Windows 11 is Getting a Much Needed Makeover

It’s been more than six months since Microsoft released Windows 11, and it’s quickly becoming clear that it’s far from perfect. Though it seems stable, several significant bugs plague Windows 11. Virtual Machine installs aren’t better than physical installs, where you may need to tweak some more settings. The operating system could also use some refinement in other areas. That said, you’ll want to keep an eye on at least 2 updates in the pipeline.

In this article, we discuss a soon-to-be-released bug fix update, KB5008353. We also delve into the Sun Valley 2 new feature update. Both should go a long way to make Windows 11 more usable. First, let’s consider why Windows 11, a new operating system, already needs an update?

Why Windows 11 Needs a Facelift

Windows 11 has fallen flat in two areas. First, Windows 11 has been suffering from some serious bugs. Though most bugs relate to audio or display issues, some affect the storage subsystem. These don’t apply to the minimum system requirements needed to run it, though.

Another area is its operating system. It received sharp criticism as essentially being Windows 10 with a fresh coat of paint. Nearly all its new features relate to the new user interface and are, therefore, cosmetic.

That said, let’s look at how the new updates will help Windows 11 improve. Let’s start with bug control.

Windows 11 Bug Fix Update–KB5008353

The KB5008353 update is currently in preview and available as an optional update. Most likely, Microsoft will release it in February 2022.

KB5008353 is primarily a bug fix release. That said, it contains one new feature – a Settings page. This page allows you to manage your Microsoft services and subscriptions easier, as shown in the figure below.

Image of Windows 11 desktop with the Settings window open, displaying the users microsoft account options. Microsoft has added a Your Microsoft Account page to Windows 11’s Settings.
Microsoft has added a Your Microsoft Account page to Windows 11’s Settings.

Though the new Your Microsoft Account page is a welcome addition to Windows 11, the bug fixes are this update’s main attraction.

Here are some bugs the KB5008353 update fixes:

  • Unresponsive audio service due to hardware-accelerated Bluetooth taking sound control.
  • Incorrect or outdated Bluetooth device battery information.
  • Incorrect report that Windows 11 muted the audio while it didn’t.
Screenshot of Windows 11 sound menu. Hardware-accelerated Bluetooth devices have caused sound to become unresponsive and options grayed out.
Take back sound control from your Bluetooth hardware!

The bug fixes contained in this update also fixed display bugs. Here’s a list of the few display fixes the update achieves:

  • Improved automatic brightness to work better in low light conditions
  • Fixed the bug resulting in Windows 11crashing when connecting multiple displays
  • Allowed icons to show on the secondary monitor 

These fixes improve the display, especially when Microsoft spent so much time emphasizing Windows 11’s new features and specifically its multi-display environments. Server implementation on enterprise installations is also easier.

Windows 11's display system menu. Some options are grayed out and appear to have problems finding different multi-display sources.
Connect multi-displays with Windows 11, problem-free.

Keep in mind that this is by no means a comprehensive list of the bugs that Microsoft fixed. The important takeaway is this particular release addresses significant bugs that we’ve been struggling with since Windows 11’s release.

Sun Valley 2–The Feature Update

Sun Valley 2 is Microsoft’s internal code name for Windows 11’s first major feature update. When Microsoft first released Windows 11, it got severe criticism, labeling it as Windows 10 with a fresh coat of paint. That’s why it’s interesting to see how Microsoft attempts to improve Windows 11 with this update. 

The Sun Valley 2 update has the more official reference, Windows 11 version 22H2. It’s worth noting that Microsoft hasn’t officially announced what the 22H2 release will include. Some sources even indicate Microsoft won’t finalize the feature list until March. Even so, we can expect a few things based on leaked information. 

A computer screen showing the windows logo and the words Getting ready and 5 dots from the loading circle.
Get ready for the Windows’s Sun Valley 2 update.

