Microsoft mentioned final 12 months that along with the large replace to Windows every fall, it needs to ship “continuous innovation” and produce new options to Windows as a part of common month-to-month updates. The Windows 11 replace for March 2023 contains long-awaited options, in addition to apparent integrations and small enhancements.
Do extra from Windows 11’s taskbar
AI-powered Bing in Windows 11
The subsequent replace to Windows 11 22H2 places a search field again on the taskbar. It additionally gives the brand new Bing search and chat that makes use of AI to reply your questions and summarize search outcomes proper into Windows 11 (Figure A).
Image: Microsoft. If you have already got entry, Windows 11 places the brand new Bing AI within the Windows taskbar so you may search or chat with it.
There are at the moment over 1,000,000 customers with entry to the brand new AI-powered Bing, based on Michael Schecter, vp of progress for Bing, with extra being permitted daily. Microsoft is promising that “hundreds of millions of Windows 11 users can get access” quickly, suggesting that Microsoft will likely be increasing the variety of customers fairly considerably to go along with the Windows 11 integration. For now, solely the customers who have already got entry to the brand new Bing will see this working in Windows 11.
“Initially, this will be far short of the entire Windows user base, but we aspire to that level of availability over time,” Microsoft instructed TechRepublic.
More new choices in Windows 11 taskbar
With the March replace, the Windows 11 taskbar will get much more new choices, together with disappearing on gadgets with a removable keyboard as quickly as you flip them right into a pill and letting customers rearrange the order of icons within the notification space (Figure B).
If you have got a tool with an NPU to speed up AI-powered options, you need to use Studio Effects in Windows 11 to have your webcam zoom in to point out your face, blur the background and edit dwell video so it seems to be such as you’re trying straight at individuals (Figure C). There aren’t any new results, however now these choices will likely be in the identical fast settings panel that already lumps collectively your sound, community and energy settings.
If you do change these settings, they’ll apply to calls you make from the desktop Chat button, which nonetheless solely brings up the private model of Teams.
This now opens a window the place you may preview your video earlier than beginning a name or assembly, or it could actually copy a hyperlink to a brand new chat which you could share in a message. There’s additionally a listing of latest conversations, and you may seek for individuals you’ve been speaking to (Figure D).
New display screen sharing and accessibility options in Windows 11
Windows Quick Assist app
When you’re principally offering tech help to coworkers and associates, the Windows Quick Assist app is likely to be a better option.
There’s a brand new model within the Microsoft Store that now allows you to change between sharing your display screen and giving somebody entry to your display screen without having to cease and begin the session. The Windows app additionally will get a digital laser pointer just like the one in PowerPoint so as a substitute of clicking the buttons for them, you may simply present individuals the place they should click on to do one thing with out supplying you with management of their PC (Figure E).
Screen recorder within the Snipping Tool
If you’re sending a bug report or coaching a colleague, having the ability to share a video of what you’re doing on display screen could be a huge assist. You may already make a display screen recording from the Game Bar, however that’s not one thing enterprises will essentially be snug with — now there’s a display screen recorder within the Snipping Tool (Figure F).
Tabs in Notepad
Microsoft instructed TechRepublic that enterprises have been eager to see the brand new possibility of getting tabs in Notepad. This was initially promised for an replace final 12 months, although it’s now a part of the March 2023 Windows 11 replace (Figure G).
Windows 365 app is out of preview
Enterprises will respect nearer integration with Microsoft 365 on the Start menu. If you have got Windows 11 Pro on an Azure AD-joined machine and Microsoft 365, you’ll get the identical options for advisable information that colleagues have shared with you or been engaged on just lately that you simply see within the Office app and site.
The Windows 365 app for utilizing cloud PCs out of your taskbar has been in preview within the Microsoft Store, and now it has reached common availability (Figure H).
Voice entry function for controlling a PC is out of preview
The identical is true for the voice entry function for controlling a PC by speaking to it: Voice instructions work in each apps like Word and File Explorer (Figure I).
Energy suggestions in Windows 11
Possibly much less related for organizations who already handle these settings however welcome for anybody needing to maintain their electrical energy invoice low: Windows 11 will now recommend the way to have your PC use much less energy (Figure J).
