by Daniel Dunne
Microsoft began to roll out the latest update to Windows 11 on Halloween just gone and while I have not had a chance to road-test each new feature yet, it is worth mentioning the accessibility improvements and some of the changes you can expect from this latest update.
Windows 11 23H2 is now available to download and install from Windows Update, however, it is not coming to Windows 10 as Microsoft has recently announced that Windows 10 users will not be getting any new feature updates – they will still get security updates until October 14th, 2025.
It is also worth noting that Windows 10 users can no longer avail of the free upgrade to Windows 11 offered over the last couple of years. Microsoft did offer Windows 10 users who had good-performing laptops and PCs the option to upgrade, but this offer is now withdrawn.
So, with all of that in mind, folks who are currently using Windows 11 can expect a few nice features once the update has been installed – the following is a non-exhaustive list of features and improvements that may be of interest to some users.
- Voice Access: Improvements have been rolled out to Voice Access. You can now use Voice Access from the log-in screen, and it has its own ‘App’ in the start menu.
- Improved Narrator Voices: While there have been new English Language voices added in recent updates, Microsoft has added natural-sounding voices for other languages too. So, if you use Narrator and consume or create content in another language from time to time (college students studying other languages), this will be a nice feature.
- Text Extraction: One of the favourite tools in Windows Power Toys has now been officially integrated into Windows. This powerful tool allows you to extract text while using the Windows Snip and Sketch utility. (Control, Windows, and S launches the utility for both Windows 10 and Windows 11 users). Once text extraction has completed you can paste the text into your Word Processor, email body, or wherever you have a text cursor.
- Co-pilot: This new ‘AI’ feature has landed in Windows 11 and promises to help you get things done more quickly. Microsoft boasts that it can for example, help you compose an email, turn on dark mode, help you connect Bluetooth headphones, take a screenshot, summarise a web page, etc. Sounds like a 21st-century version of the old Microsoft Office paper clip assistant called ‘Clippy’ from Office 97!!!
- Windows Backup: Tied to your OneDrive account, Windows Backup is a revamped backup tool that will copy over files and settings from your old laptop or PC if you decide to change your device. Beware though, if your files and settings are more than 5GB, you will need an Office 365 subscription which expands storage to 1000GB.
So that’s some of the features that stand out from this latest release of Windows 11. There are numerous others too which are available to review in detail on Microsoft’s website. Simply search for “Windows 11 23h2 what’s new” on your favourite search engine.