Windows 11 23H2 is a Teams effort but Microsoft already spoiled the best bits
Chat chopped and Copilot preview still rolling out
The next major Windows 11 update has lurched into the light, containing a few new enhancements as well as other features that have trickled out of Redmond over the last month or so.
23H2 was supposed to be a big release for Microsoft's flagship operating system. However, thanks to the company deciding to emit many of the features early, the big moment is a somewhat damp squib. That said, even users who opted to receive the previously announced functionality ahead of time will have found several changes, the most visible of which is the switching out of Chat for a freebie version of Microsoft Teams.
Chat was an oddball addition to Windows 11 when it made its debut just over two years ago. It was still Teams, but with a friends and family focus it was aimed at consumers and required a personal Microsoft account.
On work or school machines, users could find themselves in the slightly confusing position of having a pair of Teams links on the taskbar.
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With 23H2, Chat is gone, replaced by what Microsoft described as "a newly refreshed communications experience" replete with the ability to track down contacts already on Teams via the "People experience."
A cynic might point out that Microsoft had a perfectly acceptable and widely used messaging and calling platform in Skype, before the company
trashed updated it, but Teams is all the rage nowadays.
Other changes introduced in Windows 11 23H2 include adding a "system" label for Windows system components in the Start Menu and a specific page for managing the components in Settings.
While many of the 23H2 features – for example, Start Menu tweaks – have already turned up, flagship functionality in the form of the Copilot preview is still rolling out, and some markets will be spared the assistant for the time being.
Unsurprisingly, there are also some issues in the update. The preview of Copilot in Windows is not happy with multi-monitor setups so could be disabled, and the assistant might also struggle with third-party wallpaper apps. ®