The next major update for Windows 11 is expected to arrive at end of February, and what awaits users includes artificial intelligence (AI) tools for organising your desktop, being able to disable Bing in Windows Search (if you’re in the EU), the ability to uninstall Microsoft Edge (again, EU only), Notepad updates, and more.
This Windows 11 update has been dubbed “Moment 5” and “February 2024 Moment” (the latter being the name that Microsoft uses internally).
While this update will deliver some new features and tweaks, this update is primarily aimed at making Windows 11 compliant with new legislation from the European Union, the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Mozilla recently published a report accusing Microsoft of using “dark patterns” and bad market competition practices with regard to browser choice, so at least in the EU, this situation will slightly improve.
What Windows 11 users can look forward to and when
Some of the updates that are coming with Moment 5 update include improvements to Windows 365’s Cloud PC integration, built-in accessibility features in Windows 11, an option to remove news from the Widgets Board, and the capability to remove Bing from the Windows Search pane (if you're in the EU). These features are expected to be previewed in late February 2024 or the beginning of March 2024.
This is all we know about Moment 5 at the moment, according to Windows Central, and we will continue to watch and report new information about the upcoming update as we have it. Going by the internal name given to the update, "February 2024 Moment,” it’s not expected to stretch into March, and Windows Central suggests that users will be able to install this update as of February 27, 2024.
You can try out this update out for yourself (if it’s available on the forecasted date) by doing the following:
1. Go to your PC’s Settings app.
2. In the left-hand menu, select Windows Update.
3. In the resulting menu, click on the Check for updates button.
This will prompt Windows to search for any freshly released available updates. If it finds them, it’ll automatically download and install them on your device.
EU-phoria for certain Windows 11 users
This update is good news for users in the EU, with them now being able to disable Bing in Windows Search and choose a different search provider in its place, and uninstall preinstalled apps like Microsoft Edge. It’s certainly a win for Windows 11 users in the EU and a cause for envy from the rest of us - they’re getting more choice and they’re gaining more control over their computers.
It’s not just Microsoft that’s being accused of anti-competitive practices. Mozilla and Google also recently called out Apple for not going far enough with its new rules and regulations that have come about as a result of the DMA, and, somewhat similarly to Microsoft, in engaging in poor browser market competition practices.
Users have been complaining about Microsoft’s persistent and annoying efforts to try and get them to switch to its browser Edge, and at least for EU users, this will now hopefully end - or at least become less aggressive. The rest of us, however, will have to wait and hope for our governments to follow.