Microsoft today announced the rollout of its latest update package for Windows 11 2H23. Dubbed the Moment 3 update, Microsoft says it packed in a number of quality-of-life and feature improvements to several areas within Windows, including security support via Microsoft’s Pluton, networking, privacy, and audio processing. The Moment 3 build is available now, and is currently being rolled out to users via May 24th’s optional preview update for Windows 11 22H2.
Most of Moment 3’s updates seem to center or conveying more at-a-glance information to users. For example, the update introduces a glanceable VPN (Virtual Private Network) feature — essentially, Microsoft is adding a shield icon atop the user’s active network connection (which is viewable in the taskbar by default). No shield means you’re exposing certain identifiable elements from your system to the Internet. A widget overhaul will also provide a larger layout for user-pinned apps, add the option of displaying a personalized feed for easy access to news, as well as access to the users’ pinned widget. Additionally, the Start menu will now show badge notifications when your account requires attention for some reason or another.
Security is meant to be improved too, with Microsoft further integrating cloud security features with its Pluton Security Processor. For the more cautious minded, new app privacy settings will also allow users to manage access to presence sensor information and adjust features such as ‘wake on approach’ and ‘lock on leave.’
Perhaps the most intriguing bit with the Moment 3 update is that consumers will now have the option to isolate Win32 applications. Essentially, this means that any x32 app can be made to run on its own virtualized bubble, separate from your Operating System. Threats of any sort have trouble crossing those borders.
As to accessibility, Microsoft is making a big push with its Live Captions feature (a system-level feature that enables the display of subtitles of any video or call content that’s being played). In all, Microsoft is adding support for 10 additional languages and offering the service in 21 extra regions. Starting with the June 2023 feature drop update, the Live Captions experience expands to Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), French (France, Canada), German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal), Spanish, Danish, English (Ireland, other English dialects), and Korean.
The Moment 3 changes will be turned off by default; it’s up to users to enable them via a toggle in Windows Update settings. These features will then be enabled by default in June’s optional update and in July’s mandatory Patch Tuesday updates.
Last but not least, native RAR support is finally being added to Windows. At the Microsoft Build developer conference the company announced that RAR support will be enabled in an upcoming update, along with other features such as native RGB lighting control. Microsoft says it will not only handle RAR files, but additional archive formats such as tar, 7-zip, GZ, and others, through the libarchive open-source project.
We were hoping this feature would drop in the Moment 3 update, but that unfortunately doesn’t seem to be the case. WinRAR lives on… for now.