a dedicated tablet UI might be introduced next year.
Android apps were finally introduced to Windows 11 this year and it seems this collaboration will continue in 2023. Bowden thinks an upcoming Windows update will improve communication between Windows and Android. The current Phone Link app (formerly Your Phone) allows users to pair their phones and PC, but it appears this functionality will improve next year.
In the same video, Rubino hints that Windows 11 will be further optimized to work on foldable Windows devices. If true, devices like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold 2022 could run even better, though it remains to be seen in what capacity.
Other possible features coming to Windows 11 in 2023 include a system-wide dark mode, and an option for app folders on the desktop.
Windows 11 in 2023
We don't have too much information about Windows 11 in 2023, but the little we know is certainly intriguing.
Returning to a three-year cycle for major updates is certainly a big deal. For those who remember, this was how Windows updates were released prior to Windows 10. But receiving "Moments" every few months should still ensure the best computers and best Windows laptops remain up-to-date with the latest features. And while substantial updates may be infrequent, we're sure Windows will dole out security updates when necessary.
Getting Windows to work better on foldable devices or Windows machines with different form factors is another interesting thing to look forward to. Even though I'm not sold on foldable laptops, I can see these devices gaining more traction in 2023. If that's the case, it's good that Microsoft is already taking foldables into account.
Lastly, I'm looking forward to seeing how (or if) Microsoft can make widgets an important part of the Windows experience. Like some users, I almost never use widgets. I see how they could be useful in getting a quick snapshot of the news, weather or stock report, but it's still easier pulling up that information on my phone. Regardless, I'm eager to see widgets implemented in a more intuitive fashion next year.
For everything Windows-related, be sure to stick with Tom's Guide in 2023 for the latest news updates.