Windows 11 24H2 is Out of the Gate

Microsoft’s latest Windows update is out of the gate and ready to be deployed. Windows 11 ISO 11 24H2 is now available to the Release Preview Channel for Insiders, with a target window of September for general availability. The update is AI-centric, timed to coincide with the new Copilot+ AI PCs that Microsoft is launching throughout 2024.

The update includes a number of improvements, including better file compression support for the popular 7zip and TAR formats. It’s also added support for the new JXR image format, a standard that lets users use HDR backgrounds on their displays. Microsoft is also reworking how its energy saver mode works to help users reduce the amount of power their computers consume when they’re not in use.

There are also some nice improvements for the Quick Settings flyout, allowing users to scroll down through all of the quick actions rather than having to pin them individually. You can also now select multiple quick actions at the same time, a useful feature for people with lots of shortcuts to their favorite apps and services. Finally, the list of Wi-Fi networks shown in this panel will now refresh automatically.

You’ll notice some differences if you open the taskbar search box and type “sudo.” This allows you to run commands with elevated privileges without having to first open an elevated Terminal window. It’s a simple but welcome addition.

On the gaming side, this update brings a number of fixes and improvements, including a fix for an issue where games were starting up with reduced frame rates. It also adds a toggle that allows you to turn off notifications when you’re playing. The update also improves the way that you can launch and quit games from the taskbar, and it makes it easier to switch between desktop resolutions when using a multi-monitor setup.

This is the second update that Microsoft has released this month. The previous update, KB5039659, reverted the controversial Recall logging features to how they were before Microsoft revealed them to the public. Recall was originally set to arrive in the 23H2 update, but Microsoft realized that would require Copilot-compatible hardware. That’s why it accelerated 24H2 so that existing PCs could get the features sooner.

Microsoft is still planning to make this update generally available for Intel and AMD-based PCs in September. However, it’ll be a while before they can get the new Copilot+ PC features that are exclusive to the Qualcomm Snapdragon X series of devices. This is because the feature set requires a neural processing unit (NPU) capable of delivering 40TOPS performance, which most Intel and AMD processors don’t meet. The company will enable those Copilot+ PC features on x86 hardware when it’s ready, which probably won’t be until July at the earliest.