Microsoft announced that Windows 11 would get some notable updates this month, and today those updates are available for most Windows 11 PCs to install. The full list includes a sample of Windows 11’s virtualized Android apps, new versions of Notepad and Media Player (the latter replacing Microsoft Groove), and a handful of taskbar updates that add new features and fix a few old ones.
To get the taskbar improvements, you have to go to Windows Update and manually install the 2022-02 Update Preview; otherwise you will receive it automatically in the coming weeks. The app updates for Media Player and Notepad are downloaded from the Microsoft Store without any extra effort, unless you have manually disabled the app updates from the Microsoft Store. And running Android apps in Windows 11 requires slightly higher system requirements than Windows 11 itself, including an 8th-gen or newer Intel Core i3 processor or a 3000-series or newer AMD Ryzen CPU, an SSD instead of a hard drive. , 8 GB or more of memory and virtualization support enabled in your PC’s firmware.
If you already knew these updates were coming, the most interesting part comes at the end of Microsoft’s blog post, where the company says it plans to keep bringing new features to Windows 11 through a “variety of update mechanisms.” “. The promised “continuous innovation” fits into the company’s plans to make its Windows 11 preview builds more experimental by 2022. It also signals an ongoing shift to a more web browser-y model of small, but frequent feature updates. rather than holding back major changes for maintenance updates that run once a year, as Microsoft generally did during the Windows 10 era.
That’s not to say Windows 10 never made UI tweaks between maintenance updates, mostly because apps like Edge were updated independently of the rest of the OS, but major changes to UI and features usually still awaited the then twice-yearly updates. The downside, especially in the beginning, was that those updates could be bugs and disruptive. Maintenance updates are probably still where Microsoft adds big new features and does more extensive work to update the underpinnings of Windows. But the company clearly sees no need to associate smaller quality-of-life improvements with new Windows versions that require much more testing and validation.
List image by Microsoft