Think you've got a long wait for Windows 11's next feature update? Think again as it's imminent

Moment 5 is about to arrive, rumor has it, though it won't be much of an update - the big move will be Windows 11 24H2 (probably) later this year.

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Windows 11 has a new 'Moment' update inbound, which will be the fifth such package of new features for the desktop operating system, and it'll be arriving later this month.

Moment 5 probably won't have much substance, but the update will allow you to move the Copilot panel away from the side of the screen (Image Credit: Microsoft)

Moment 5 probably won't have much substance, but the update will allow you to move the Copilot panel away from the side of the screen (Image Credit: Microsoft)

That's the skinny from Zac Bowden over at Windows Central, one of the more reliable leakers when it comes to Microsoft gossip.

Bowden believes that Moment 5 will debut late in February, but it'll be a much more modest set of extra features compared to previous Moments.

Indeed, a lot of this update will revolve around making Windows 11 compliant with regulations in Europe (the Digital Markets Act specifically). Although that will bring forth some nifty changes for those users, including being able to ditch Edge (but sadly that won't be the case for folks in the US, or anywhere outside of Europe).

However, there are some new features with Moment 5, of course, and they will include the ability to write with a stylus directly into elements of the Windows 11 interface. For example, you'll be able to jot text in a search box, rather than having to type it.

There'll be some other minor improvements, and tweaking to Copilot, too. You'll be able to undock the AI assistant (as previously rumored) so apps can be underneath it, and not forced to exist side-by-side with the Copilot panel. The panel will also be wider by default (as requested by user feedback, apparently) and Copilot will appear in the Alt+Tab menu.

Snap layouts will also get AI-powered suggestions, for those that use them, and there are some other bits and pieces, like a rejigged casting menu in the Quick Settings panel. Also, Microsoft is implementing improvements for the Nearby Share feature including making transfers faster. On the whole, though, it's all a little underwhelming sounding.

Rollout timeframe

The first release for Moment 5 should come late in February, as mentioned, although that will be a preview (optional) update. The full rollout will come over March and April in those cumulative updates.

The big move this year for Windows 11 will be the 24H2 update, though, which will come with a ton of changes. In fact, this could still be an all-new Windows version - Windows 12 is still a possibility, going by rumors, though it looks increasingly like Microsoft will stick with a 24H2 update rather than a renamed OS.

For one thing, fragmenting the Windows user base into three camps (Windows 10, 11, 12) probably wouldn't be the wisest thing to do, in terms of it being a pain to implement updates across all those platforms.

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Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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