Microsoft is secretly cooking up a major Windows 11 update – here’s what we know

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Microsoft has already kicked off work on Windows 11’s next big update, also known as 23H2, going by some fresh spillage on Twitter – but the company is seemingly keeping things very stealthy and quiet, at least for now.

This comes from a name that keeps popping up more and more in the Windows leak scene recently, XenoPanther, who has posted a couple of informative tweets.

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As you can see, the evidence that early development has begun on Windows 11’s next major feature update consists of a link to the OSGWiki for 23H2, which is an internal Microsoft wiki where staff and devs share all manner of info, as Neowin (which spotted the tweet) points out. Given that this wiki is now active, the clear suggestion is that cogs are properly whirring and work is underway.

Backing this up, XenoPanther further aired a tweet noting that 23H2 (also referred to as ‘Cobalt’) is, in fact, also known as ‘Moment 3’, and that features for it are being tested in the Dev channel (earliest versions) for Windows Insiders, and that some of these functions are hidden behind feature flags.

So again, this is another indication that work has begun on what will become 23H2, the update that will debut later this year (in the second half of 2023, of course).

Analysis: Exciting revelations in the pipeline, and soon?

It makes some sense that Microsoft would have started work on the 23H2 update, of course, given that it’ll likely be released in, what, eight months or so; maybe even a bit before that. The software giant is keeping things on the downlow, no doubt, because this is still the early stages.

Sneaking in features which are hidden in the background of Windows 11 previews is nothing new, and indeed we have seen plenty of this kind of thing since the start of 2023.

Recall leakers finding the ability to drag tabs out of folders in File Explorer in a recent Windows 11 preview build, and other bits and pieces like a search bar along the top of the Start menu that was hidden away. Doubtless there are more nuggets to find, then, and therefore there’s a solid chance we might be treated to some interesting leaks soon enough…

There is an oddity with this leak, though, in the mention of 23H2 being ‘Moment 3’ which doesn’t make any sense to us. Remember, the big feature updates for Windows are now happening annually, and the so-called ‘moments’ are smaller packages of new features to allow them to be deployed in a more agile manner, so users aren’t waiting for everything to happen in one big clump (once per year).

So given that, for a major feature update to be a ‘moment’ seems like a complete contradiction, but then again, it wouldn’t be the first time Microsoft’s naming conventions haven’t made sense. More likely, though, is that someone’s got their wires crossed here, somehow.

Whatever the case, it certainly looks like work has begun on the next major Windows 11 update, albeit in a stealthy manner for the time being.

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