Windows 11 Sun Valley 2

Windows 11 is going to be a year old in July 2022 and Microsoft will be giving users an anniversary present – a new feature update with a long list of much-needed improvements. The update is apparently codenamed “Sun Valley 2” internally and it is going to be similar to the anniversary update for Windows 10.

Sun Valley 2 or version 22H2 would be a version of Windows 11 with some important improvements to make it faster, smoother and more modern, and to integrate WinUI more closely with the rest of the operating system. For example, a new Windows Run with dark mode could show up in this release. We’re also expecting new native apps.

The most obvious improvement will be drag-and-drop support for the taskbar. As you’re probably aware, the modern or “redesigned” taskbar is perhaps the worst change of Microsoft’s new operating system, with many of the key features like drag and drop or right-click missing.

Likewise, the taskbar is currently locked to the bottom of the screen, so it is not possible to move it to the other sides of the screen. There has been a backlash about the changes, and Microsoft is apparently listening to the feedback.

Windows 11 22H2, which is now expected to arrive later this summer, will add support for drag-and-drop. We’ll probably see the taskbar drag-and-drop feature in the upcoming Dev Channel preview builds, which is a branch of Windows 11 that allows people to test out new features.

Windows 11 Sun Valley 2 leak
Taskbar drag and drop works partially after modifying registry in preview builds

In fact, preview builds already include some changes that would enable power drag-and-drop support in a future release.

What to expect in Windows 11 Sun Valley 2

As we mentioned at the outset, Microsoft is also planning to improve the Start menu in Windows 11 version 22H2 with new customization options. You’ll be able to pin more apps or recommendations to the Start.

In addition to design enhancements, there will be some key changes under the hood too, with important improvements to Windows Subsystem for Android and Windows’ ability to manage snap groups. There will be improvements to many pages of the Windows 11 Settings app and how the OS handles Control Panel pages for power users.

Support for third-party widgets

Windows 11 currently comes with support for integrated widgets – like Microsoft To-Do, Microsoft Weather, News and interests’ news feed one that’s already in Windows 10.

A whole range of third-party widgets could become available for Windows 11 as part of the version 22H2 “Sun Valley 2”. Theory is that the third-party widget support will be delivered via a new API which will be included in the new OS update, with some companies already working on their own widgets.

This may bring back what we had in Windows Vista – third-party desktop gadgets, but these widgets will remain part of the Widgets panel, at least for now.