Link extra telephones to work with Windows 11
Some iPhone customers can use Phone Link to pair Windows PC and that iPhone
iPhone customers who’re within the Windows Insider channels will have the ability to begin making an attempt out Phone Link for iOS, though it’s solely accessible to a small variety of individuals initially (Figure Ok).
iCloud on Windows 11 already syncs with the Windows 11 Photos app with out you having to add photographs via File Explorer, however in the event you wished to get textual content messages, cellphone calls and notifications from iOS in your PC the identical method you may with Android telephones, you needed to set up Intel’s Unison app, which can not work on all PCs.
Phone Link pairs your iPhone and PC over Bluetooth utilizing a QR code, and at the least to start out with, it has fewer options than in the event you have been utilizing an Android machine or Unison — solely calls, messages and contacts will present up in your PC display screen, not notifications, and also you won’t be able to make use of cellphone apps out of your PC. You can also’t reply to group messages or ship media in messages.
Phone Link for iOS is constructed utilizing the usual Bluetooth profiles and options like AppClips for onboarding to which all iOS builders have entry. It will not be one thing Microsoft and Apple are constructing collectively.
“Like other iPhone continuity solutions, there are limits to what we can deliver through these Bluetooth profiles, and we’re excited to continue adding more functionality as we get user feedback and more capabilities become available,” Microsoft mentioned.
There’s now a widget for Phone Link so you may put it in Start, together with Xbox GameMove and third-party widgets for apps like Spotify and Facebook Messenger, or customized widgets in your personal group. You nonetheless can’t flip off the News widget in the event you simply don’t need to see the headlines (Figure L).
Turn your Samsung Android machine right into a hotspot from Windows
Microsoft additionally mentioned it’s “making the connection even stronger between an Android device and a Windows PC,” however that’s actually only for Samsung customers.
You can flip a Samsung cellphone into a private hotspot from Windows, fairly than needing to tug out your cellphone and alter the settings there, and see internet pages you’ve just lately opened on a Samsung cellphone inside Phone Link fairly than needing to look them up underneath Tabs from different gadgets from the historical past inside Edge.
Enterprises can management some new Windows 11 options
As promised, any of those new options that Microsoft thinks is likely to be “disruptive to organizations” as a result of they add new experiences and apps or take away current capabilities will likely be off by default for enterprise and training prospects who use Windows Update for Business or WSUS.
This might be prevented by turning on a brand new coverage setting: “Enable features introduced via servicing that are off by default” in Group Policy; or AllowTemporaryEnterpriseFeatureControl in Configuration Service Provider Policy.
In specific, Microsoft instructed TechRepublic that customers who log in with Azure AD or Active Directory accounts won’t see the brand new Bing expertise.
“We know many of our customers are excited about Bing, and the new search experience we announced in Windows,” Microsoft mentioned.” We are exploring how we are able to deliver the identical improvements to our industrial prospects, whereas offering the correct controls and ample time to allow them to deploy these experiences in a method that works for his or her group.”
If you need to management whether or not customers see the search field that they will kind into on the taskbar fairly than only a search icon, you may set the ConfigureSearchOnTaskbarMode to icon or search field.
For the opposite options just like the collapsing taskbar on contact gadgets, which is off by default, you may flip that short-term management coverage on and off. Turning it off will take away the brand new options once more while you reboot, so you need to use it to take a look at new choices shortly. Once you’ve assessed the options, you may activate those you need to give employees entry to utilizing your normal instruments and the 2303 construct quantity.
When will these new Windows 11 options be accessible?
If you need to attempt these new Windows 11 options now, they’re included in at this time’s replace preview, so you may go to Windows Update now and select Check For Updates. Other Windows 11 customers ought to get the options as a part of the March 2023 month-to-month safety updates on Patch Tuesday, which will likely be on March 14.
As normal, the Windows crew will use the outcomes of those early installations to verify how properly the options are engaged on a wider vary of PCs, so if issues begin displaying up, the complete availability could also be delayed.
“We anticipate full availability for all devices on Windows 11, version 22H2 (all editions) in the March 2023 monthly security update release,” Microsoft mentioned.
Some of the Windows 11 enhancements are in apps that come from the Windows Store. In order to get these enhancements, you simply should replace the apps.
Read subsequent: Eight Windows 11 options at the moment in growth (TechRepublic)