Windows 11’s next big update – not the annual one for 2023, mind, that comes later – is rolling out today, and there’s some buzz on the rumor mill about what will be included with this upgrade.
PhantomOfEarth, a regular leaker on X (formerly Twitter) with their ear to the ground on all things Windows, pointed out what else is coming with the September 26 update (later today).
The new volume mixer in quick settings will also begin rolling out on September 26th https://t.co/6ewwk4F1hZ pic.twitter.com/1DMzbinvxFSeptember 22, 2023
Of course, it’s already known that the star of the show is set to be the Copilot AI. However, as tweeted, there’s another big piece of the jigsaw – at least for me, and a good few other folks – coming in the form of the option to never combine on the taskbar.
That’s the choice for the taskbar that you get with Windows 10 to tell the operating system not to stack up (combine) windows of the same application. (So, for example, if you have multiple browser windows open, they won’t all be lumped into the same entry on the taskbar, stacked up – with never combine, they remain separate icons on the bar).
PhantomOfEarth also clarified that another useful trick is coming for the taskbar, namely the ability to right-click on an app on the bar and end the task right there. Oh, and also the feature to hide the time and date from the taskbar should you wish.
And the new volume mixer, which offers fresh functionality including adjusting the volume of programs that are running on a per-app basis, is also set to roll out with the September 26 update later today.
Analysis: A winning never-combination
Of course, the centerpiece for this update – which is technically Moment 4 for Windows 11 22H2, with the 23H2 update to come later in the year, in Q4 – is undoubtedly Copilot. The introduction of the AI assistant to Windows 11 is, of course, a huge move, and one which may work out better than I anticipate. (I still feel it’s jumping the gun a little, but I’m ready – and happy – to be proven wrong).
For me, though, I’ve been holding back on upgrading to Windows 11 because of the lack of that feature to keep apps on the taskbar separate. That might sound a bit petty, but I have a workflow within Windows, and it involves never combining on the taskbar, and having that option stripped away is just too annoying, and jarring, for my fundamental way of working with the OS.
I couldn’t really believe it when Microsoft removed this choice with Windows 11 – apparently fiddly bits deep within the interface meant it wasn’t a simple implementation for the newer OS, or that’s what the software giant told us.
So, I’ve refrained from upgrading, until now – but with this new feature in place, I’ll be hitting the upgrade button straight away, with a caveat though. That being I’ll fire up the upgrade on my Surface (second PC) first, before my main desktop rig. But the latter will come soon enough (unless I find other things to hate about Windows 11, when I actually get into using it properly – perish the thought, naturally).
Anyway, it’s good to see that there’s a lot of stuff imminent for Windows 11, even if that does leave me scratching my head a bit as to what’s left for the 23H2 update, which at this point feels more minor than this ‘Moment’ (supposedly smaller than annual) upgrade.
So, that’s all a little confusing, but hey – I’m not going to argue about getting super-important features quicker, that’s for sure (though I wouldn’t say never combine has been exactly ‘quick’ off the mark, of course).
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).