Check these 3 changes based on rumors:

  1. Drag and drop’s comeback: One of the strongest rumors suggests the Windows 11 taskbar will get a badly needed makeover. The Windows 10 taskbar supported drag and drop, and Microsoft has received sharp criticism for removing it in Windows 11. That’s why it’s logical to have it in the update. 
  2. Right-click is also back: Some rumors suggest Microsoft will bring back some right-click functionality that existed in Windows 10.
  3. Dark mode and widgets: Other, more prevalent rumors include adding a system-wide dark mode and support for third-party widgets

Now, let’s turn our attention to what we can realistically expect from Sun Valley 2.

What Can We Expect from Sun Valley 2?

Historically, most widely-reported Microsoft leaks have ultimately come true. That’s why we fully expect to see the Sun Valley 2 release sport taskbar improvements and support for third-party widgets. That said, we’re also expecting this release to include many new features rumors haven’t touched on yet. That’s due to 2 reasons

1. Transition to Windows 11 from Windows 10

Microsoft wants its customers to transition from Windows 10 and adopt Windows 11. As it stands, most people have no compelling reason to make the switch. The main difference between Windows 10 and Windows 11 is the graphical user interface (GUI). That’s why we fully expect the Sun Valley 2 update to include a long list of new features you can’t get with Windows 10 updates.

2. Anniversary Edition Bang

Sun Valley 2 will essentially be the Windows 11 anniversary edition. If we look back at the Windows 10 anniversary update, it brought a plethora of new features, like Windows Hello, Edge support for browser extensions, smartphone support, improvements to Cortana, and the list goes on and on. We’ll probably see something similar with the Windows 11 anniversary update. 

If these speculations hold true, we’ll get a “new” Windows 11 that may finally live up to the original release’s hype. Odds are the Sun Valley 2 update will provide even more bug fixes. That, coupled with the new features, may finally give us a compelling reason to upgrade from Windows 10.

Final Thoughts

Windows 11 KB5008353 is primarily a bug fix release but also includes a new feature. The feature will make it easier for you to manage your Microsoft accounts. This update should fix most issues causing problems for Windows 11 users.

Microsoft is also hard-at-work on a feature update labeled Sun Valley 2. As it stands, we have very little definitive information available about Windows 11 Sun Valley 2. If history, and the leaks, are any indication, then it’ll likely add significant functionality to the operating system. In the meantime, KB5008353 will fix a number of the issues early adopters have been struggling with.

To help reduce the need to solve multiple service challenges, roll out a standardized image. Ensure you pre-test this Windows 11 version and lock out all known problematic issues. By using a template image to propagate changes, you’ll have more time for growth activities.

FAQs

 

When will Sun Valley 2 be released?

Microsoft hasn’t given an official release date yet, but rumors slate the update for a summer 2022 release. That said, some sources are predicting an October 2022 release. Microsoft has only indicated the release will come in the second half of the year.

Will KB5008353 fix all of the Windows 11 bugs?

No. Windows operating systems have never been 100% bug-free. This update should correct most of the more challenging bugs Windows 11 has.

What types of accounts will the Your Accounts page allow you to manage?

The feature is primarily intended for use with Microsoft, Azure, and Microsoft 365 accounts. It’ll help you essentially manage all modern Microsoft enterprise solutions from one integrated solution.

How many new features can we expect in the Sun Valley 2 update?

It’s impossible to know for sure, but industry expectations see the release somewhat analogous to the Windows 10 anniversary update. This included dozens of new features that added value to the user but were relatively minor in scope. 

Will Microsoft create a Sun Valley 3 update at some point?

It’s tough to know for sure. That said, and based on Microsoft’s history, we can likely expect to see an annual feature update. That’ll likely continue until Microsoft announces the next Windows version.

Resources

 

Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Learn more about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update here.

Windows 11 Resources

KB5008353 Support Article

Take a look at Windows 11 KB5008353 here.

Release Information

Read about Windows 11 features here. 

Downgrade Support

Find out how to downgrade back to Windows 10 if you are having issues with Windows 11 here.

Compatibility Tool

Evaluate Windows 11 compatibility with this free tool.

Windows 11 Review

Investigate the good, bad, and ugly aspects of Windows 11 here.

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