New Windows 11 features are a win for accessibility, but won't happen anytime soon

Windows 11 logo on a blue, folded backdrop
(Image credit: Microsoft)

A bunch of new features are coming to Windows 11, with one in particular potentially being a superb accessibility addition. The bad news? We won't see them added to Windows 11 until at least October 2022, outside of the preview builds.

As reported by Windows Latest, Windows 11 version 22H2 will feature a slew of changes and additions including UI tweaks, new personalization settings and perhaps most importantly, a new Voice Access feature that could be a boon for users who might require it.

Another neat feature improvement is the faster input switcher. That's the new option at the bottom right of your taskbar that lets you quickly switch between multiple keyboard languages. Microsoft is making this process more efficient as part of the Windows 11 version 22H2 updates.

We're particularly impressed, though, with how the Voice Access feature is shaping up. The module first needs to be downloaded from the Microsoft Store, but once you have it, you can make use of Voice Access by activating it in the Accessibility section of the Settings menu.

You can of course use Voice Access to open apps like Word and Excel, for example, as you can with Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant. However, Voice Access can also be used to issue specific commands, like right clicking apps or scrolling up and down a page.

Why the wait?

It's just a shame that those who don't download the preview builds won't be able to make use of them until at least October 2022, almost a year away from now.

We certainly hope Microsoft is taking its time to properly implement these new features, then, as Windows 11 hasn't exactly had the smoothest launch. Various analysts are even still wary of users upgrading to Windows 11 right now, given the litany of problems the operating system faces in comparison to the more stable Windows 10.

And while updates have improved Windows 11 overall since launch, there's still a ways to go. Even though the next version of Windows 11 is a good while off, it's hopefully enough time for the development team to iron out even more kinks before version 22H2 is ready to face the public.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.