Microsoft has released its 2022 Update to the Windows 11 operating system, which includes upgrades to the Start menu and tabs in File Explorer, new accessibility features including system-wide live captions and Smart App control for enhanced security.
According to Panos Panay, chief product officer of Windows and devices at Microsoft, the update aims to make the PC easier and safer to use for everyone, empower people to be more productive, making Windows “the best place to connect, create and play”, and deliver added security, management and flexibility to the workplace.
New accessibility features include voice access, which allows users to control their PC using their voice, and Natural Voices for Narrator, which offers more natural-sounding speech when assisting reading or browsing the web.
The update will address safety, privacy and security concerns, too. “Windows 11 is the most secure version of Windows yet,” said Panay. For example, Smart App control enables users to confidently download applications, and the new Microsoft Defender SmartScreen identifies and alerts users when they are entering their Microsoft credentials into a malicious application or hacked website.
The Windows 11 2022 Update could also help users improve productivity, for example, by using performance and battery optimisations and the Focus feature in Snap layouts. The latter will enable users to silence notifications in ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode.
“Our work is never done to ensure Windows evolves and adapts to you,” said Panay. “With our first major update to Windows 11, we are taking the next step on our journey. The Windows 11 2022 Update has so many subtle, but important changes that come together to help you be your most productive and your most creative.”