- Microsoft is prepping the release of Windows 11 23H2, known as the Windows 11 2023 Update. They’ve started compatibility testing for apps and drivers via Test Base. This platform lets developers access preview builds for evaluation.
- Windows 11 23H2, available in the Release Preview Channel, builds upon Windows 11 22H2. It replaces the “Chat” button with Microsoft Teams – Free, but in Europe, Teams is unbundled due to privacy concerns.
- Unique 23H2 features include an improved Cast flyout and a Nearby share device renaming option.
Microsoft has started testing Windows 11 23H2 for compatibility with apps and drivers in a Microsoft-managed test environment. You can download Windows 11 23H2 preview builds via Test Base, a cloud-testing platform that lets you test apps and drivers for feature upgrades.
This move is part of the tech giant’s efforts to prepare the next version of Windows 11 for consumers and businesses. For those unaware, Windows 11 23H2 is a minor cumulative update to the existing Windows 11 22H2, and Microsoft officials have described the new release as an “enablement package” that turns on dormant features.
Microsoft noted that the new Test Base lets you test Windows 11 version 23H2 by navigating to the Feature Update section. Finally, you need to select the 23H2 option under Insider Channel and test your environment against the new changes, such as Windows Copilot and taskbar ungrouping.
During the Surface event on September 26, Microsoft previously confirmed Windows 11 23H2 would be released in the fourth quarter. This is similar to how Windows 10, version 22H2, was released in October 2022.
While testing Windows 11 23H2 in Test Base may indicate that the update is near ready for release, it does not guarantee a specific release date or timeframe.
Microsoft may still decide to delay or change the update based on testing results, but Windows Latest understands Windows 11 23H2 is internally declared ready to go and could begin rolling out in stages in the coming weeks.
Windows 11 23H2 is a minor release
Windows 11 23H2 is available via the Release Preview Channel, and it comes with all the features previously shipped to version 22H2 via the Windows 11 Moment 4. However, there are multiple 23H2-specific changes, which may eventually land in the builds of Windows 11 22H2.
For example, Microsoft has removed the “Chat” system button from the taskbar and replaced it with Microsoft Teams – Free, now pinned to the taskbar by default outside the European countries.
Microsoft plans to unbundle Teams (free) in Europe rather than pinning the feature to the taskbar. This is part of the tech giant’s efforts to address privacy concerns in the region, and we reported yesterday that Microsoft is also testing new privacy controls in Windows 11 for EU regions.
Other Windows 11 23H2-specific changes include a new Cast flyout with a button to set up casting to the device and a link to help you address connectivity issues.
Similarly, Microsoft is testing a setting to help you change your device’s name in the Nearby Share feature.
As mentioned above, these features will eventually come to Windows 11 22H2. Some have already started showing up in the preview builds.
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