Microsoft is working on the next big version of Windows, codenamed Hudson Valley, set to release later this year as “version 24H2” and Update 2024. Unlike last year’s 23H2 version, 24H2 is anticipated to be a significant update based on a new version of the Windows platform. It’s improving performance, security, and new features to make using Windows easier and better.
Moreover, the 24H2 version will focus on next-generation artificial intelligence experiences, which Microsoft has been hinting at for some time. There are rumors about a new advanced Copilot, enhancing the Windows user experience with AI and machine learning to boost productivity in apps and search, among other things.
Some think Microsoft might name this update “Windows 12” to align with upcoming PCs and AI features. However, this is just speculation, and it’s less likely now that the former Windows head, Panos Panay, has left the company. So, for now, let’s consider it a major Windows 11 update.
New Features that will come with Windows 11 24H2
Microsoft Copilot: The AI assistant that will help you with everything
Microsoft plans to introduce further updates to Microsoft Copilot for Windows with version 24H2. One of the changes includes moving the Copilot button to the right corner of the taskbar. This adjustment aims to enhance accessibility, allowing users to quickly access the Copilot interface by moving the cursor to the corner of the screen.
In the 24H2 version, a new configuration, called “Copilot on Windows” will be added to the Settings app. This feature enables users to toggle the Copilot interface on or off when starting Windows on PCs with large screens. Additionally, users can configure chat providers and third-party add-ons through this setting.
Although not yet in testing, there are rumors that Microsoft is planning to introduce an “Advanced Copilot” with the 24H2 version. This advanced version will leverage next-generation AI on PCs to enhance productivity in applications, files,, and search functionalities. One of the features under development is a new AI-powered history/chronology user interface. This interface will enable users to search for any word, file, image, or app that was previously accessed on their PC using AI and Windows Copilot.
Snap Layouts: The smartest way to organize your windows
Microsoft is enhancing Snap Layouts on Windows with more improvements. With the 24H2 version, the company is introducing a new feature that utilizes machine learning. This feature will identify applications that typically fit well together and automatically suggest them in the Snap Layouts interface when the user hovers over the maximize button in an application window.
For instance, if you usually have Microsoft Edge snapped alongside Notepad, when you open the Snap Layouts menu in one of those apps, you’ll automatically see an option to snap both Edge and Notepad side by side with a single click. This eliminates the need to choose the second application to adjust manually, streamlining the process for the user.
File Explorer: More Options to Compress and Edit Files
Microsoft has implemented several changes to the File Explorer app. Users now have the option to create compressed files in formats like 7zip and TAR, in addition to ZIP. While version 23H2 allowed for extracting these compressed files, it didn’t include the capability to create them. Microsoft has also enhanced File Explorer’s performance when opening large ZIP files.
Furthermore, PNG files now support viewing and editing metadata. This enhancement enables users to set a star rating in the properties dialog, edit file descriptions, and add keywords to PNG files.
Quick Configuration: A More Complete and Faster Panel
Microsoft is updating the Quick Settings panel on the Windows taskbar. In this version, the Quick Setup interface is now paginated, allowing users to scroll through all the available quick settings on their PC instead of having a predefined selection. Users can still customize the position of the adjustments by clicking and dragging them as before.
In addition to the changes mentioned earlier, the Wi-Fi list in the Quick Settings panel now includes a new refresh button. This button updates the Wi-Fi networks when pressed. Users who use a VPN on Windows will also notice an enhanced user interface for managing their VPN in the Quick Settings panel. A new split switch allows you to turn the VPN on and off with a single click.
Lastly, Microsoft has improved the performance of the Quick Settings panel. This means it shouldn’t take as long to open when you try to access it for the first time after a reboot.
Mobile Link: Connect your Phone with your PC like Never Before
Microsoft aims to introduce significant enhancements to Phone Link on Windows with version 24H2, including the ability to using a linked phone as a webcam, similar to the integration between the iPhone and the Mac.
The 24H2 version will feature a new settings page dedicated to mobile devices. Here, users can configure the phones linked to their PC and disable Phone Link services if they have no intention of using them.
Energy Saver: Save Energy and Protect the Environment
With version 24H2, Microsoft is reorganizing how battery-saver mode and power options work by introducing a new “Energy Saver” mode that applies to PCs with and without batteries.
The new Energy Saver mode aims to reduce the power consumption of your PC by scaling back system performance. This should help prolong laptop battery life and reduce power usage on desktop PCs.
When activated, desktop PCs will display a power-saving icon in the system tray, similar to the battery life indicator on laptops, albeit without the battery percentage. The objective of Energy Saver is to enhance the energy efficiency of your PC, thus reducing your carbon footprint.
Furthermore, Microsoft has added additional power controls to the Power & Battery section in the modern Settings app. Now users can configure lid controls, the power button, and determine when their PC hibernates after a set period. Previously, these controls were only accessible in the classic Control Panel application.