Windows 11 Moment 2 update brings AI-powered Bing to the taskbar among other noteworthy changes, can brick taskbar tweaks like StartAllBack
Microsoft's AI-powered Bing is all over the news these days, and the Redmond-giant now wants to bring AI smarts to your taskbar. Microsoft dropped a fairly major Windows 11 update yesterday. This update, which is called Moment 2 or KB5022913, brings the new ChatGPT-powered Bing to the Windows 11 search bar along with a few other quality-of-life features.
Currently, the Bing chat experience has a huge waitlist. But if you are already in the testing phase, you can now initiate chat queries from the search button in the taskbar. However, the feature seems to be just building on the hype surrounding the new Bing as all queries are just answered in a new Edge window. It would have been far more useful if the queries are processed within the Search box itself on device. May be Microsoft will eventually go this route, but that's just wishful thinking for now.
The Search box itself has now become less jarring since the text field is now elongated and allows you to directly type into it instead of hopping on to another input field.
Microsoft is also introducing Phone Link for iOS for Windows Insiders. Phone Link traditionally worked only with Android phones so far and played particularly well with the Samsung Galaxy range.
Intel recently released the Unison app that allowed iOS devices to pair well with Windows PCs and access photos and notifications. OEMs like Dell also offer their own apps like Dell Mobile Connect that support file transfers and app mirroring from iOS devices. Now, Microsoft is offering a first-party solution.
Of course, Android devices will work the best with Phone Link and the app now supports activating personal hotspot on a connected Samsung phone directly from the PC. Users can also continue their browsing session on the PC right from where they left off on the phone.
Those with laptops that support Windows Studio Effects such as the Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360, Lenovo ThinkPad X13s, etc., can now adjust Studio Effects directly from the taskbar. Effects such as background blur, eye contact, and automatic framing will apply to all video communication apps such as Microsoft Teams.
Other enhancements in the Windows 11 Moment 2 update include:
- a collapsed taskbar that is more tablet-friendly
- AI-powered Azure Active Directory search and file recommendation for businesses
- Task Manager improvements
- full screen Widgets slide-out with third-party widgets from Spotify and Meta
- energy saving recommendations in the Power options
- Braille display support in Narrator.
In-box apps are also getting some nifty updates independent of the Moment 2 Windows update. Notepad now gets tabs, the Snipping Tool now allows screen recording, and Quick Assist offers a laser pointer for guidance.
The Windows 11 Moment 2 update is now available for those running Windows 22H2. It is not automatically downloaded, so you will have to manually initiate the update request via Windows Update. However, Microsoft is planning to eventually roll out these features to all via March's Patch Tuesday update cycle.
Do note that installing the Moment 2 update can break functionality of third-party taskbar tweaks such as ExplorerPatcher or StartAllBack. Side effects range from looped crashes of explorer.exe to the PC not booting at all.