Microsoft working on developing the next major version of Windows 11. As per various sources, this update codenamed “Hudson Valley” ship by the end of 2024 as version 24H2. This update, based on a new version of the Windows platform known as Germanium, brings performance enhancements, security improvements, and a range of new features. Hence Microsoft aggressively working to integrate AI into the Windows platform, we expect Windows 11 version 24H2 also focus on next-gen AI experiences. Here is everything we know so far Windows 11 Version 24H2 release date, new features, and more.
Windows 11 Version 24H2 Release Date and Focus
According to Windows Central and other sources, Microsoft is planning to release the Windows 11 24H2 update on the second Tuesday of September 2024. The update is based on a new Windows platform release called Germanium, which is set to be approved by April 2024. Following this, the development of the 24H2 update will commence, with a unique “OS swap” method for installation, replacing the entire OS with a newer version.
Focus on AI-Centric Experiences
One of the standout themes of Windows 11 version 24H2 is its focus on next-generation AI experiences. Microsoft’s plans include an “advanced Copilot” that leverages next-generation AI PCs to further enhance productivity. This includes features like an AI-powered user history/timeline UI, enabling users to quickly locate past documents, images, or apps with precision.
The upcoming update will see the Copilot button relocated to the far right of the Taskbar for easier accessibility. Moreover, users will have greater control over Copilot settings, including the ability to enable or disable its UI on startup and configure chat providers and third-party plugins. Additionally, Snap Layouts will receive an AI-driven upgrade, automatically suggesting commonly snapped apps to streamline multitasking. The File Explorer app will introduce the ability to create 7zip and TAR compressed archive files, alongside performance enhancements for handling large ZIP files.
Microsoft Copilot Enhancements
Windows 11 Version 24H2 is expected to introduce significant updates to Microsoft Copilot, a feature designed to enhance the Windows user experience with AI and machine learning. The Copilot button will be relocated to the far right corner of the Taskbar, offering easier accessibility. Additionally, a dedicated “Copilot in Windows” setting in the Settings app will empower users to enable or disable the Copilot UI on startup, especially beneficial for PCs with large screens. The rumored introduction of an “advanced Copilot” leveraging next-generation AI PCs aims to boost productivity across apps, files, and search.
One notable feature in development is an AI-powered user history/timeline UI. This innovation will enable users to effortlessly locate any word, file, image, or app previously accessed on their PC using AI and Windows Copilot.
Snap Layouts with Machine Learning
Windows 11 version 24H2 is set to enhance Snap Layouts with machine learning capabilities. The update will introduce a feature that utilizes AI to identify commonly snapped apps, automatically suggesting them in the Snap Layout interface when a user hovers over the maximize button on an app window. This streamlined approach aims to simplify the process of multitasking by predicting user preferences and offering one-click options for app arrangement.
File Explorer Updates
Windows File Explorer in 24H2 brings additional features. Users can now create 7zip and TAR compressed archive files, expanding the options beyond ZIP files. This update builds upon the previous ability to extract these archive files and also includes performance improvements when opening large ZIP files. Furthermore, PNG files will now support viewing and editing metadata, allowing users to set star ratings, edit file descriptions, and add keywords.
Quick Settings Panel Enhancements
The Quick Settings panel receives several enhancements in version 24H2, including pagination for easier navigation through available settings. Users can now scroll through all quick settings instead of relying on manually placed selections. Furthermore, improvements to the Wi-Fi list and VPN management streamline connectivity tasks, enhancing the overall user experience.
Phone Link Improvements
Version 24H2 is expected to bring significant improvements to Phone Link on Windows. Users can anticipate the ability to use a linked phone as a webcam, mirroring a feature seen in the integration between iPhone and Mac. A new settings page for mobile devices will be introduced, allowing users to configure linked phones and manage Phone Link services. These improvements aim to make the integration between Windows and mobile devices more seamless and versatile.
Energy Saver Mode and Power Options
Also, it is expected Microsoft is introduce a new “Energy Saver” mode to optimize energy consumption on both battery-powered and desktop PCs. This mode aims to reduce energy consumption by lowering system performance, extending battery life on laptops and reducing power consumption on desktop PCs. Desktop PCs with Energy Saver enabled will display an icon in the system tray, symbolizing enhanced energy efficiency.
Additional power controls have been incorporated into the Power & battery area in the modern Settings app, enabling users to configure lid and power button controls and set the time for PC hibernation. These controls were previously only configurable in the classic Control Panel app.
General Quality-of-Life Improvements
Beyond these feature-centric updates, version 24H2 will introduce several quality-of-life enhancements. Notably, during the out-of-box experience, users will have the option to install drivers directly from the Wi-Fi setup page—an invaluable convenience for system builders. Additionally, certain built-in Windows apps, including Mail, Calendar, Maps, People, and Movies & TV will no longer be installed by default, streamlining the user experience.
Additionally, WordPad is slated for removal in a future update. The Taskbar will feature a Wi-Fi icon animation when connecting to a network, and a “Diagnose network problems” context menu shortcut will be added, simplifying troubleshooting.
In summary, Microsoft’s forthcoming release of Windows 11 version 24H2 represents a significant leap forward in operating system innovation. With a focus on next-generation AI experiences, enhanced productivity features, and sustainability initiatives such as Energy Saver mode, this update promises to deliver a more efficient, intuitive, and environmentally conscious computing environment.