It looks like the biggest Windows 11 update yet could land any day now. Known as Windows 11 22H2, as well as Sun Valley 2, for many people – including myself – this is a make or break moment for Microsoft’s fledgling operating system.
As Windows Latest reports, references in code suggest that the the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) version of Windows 11 22H2 will land in May or June, with ‘reliable’ sources (according to Windows Latest) saying the RTM will be made available on May 24, which is only a few days away.
This is exciting news if true, as the major update is expected to bring some much-needed improvements to Windows 11.
Hard to love
Since its surprise announcement and launch in 2021, Windows 11 has struggled to get people to love it. While no one really loves any version of Windows (unless you’re on the Microsoft payroll), Windows 11’s major problem was that except for some dodgy updates, Windows 10 was generally regarded as a very good operating system.
So, many people haven’t felt the need to upgrade. The confusing system requirements of Windows 11, which saw perfectly capable PCs being unable to install it due to a lack of a relatively obscure security feature known as TPM, certainly didn’t help.
Even worse, Windows 11 launched with some odd design choices which mean some features and functionality we’ve relied on in previous versions wasn’t there.
So, the Windows 11 22H2 update is a chance for Microsoft to reset the narrative around Windows 11, adding requested and missing features and showing us all what the future of Windows looks like.
Will Microsoft manage that? It seems we may not have long to find out. When software reaches RTM stage, it usually means it’s good to go to manufacturers, including laptop and PC makers like Dell and HP.
Windows 11 22H2 features to look out for
As with other yearly updates, Windows 11 22H2 is set to bring some big new features. One of the biggest will be the overall look of Windows 11. While the new operating system has a distinctive design that sets it apart from Windows 10, not every app has been given a makeover, with some stuck with a look they’ve been rocking for years, if not decades.
This has led to Windows 11 feeling unfinished. A more unified look across the OS will certainly help, with a range of legacy tools, like Task Manager, getting a new Windows 11 look.
However, the features I’m looking forward to the most are improvements to the Start menu and taskbar. Windows 11 originally launched missing key features – such as the ability to drag and drop apps and documents to quickly pin them to the taskbar, or to open them in certain applications.
For many people, this was a huge oversight, as it’s a feature we’ve been using for years in other versions of Windows, and while it may sound small, it helped make our lives a lot easier.
The good news is that the drag and drop functionality – at least some of it – will be coming to Windows 11 in the 22H2 update. Microsoft is also cleaning up the Start menu to make it less cluttered and easier to use.
It’s tweaks like this that will make the overall Windows 11 experience better for a lot of people. I’ve been using Windows 11 for months now, and while it’s an OK operating system, I haven’t been blown away by it. Windows 11 22H2 could finally change that, even if it’s only making small changes at first.
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Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.