Top new features in the March 2024 update for Windows 11

Top new features in the March 2024 update for Windows 11

Microsoft on Thursday made public its “official” list of the changes that will be included in the upcoming Windows 11 point, or Moment, update, many of which we were already aware of. Some seem new, such as the capability to use your Android phone as a webcam and fresh improvements for Copilot control.

Thanks to the features that were part of the Windows 11 preview versions that came out earlier and the official announcement that Microsoft made today, we now know what new features you can anticipate seeing on your Windows 11 PC in the upcoming weeks. However, you won’t get them right away. Microsoft missed this opportunity, which is why we called this incremental Windows 11 upgrade the February 2024 Moment in our earlier post.

Microsoft is now providing you with two opportunities to acquire these feature upgrades: first, if you have chosen to receive updates as soon as they become available, during the optional non-security preview release in March 2024. According to Microsoft, “the majority of these new features will be available then.” You’ll have to wait an additional month if not.

Microsoft stated in a blog post, “We anticipate broad availability for most new features by the April 2024 security update release for all eligible devices,” giving itself some leeway to deploy the newest Windows 11 features even later. Microsoft is simply releasing new functionality; it isn’t calling this a “moment” or an “update.”

Additional Copilot Commands, Plugins, Shortcuts, and Skills

Recall that Microsoft debuted its AI-powered Copilot as a chatbot and as a kind of PC control center. However, the actions it could perform were limited to turning your PC into dark mode. There are so many more now. Among them are:

  • Turn on/off battery saver
  • Show device information
  • Show system information
  • Show battery information
  • Open storage page
  • Launch live captions
  • Launch narrator
  • Launch screen magnifier
  • Open voice access page
  • Open text size page
  • Open the contrast themes page
  • Launch voice input
  • Show available Wi-Fi networks
  • Display IP address
  • Show available storage space
  • Empty recycle bin

Microsoft refers to these operations as “Copilot Skills,” and the company says they will launch in late March.

Clipchamp and Photos now have better editing options

Thank you, Gates! Magic Select, the standout feature of Paint 3D, is now available in Photos. We anticipated last year that the Photos app will get an AI-powered feature to remove an object from a picture, and that feature is already on the way. Today, Photos will get what Microsoft refers to as Generative Erase, which will let you take out your ex from a holiday shot and replace the background with a clever one. You won’t be able to replace that person in photos with Santa Claus or a festive elf, but maybe in the future.

Microsoft is also offering a simple method for using AI to remove any unnecessary silences from a Clipchamp audio track. That is now accessible.

Voice Shortcuts

Voice Access has been a part of Windows 11 for a few months now, and the voice features in Windows 11 encompass both PC control and dictation. An extension of that is Voice Shortcuts, which let you use just your voice to carry out operations like locating and launching a particular folder or application.

The level of depth in speech Shortcuts is unclear; for instance, it’s unclear if you’ll be able to “code” a speech macro to launch Outlook and check for and open any emails from your supervisor. However, another improvement is that you’ll be able to use shortcuts across several monitors. Additionally, additional languages will be offered, including German, Spanish (Spain, Mexico), and French (France and Canada).

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