Windows 11 Moment 5 Update Is Around The Corner – Here Are The New Expected Features

Windows 11 Moment 5Windows 11 Moment 5

The next Windows 11 update is about to be released, what will be known as the “Moment 5“, or “February 2024 Update.” Moment updates are feature drops by Microsoft and how they roll out new features for the Windows operating system without updating its version.

Previously, Microsoft released the Moment 4 update for Windows 11 22H2. Now, the Moment 5 update will apply to Windows 11 23H2, and will not be available for any lower versions. The Moment 5 update for Windows 11 is expected to be released near the end of February. Although there is no official announcement by Microsoft , it is expected to be released on 27th February 2024, the 4th Tuesday of the month.

Microsoft releases cumulative optional non-security updates on the 4th Tuesday of each month, which means that the Moment 5 update will also be optional, initially. The features will then also roll out in March’s Patch Tuesday update, so the update will then install automatically if you skipped out on the optional one.

That said, the Moment 5 update is expected to be a relatively small enablement update as some of the new features have already started rolling out to the stable channel silently. Additionally, some features are also already available on the Dev Insider Channel.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the new features and improvements you can expect in the upcoming Windows 11 Moment 5 update.

What’s new in Windows 11 23H2 Moment 5 update

The Moment updates have replaced the cumulative feature updates Microsoft used to roll out in the first half of each year. However, since the release of Windows 11, they have shifted to an annual release cadence. Moment updates are now Microsoft’s method to release new features and not wait for the annual feature rollout in the second half of each year.

This is what you can expect in the upcoming Moment 5 update.

Ink directly into text fields

Ink directly into text boxes on Windows.
Ink directly into text boxes on Windows. Source: Microsoft

One of the new features the Moment 5 update will bring is the ability to use the pen on touchscreen devices to write directly into the text boxes in Windows UI. This includes the Settings app, any text editor, and other supported applications.

This feature will make using the digital pen much more streamlined as it will be supported across most Windows applications.

Inbox apps can be uninstalled

As part of making the Windows operating system compliant with the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the European Union, users in that part of the globe will be able to delete all applications from their systems, including the inbox apps, such as the Calculator, Camera, Microsoft Edge, etc., which previously was not an option.

Uninstall inbox apps
Uninstall inbox apps

Additionally, the system apps that usually come preinstalled in Windows will now be labeled and distinguished from the other apps in the Start menu.

System apps labeled in the Start menu
System apps labeled in the Start menu

Disable news feed in widgets board

Right now, if we want to disable the news feed from the Widgets Board , we must apply a trick. But after installing the Moment 5 updates, users will be able to disable the news feed altogether and only keep the widgets there.

Show or hide news feed in the Widgets Board
Show or hide news feed in the Widgets Board

This feature has also been added to make Windows compliant with EU’s DMA restrictions. For the users who get to see irrelevant information around their area, this feature will help them organize their widgets more seamlessly.

Updates to Nearby Sharing

Users will now have the ability to rename the computer from the “Nearby Sharing” settings page. This will allow them to quickly rename the PC, and this will appear to the other computers on the network.

Rename PC from Nearby Sharing settings
Rename PC from Nearby Sharing settings

Note that renaming the PC from the Nearby Sharing settings will only change the name of the system for the devices which you share content with. The original computer name will remain the same. Moreover, changing the computer name for other devices on the network does not need a system reboot.

Additionally, the Moment 5 update will make performance improvements to the Nearby Sharing technology and significantly improve the transfer speeds. There is still uncertainty about what percentage of improvement can be expected.

Windows Spotlight as the default background

Windows Spotlight settings
Windows Spotlight settings

At the moment, you get the default Windows 11 picture as the default background as soon as you install the OS or reset it. After installing the Moment 5 update, if you still have the default Windows 11 background, it will automatically change to Windows Spotlight.

If you didn’t know already, Windows Spotlight is a Windows feature that automatically rotates the background images on the desktop, and is also available for the lock screen.

