Microsoft has been testing several new features for Windows 11 since its public release earlier last year. Now, according to reports, the company is working on a new Windows 11 version 22H2 update, which is internally known as the Sun Valley 2 update. The update is slated to bring significant improvements to the Windows experience and the latest report hints at welcome changes to Windows 11 widgets. Here’s what to expect.
Windows Sun Valley 2 Update: What’s New?
Apart from focusing on the quality improvements of existing features in Windows 11, Microsoft is expected to add support for third-party widgets with the Sun Valley 2 update, as per the new developer guidelines that appeared recently on its website.
If you have been using Windows 11 on your laptop or desktop, you would know that the widgets panel, which was one of the highlighted features of Windows 11, does not support third-party widgets. Users can only choose from a few system widgets like Weather, Calendar, Photos, To-Do, and more. But, that might change soon. It is also revealed that Microsoft will not be supporting Win32 or UWP widgets, but web-based ones to enhance the widgets panel in Windows 11.
Hence, users will be able to install third-party widgets without using the Microsoft Store. Developers, on the other hand, would be able to publish Windows app widgets through the Store.
The support document also mentions something called “Adaptive Cards,” which would be “platform-agnostic snippets of UI” that are designed for integration into Host experiences such as widgets. These cards will automatically match the Host experience and ensure low memory and CPU usage.
Other than enhancing the widgets panel, Microsoft might also add support for foldable devices in Windows 11 with the upcoming update, as hinted by Intel hinted during this year’s CES event. As this has not been confirmed by Microsoft yet, we’d suggest you take the information with a grain of salt.
Coming to the availability of the Windows 11 Sun Valley 2 update, reports suggest that Microsoft will start rolling it out in October 2022. It is also likely that Microsoft has already started testing these new widgets with a small group of developers. The public testing phase might also begin soon as part of the Windows Insiders program.
Since we are yet to get official details, take the aforementioned with a pinch of salt and wait for more information to get a better idea.