Microsoft Rolls Out Windows 11 Version 23H2

Generic Windows 11
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

 Microsoft is rolling out Windows 11 Version 23H2 today, which it is describing as a "scoped, cumulative release."

"We are providing a limited scope of new features and functionality delivered via a familiar, fast, and reliable update experience," writes John Cable, Microsoft's vice president of Windows servicing and delivery.

The scope of features is indeed limited, partially because the company isssued a fairly large update at the end of September, pushing its Copilot AI features live, as well as AI features in Paint and changes to OneDrive, Photos and Windows Backup. So after all that, 23H2 is focused on some changes to Teams and application management.

The built-in Chat functionality in Windows 11 is now becoming a free part of Microsoft Teams, which is pinned to the taskbar by default. You'll be able to send and receive SMS texts from Microsoft Teams (though in theory you could also use My Phone for that). Teams will also get new "People" functionality to find people you're looking to contact.

Microsoft has also rolled out WDDM 3.2 (Windows Display Driver Model 3.2) and HLSL Shader Model 6.8 as part of the 23H2 update. The latter adds Work Graphs (experimental) and Wave Matrix (also experimental) support to DirectX. Work Graphs define a system of shader nodes that feed into each other to enable tailored GPU work creation, while Wave Matrices help with higher bandwidth matrix multiplications (which are useful in machine learning). It's unclear what new functionality WDDM 3.2 brings to the table.

As for applications, those included with Windows 11 will be separated from the ones you install. In the "All apps" section of the Start menu, that software will be given a "system" label, and instead of being found in Settings > Apps > Installed Apps, they'll instead be featured in Settings > System > System Components.

If you're a member of the Windows Insider Program, you likely already have these features. But with 23H2, they're going wide.

Like previous updates, 23H2 will be issued through Microsoft's serving technology, which detects your specs and attempts to serve you the update when the company is largely sure you won't experience and incompatibility issues. Those who want the latest updates first can go to Settings > Windows Update and check the box that reads "Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available." (That is, assuming you're on version 22H2. If you're on the older version 21H1, you'll need to do a full OS swap).

With all of the new features for Windows 11 in September, this isn't exactly the most exciting update, but it's always a good idea to keep your system up to date for the sake of security.

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon

  • dimar
    The ISOs are available on Microsoft site.
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    I'm still waiting on Microsoft to allow disabling of the recommended section of Start on Windows Home and Pro like it is on CE. Now that they've gotten their heads out of their butts and allowed us to ungroup icons and show labels it's the last piece of the puzzle to stop having to use ExplorerPatcher, though they still have work to do.
  • coromonadalix
    They are continuing to destroy what is good / what was good in Win10, in their borked visions of Windows 11 to a point of uselessness

    Paint is so <Mod Edit> messed up, i have to patch the old one of win 10 to be able to work properly
    Explorer patcher to have a "working" file manager etc ...

    11 is the new Vista
  • computerdave911
    Admin said:
    Microsoft is rolling out its 23H2 release, with minor changes to system components and Microsoft teams.

    Microsoft Rolls Out Windows 11 Version 23H2 : Read more
    just did clean install of 23h2, less updates then 22h2 off the bat ,right away hide that copiolet , useless to me, some fixes under the hood other than that is the same os, also put it on my old 1st gen i5 pc, use rufus to easily remove to remove hardware check, all went well, its the same friggin os other than the version number, lol, oh and Teams in gone, who used that anyway, every one on skype and others,
  • Order 66
    I have somehow dodged everything from these messed-up updates. I have never experienced reduced gaming performance or any of the other issues that have sprung from these updates.
  • punkncat
    "Here we go" (pinches nose)

    Download and Install.

    I will know soon enough.

    edit- that was quick. No issues perceived. Rolling out to other W11 machines now.
  • Diceman_2037
    Be really great if Toms Hardware didn't regurgitate unsubstantiated claims.

    23h2 (10.22631.xxxx) Does NOT have any indication of supporting WDDM 3.2, and SM 6.8 has not even hit feature milestones yet.