Microsoft has released the latest update of Windows 11 (22H2), dubbed its ‘Moment 2', which comes with some highly-anticipated features, including the new AI-powered Bing Chat in the taskbar.
The news comes shortly after the company announced its ChatGPT-powered Bing search engine integration, designed to help users find answers to their questions faster.
The new version of Windows 11 will also include voice access improvements, iPhone connectivity, task manager search functionality, a new search bar option, screen recording and more.
What Are Microsoft ‘Moments'?
Microsoft ‘Moments' are the routine software updates released by Microsoft throughout the year to introduce new features to its latest operating system, Windows 11.
The updates, known as ‘Moments' were introduced in 2022, to allow new features to be released more frequently, as opposed to waiting for the annual feature update that happens just once a year.
The first Windows 11 ‘Moment' was released in October 2022, and included a file explorer with tabs, suggested actions, taskbar features, and the previously-removed ability to right-click on the taskbar to open the task manager.
Microsoft released Windows 11 in 2021. While the Windows 10 operating system is still functional, only Windows 11 users will benefit from ‘Moment' updates, and all support for Windows 10 will end in 2025.
What's Included in the Windows 11 ‘Moment 2' Update
The Windows 11 22H2 ‘Moment 2' is packed with a number of new features including a Phone Link for iOS, a searchable task manager, and the highly-anticipated Bing AI-powered chat, linked directly in the Windows search bar. The AI will be able to perform searches, generate content and answer questions. Talking to Bleeping Computer, Microsoft's Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay, described the update as a ‘major step forward' for the business.
“Today, we take the next major step forward and combine the incredible breadth and ease of use of the Windows PC with the amazing capability of the new AI-powered Bing… Soon hundreds of millions of Windows 11 users can get access to this incredible new technology to search, chat, answer questions and generate content from right on their Windows taskbar.” — Microsoft Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay
Microsoft hopes that AI-tools will become more common in the workplace, and has invested billions of dollars into its ongoing partnership with OpenAI to upgrade its own applications like Excel, Microsoft Projects, and Microsoft Teams — which now utilizes ChatGPT to take meeting notes during conference calls. While the ‘Moment 2' AI integration will only consist of a Bing entry point in the Windows search home, there are hopes of a more direct integration in the future.
It should be noted that the new Phone Link iOS feature, which will allow users to access their iPhone messages directly in Windows 11, and make or receive phone calls directly in the app, will only be accessible as a preview for select users at present. However, this could be a game-changer for businesses looking to better integrate their communication channels between their work laptops and phones, in the future.
The Task Manager search bar will allow users to filter processes by ID or name, making it easier to terminate problematic tasks efficiently. See a full list of the Windows 11 ‘Moment 2' updates expected to roll out in the coming weeks, below:
Windows 11 ‘Moment 2' new features
- Bing Chat in Windows Search taskbar
- Screen recording in the snipping tool
- Tabs in Notepad
- New search bar options – allowing users to customize search to their preference
- Search functionality in Task Manager
- A taskbar system ‘tray overflow menu'
- A full-screen widgets board
- Voice access improvements
- Windows studio effects in quick settings
All Windows 11 users will receive the new ‘Moment 2' features as part of the mandatory March 2023 patch updates – which will include security fixes too.
How to Get Windows 11 ‘Moments 2'
As usual with Microsoft, all existing Windows 11 users will receive the ‘Moment 2' features as part of the mandatory patch updates, so if you're a Windows 11 user you should already have these new features. New Windows 11 users will be able to download Windows 11 (22H2, build 22621.1344) with the new features, automatically.
To manually install the Windows update, users can action the following steps:
- Open settings
- Select ‘windows update'
- ‘Click ‘check for updates'
Like most operating system updates, this update is free.