Windows is now offering a new feature preview update, Windows 11 KB5022913, which Microsoft calls Windows 11 “Moment 2,” and it’s available for eligible PCs currently running the previous feature version, Windows 11 22H2.
This update is optional and its features will be included next month in Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday update (which is required), so you can just wait for that if you don’t want to mess with Windows Update, or if you’re understandably wary of installing Windows updates as soon as they’re launched, in case widespread issues arise.
However, it has some intriguing features such as adding Bing Chat to the Windows 11 taskbar, the ability to link your iPhone to your Windows device, a Task Manager that is searchable and easier to navigate, and much more.
If you’re wondering whether or not you should install this optional update, read on for my pick of the best new features.
1. ChatGPT comes to the taskbar
This update follows on the heels of the excitement caused by Microsoft’s announcements regarding the integration of ChatGPT into Bing. As such, the main attraction of this update is perhaps the new ChatGPT-equipped Bing search box in the Windows taskbar.
This Bing Chat toolbar can return answers to your questions as you type, and also makes it easier to do things like generate content and start chat conversations right from the Windows 11 search box.
This is clearly an attempt to make the Windows search box the starting point for Bing, but you can then continue searching with Bing in the browser. Search bar customization has also been added, including the ability to revert to the previous version of the search bar if you don’t like the new one.
It’s speculated that the increased customization options may be part of a wider effort to develop an AI-powered Personal Assistant mode, which has already been tested (though not with immediate success).
However, the addition of Bing to the Windows 11 taskbar has already proved a bit controversial and there are some reports suggesting that Microsoft is now removing the feature, which would be a shame.
2. Control your iPhone through Windows 11
Another new feature is Phone Link for iOS that allows iPhone users to directly access their messages through Windows 11 and make or receive calls through their Windows device.
This is similar to this existing capability for Android users on Windows devices and iPhone users on iOS devices, and will be especially welcome for those using both.
3. Better touchscreen controls
In addition, this update also has a focus on tablet optimization with features such as touch optimization for 2-in-1 devices and an optimized tablet taskbar. Microsoft has been working on tablet optimization for a while, going back to the unloved Windows 8, and this update focuses on taskbar optimization for tablets (and PCs at the same time) to make using tablets more comfortable and intuitive.
This version of the taskbar has two modes – ‘expanded’ and ‘collapsed’ – and it’s easy to switch between the two modes by swiping up or down respectively from the bottom of the screen. Touch Keyboard and Virtual Touchpad features have also been added in the system tray for touch optimization.
Other new features include the addition of a tabbed Notepad interface, a custom task manager with new search, filter, and other features, a new built-in screen recorder via the Snipping Tool, improvements to voice control and voice access, an expanded Widgets view, and possibilities, and more.
How to get these new features
As I said, you can just wait for the mandatory Windows update in March when your PC will automatically download and install these new features.
However, if you want to install this update now, since there are quite a few new attractive features to test, there are a couple of ways to do it.
First, you can go Settings > Windows Update and click Check for updates. This should detect the availability of the new update and allow it to be downloaded and installed.
Second, you can use the Microsoft StoreOpen libraries, and select Get updates.
You can also install it manually by downloading it from the Microsoft Update Catalog – the Windows Cumulative Update library (opens in new tab).