Windows 11 could get mystery package of features in May 2023

Windows 11 2022 update
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 11 is set for a sizeable update – though note, not one of Microsoft’s major feature updates – next spring, if the rumor mill is right.

This comes from an established source on all things Microsoft, WalkingCat on Twitter, who reckons that the current release schedule for the next Windows ‘Continuous Innovations’ update is May 2023.

Continuous-what-now? As Neowin, which spotted the above tweet, points out, this apparently means another of Microsoft’s ‘Moments’, which are updates delivered outside of the big (annual) feature upgrades that bring new features to Windows 11 in a swifter manner.

In other words, they’re a way of getting round the unfortunate case that now updates like 22H2 are annual, you’d be waiting a very long time for new features to come through all at once if Microsoft didn’t implement some sort of more flexible delivery method like this.

We’ve already had our first Moment update (bringing tabs in File Explorer, and more), with number two scheduled for February or March 2023, and the update floated here will be Moment number three. Or will it? According to WalkingCat, maybe not – we’ll discuss that further next.

As to what might arrive with this May 2023 update, we don’t have a clue on that score yet. Watch this space, as ever.

Analysis: Attack of the update jargon

For starters, let’s remember that this is just a rumored release timeframe, so it could well slip, as with any development plans. With that caveat out of the way, the leaker makes an interesting point in the thread of that tweet, differentiating between a Moment and Continuous Innovation, or a ‘CI release’, as the leaker calls it.

WalkingCat notes: “CI release > Moments.”

The leaker than adds that a CI release is effectively a ‘bigger’ Moment, or an even chunkier update, in other words (without being a full feature update, obviously). Confused? Yeah, us too.

As far as we’re aware, Continuous Innovation is a term Microsoft uses to refer to the process of continually piping smaller feature updates to Windows 11 as necessary, outside of big feature updates, rather than an actual type of update like a Moment. Our understanding is the Moment is the only type of smaller flexibly applied update that exists, but hey, maybe we’ve got the wrong end of the stick.

Really, it’s a rather confusing situation, but none of this update jargon really matters. All you’ve got to remember is that Windows now gets one big update yearly, but other features are delivered in smaller upgrades here and there as needed. And the next more minor feature upgrades are due in February/March, then May, whatever they’re called. (And while it sounds like the May update could be a beefier affair, don’t expect too much – that isn’t the idea of any of these more agilely applied upgrades, of course).

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).