Changes to Windows Copilot

Windows Copilot
Windows Copilot

Windows Copilot is an artificial intelligence (AI) assistant that uses OpenAI’s ChatGPT model. At the moment, it is available on both Windows 11 and Windows 10. Although Microsoft has integrated various AI versions across different components, like Cowriter in Notepad, or Cocreator in the Paint app, the function of Copilot remains unique in the sense that it can even perform system-related tasks.

At the moment, Windows Copilot only opens on the right side of the screen, which can be accessed from the taskbar or using the Windows key +C shortcut keys. After installing the Moment 5 update, users should be able to undock the Copilot window and move it about. Not only that, but you could also resize it according to your needs and requirements.

Moreover, although the feature is already introduced to the stable version of Windows, you will also be able to switch back and forth between Copilot and other apps using the ATL + Tab keys.

Copilot available in ALT Tab menu
Copilot available in ALT-Tab menu

Additionally, the issue of the desktop icons automatically scattering across the screen when opening Copilot should also be fixed with the Moment 5 update. Not only that, by Copilot will also get the multi-screen support we have long anticipated. If you use multiple screens with your PC, you can open Copilot on your highlighted screen, and not just the primary screen.

Changes to Notepad

The Notepad application is a basic text editor that comes preinstalled with Windows OS. It seems like the Notepad is getting some minor upgrades with the Moment 5 update. For one, the Notepad app will now show the character count at the bottom of the window. Although a basic feature, Microsoft finally included it.

Character count in Notepad
Character count in Notepad

Additionally, when you right-click an item, you get the option to “Open in Notepad” directly from the context menu.

Edit in Notepad in context menu
Edit in Notepad in the context menu

My two cents on this feature are that the “Open in Notepad” feature still might need some work since not everything can be opened in Notepad. For example, the option shouldn’t appear when right-clicking an image, since it simply cannot be edited in a basic text editor.

Windows 365 integration

Windows 365 is a cloud-based virtual operating system that replaces your physical systems, both desktop and laptop. It can be accessed from anywhere and acts as if it were your own personal computer. It eliminates the need for investing in expensive computer hardware. You can get all the performance you need from your virtual PC and pay as you go, which means most things are upgradable.

Windows 11 Moment 5 update will integrate the Windows 365 experience directly onto your local computer, making the switching experience easier. It will seem like you are just using another virtual desktop.

Additionally, it will also have a Windows 365 dedicated mode, where the screen will be full-sized to give you a real, live PC experience.

Accessibility improvements

The Windows operating system includes a plethora of accessibility features. With the Moment 5 update, the accessibility features are getting a major upgrade.

With this update, users will be able to navigate across the Windows operating system just by using their voice. Moreover, the Voice feature will also be getting support for additional languages, including French, Spanish, and more.

Moment 5 update will also add the ability for the users to create custom voice commands, allowing them to perform specific tasks using specified voice commands.

The Narrator is also getting an improvement and will include more natural voices, so you can pick the most soothing voice that you like.

Steps recorder is deprecated

Steps Recorder is being deprecated
Steps Recorder is being deprecated

The Steps Recorders is an application that takes screenshots of all the clicks you perform on a screen and keeps a record of the actions performed. Although the news of this app’s deprecation is old, the Moment 5 update adds a little banner to the app intimating the users that it will soon be deprecated.

The tiny banner also provides a link to explore alternatives, such as the snipping tool, or the Xbox game Bar.

Takeaway

Although a minor update in size, the Windows Moment 5 update includes significant new features and guides the Windows operating system to a better user experience. Most of the new features discussed in this post that are expected with the Moment 5 update are those that weren’t necessary, but count in the details for improving the overall user experience.

In the end, it’s the tiny things that matter the most.

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Subhan Zafar is an established IT professional with interests in Windows and Server infrastructure testing and research, and is currently working with Itechtics as a research consultant. He has studied Electrical Engineering and is also certified by Huawei (HCNA & HCNP Routing and Switching).

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