Windows 11's second big update has been accidentally confirmed for 2023

Windows 11 widgets
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Microsoft is already preparing the second major update to Windows 11 for the end of 2023, which is being called 'Sun Valley 3', or 'Copper' internally, with a bigger focus on touch improvements for tablet devices.

According to Windows Latest, 23H2 looks to build on Sun Valley 2 with improvements to Windows 11's existing apps, while potentially adding a 'tablet mode' similar to the one found in Windows 10.

Sun Valley 2 looks to be getting ready for release later in 2022, with bug fixes currently being pushed through the Insider Builds, which allows users to try out the major update before it's available for everyone.

However, with the switch to an annual feature release, much like Apple's efforts, it would be good for Microsoft to announce when certain features are arriving, rather than just showcasing them.

Analysis: Let's hear when, not what Microsoft

Settings app in Windows 11 Sun Valley 2

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Back in April, Microsoft held an event announcing the arrival of tabs to File Explorer. At last, you'd be able to manage folders and files within one window with a bunch of tabs, instead of a load of windows that would clutter up your screen.

However, there wasn't any indication from the company during that event as to when it would arrive for all Windows 11 users. At the time of writing, we've only just seen it come to the Dev Channel in the recent Windows Insider builds, suggesting it could still be a while until normal users to get the feature.

While there's a good chance we'll see this in Sun Valley 2, it's still not certain. We don't know what's coming with the major update, or when it will officially arrive, even though we may have already seen the tentative date leak.

So, let's see a roadmap Microsoft. Let's hear what the plans are for the annual releases of Windows 11, and when certain features will arrive. Seeing tabs in File Explorer is great, but it's hard to remain excited if there's no indication of when the feature will arrive.

File Explorer tabs in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The hope for Sun Valley 3 is to at least hear about what the plans are for it, and when it will arrive. This way, business users and developers will be able to prepare their organizations and apps to take advantage of the new features.

Apple has already laid out its updates for macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and more, with a 'fall' release. And even though that's a vague release date, it at least gives all of its users an idea as to when these updates will arrive.

I want to see something similar from Microsoft. This way, users will look forward to trying out their favorite new features, especially when they've bought a new laptop or tablet, rather than being confused as to when they'll ever land on their devices.

Daryl Baxter
Software & Downloads Writer

Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time, he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider'. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a newsletter, 'Springboard'. He's usually found playing games old and new on his Steam Deck and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.