What just happened? Microsoft has begun rolling out the Windows 11 23H2 update, bringing with it a slew of new features, including Copilot AI. The rollout comes just over a month after the company released some of its latest tools using a Windows Update option that lets users receive new features as soon as they're available.
The biggest change introduced by the update is Copilot, Microsoft's AI-powered chatbot that's now available as a standalone app on the desktop. Based on Bing Chat, Copilot comes with a range of features, including the ability to change system settings or start a focus session. It is worth noting that Copilot will not be available globally right away, as Microsoft says it will initially roll out a preview version to select global markets, including North America and parts of Asia and South America, before making it available more widely.
Another notable change in 23H2 is the removal of the standalone Chat app and the addition of Microsoft Teams (Free) in its place. While Teams is pinned to the taskbar by default, you can easily remove the shortcut in a few clicks if you can't be bothered and would rather not have it clutter up your screen.
Microsoft is also making some alterations to the way applications are managed. As part of the plan, system apps will now show a 'System' label under 'All Apps' in the Start Menu. Under the existing setup, system apps are listed under 'Installed Apps' within the 'Settings' panel, but they will get their own Settings page following the update, under System > System Components. Some of the apps you'll find here include Game Bar, Microsoft Store, Phone Link, etc.
In addition to these changes, the incoming update also includes a redesigned File Explorer, RGB lighting controls, a settings page for USB4 and Thunderbolt devices, and an updated Paint app with background removal and support for layers. Other thoughtful additions include revamped Photos and Snipping Tool apps. While the former can blur the background to focus on the main subject, the latter can recognize text in screenshots and even redact parts of it to safeguard user privacy.
The 23H2 update is currently being offered as an optional update, with Microsoft saying that the auto-update process will begin "in the coming months." To get the update right away, go over to Settings, select Windows Update, and then switch on the toggle next to 'Get the latest updates as soon as they're available.' Now, simply hit 'Check for updates,' and you should be able to install Windows 11 23H2 on your device.