During the launch event of Windows 11, Microsoft signalled a renewed focus on the operating system that made its name. As part of its efforts to boost Windows popularity, Microsoft moved parts of the Windows development under Panos Panay’s control and the developer experience teams are now part of the primary ‘Windows team’.
The original big Windows split across consumer/enterprise editions and Azure didn’t work as planned and the development of Windows 10 had slowed down. Windows has been on the backburner in the last couple of years with the company shipping minor improvements to the OS.
Windows remains an important part of Microsoft’s ecosystem and the company is now pushing Windows for software innovation once again. That’s because the company has seen huge engagement numbers after the pandemic and the launch of the new operating system follows the remote work-fueled PC market rise.
Later this year, Microsoft will begin rolling out version 22H2 or Sun Valley 2. This update would be similar to the anniversary update for Windows 10. In other words, you should not expect major new features or platform innovation, but the company is apparently working on another big update for the OS.
We’ve already seen references to ‘version 23H2’ in Microsoft documents and the second reference for ‘Sun Valley 3’ or ‘SV3’ has now popped up in a Microsoft webcast.
As you can see in the above screenshot, PowerPoint Live notes mention “SV3 Refined Investments Next Step”, confirming our speculation that the company is not planning to drop the Sun Valley codename for now.
The reference points to “refined investments” in Windows 11 and we will begin to see these “refined” investments come to life with Copper/version 23H2 preview releases in the second half of 2022, as that’s when Microsoft is expecting to begin testing major changes from the next big release.
After Microsoft started shipping builds to Beta Channel, Windows Insiders have been hoping to hear more about plans to test Windows 11’s next development branch on real hardware, and although the company isn’t confirming anything publicly at the moment, it is something they are preparing internally.
What to expect in Sun Valley 3 for Windows 11
It’s too early to talk about new features coming next year, but it’s likely that Sun Valley 3 will address the shortcomings of the new taskbar and tablet experience. As you’re probably aware, Windows 11 doesn’t have a full-fledged taskbar or a tablet mode, but this could change next year.
Microsoft is believed to be working on major improvements for taskbar and tablet mode, and those changes are now expected to ship next year.
In the meantime, what are your thoughts on Microsoft’s reinvestment in the desktop operating system with Windows 11? Let us know in the comments below!