Microsoft has released the KB5032190 November 2023 Patch Tuesday update, which brings a slew of new features and improvements to Windows 11 versions 23H2 and 22H2. The update, which delivers a shared knowledge base for both versions, results in different build numbers – 22621.2715 and 22631.2715 respectively. The update focuses on enhancing user experience with new functionalities, including a centralized AI assistant known as Copilot in Windows, and improvements to the Start menu, taskbar, system tray, notifications, and File Explorer.
Introducing AI to the Desktop: Copilot in Windows Preview
The headline feature of the KB5032190 update is a preview of Copilot in Windows, marking a significant advancement in PC platforms by integrating centralized AI assistance. Copilot is designed to facilitate tasks directly from the desktop without overlapping or obstructing open application windows. The sidebar feature allows users to execute various commands, such as changing to dark mode, summarizing websites, taking screenshots, or generating creative content like stories and images, leveraging Bing Chat to enhance the experience contextually. Microsoft emphasizes their ongoing commitment to responsible AI development and privacy, noting that detailed privacy information can be accessed through their privacy statement.
Enhancements Across the Operating System
Start Menu and Taskbar Overhaul: Users can now enjoy a richer preview of files under the “Recommended” section of the Start menu, along with a new enhanced volume mixer in Quick Settings that allows for individual app audio customization. The taskbar receives a “never combined” mode to separately view application windows and labels.
File Explorer Innovations: KB5032190 introduces a modernized File Explorer Home powered by WinUI, featuring a carousel for recommended files and a newly designed address bar. Additional file explorer improvements include native support for reading more archive file formats and a new details pane for accessing related content and collaboration tools.
Focus on Accessibility and Security: Narrator gains new natural voices, while voice access now enables commands for correcting unrecognized text and supports Startup functionality. Security-wise, the update introduces passkeys as a more secure alternative to passwords and Enhanced Phishing Protection repelling unsafe password practices.
As with any comprehensive update, there are known issues such as problems related to BitLocker configuration with error reporting and desktop icon alignment challenges when using Copilot with multiple monitors. Microsoft is actively working on resolutions for these issues and advises workarounds in the interim.
The KB5032190 update promises to automatically arrive through Windows Update but is also available for manual download from the Microsoft Catalog for users requiring an offline installation. Through this release, Microsoft continues to innovate and refine Windows 11, setting a new standard for user experience and security in the process.
November 2023 Patch Tuesday
This update is a part of the wider November 2023 Patch Tuesday rollout. The company has patched a relatively low number of flaws this month, totaling 63, but the focus on zero-day issues signals their critical nature. Zero-day vulnerabilities refer to security weaknesses that are known to the public and may already be exploited by cyber attackers. The update places a high emphasis on these critical threats, aiming to safeguard users against potential cyber incursions.