By Delia / Last update December 31, 2021

While the deployment of Windows 11 is still not complete, Microsoft has already started preparing the next major update for the system. As you may know, the Windows 10 21H1 update that launched in the first half of 2021 was codenamed "Sun Valley". This Windows 11 update, internally codenamed "Sun Valley 2," is expected to launch in the second half of 2021 and will focus on optimizing the system experience, with a host of new features planned, including support for third-party Widgets.

windows 11

Window 11 "Sun Valley 2" is expected to be available in 2022 summer

The version of Windows 11 currently being rolled out to eligible Windows 10 users and new buyers leaves much to be desired, and it had been hoped that Microsoft would roll out a major update in early 2022 that would address these shortcomings.

Now it looks like Windows 11 users will have to wait longer, as the next major update to Windows 11 won't RTM until May 2022 and roll out to Windows 11 users next summer.

Windows 11 22H2 will support 3rd party widgets

Windows 11 version 22H2 is similar in purpose to Windows 10 version 1511 in that it focuses on "completing" features and changes to the operating system that were simply too late to implement at the time of the initial release. This will include features such as a true system-wide dark mode that touches on the legacy UI in addition to the modern interface, as well as a return to missing features, especially around the taskbar.

Microsoft is also expected to expand the Widgets panel with new features and support for third-party Widgets. Some developers have already been told how third-party Widgets will work. These Widgets will be available in the Microsoft Store, though interestingly, Microsoft also plans to allow applications not listed in the Microsoft Store to come with their own Widgets as well.

windows 11 widgets

As stated in the Microsoft blog: “Windows 11 brings you closer to the news and information you care about faster with Widgets – a new personalized feed powered by AI and best-in-class browser performance from Microsoft Edge. Even when we’re at our most focused and creative we still need breaks – a moment to check in with the outside world or give ourselves a mental reset. Today, we often pick up our phones to check the news, weather or notifications. Now, you can open a similarly curated view directly from your desktop. When you open your personalized feed it slides across your screen like a sheet of glass so it doesn’t disrupt what you’re doing.

For creators and publishers, Widgets also opens new real estate within Windows to deliver personalized content. Our aspiration is to create a vibrant pipeline for global brands and local creators alike, in a way that both consumers and creators can benefit.”

What else can you expect in Windows 11 22H2

In addition to Widgets, Android app support will be officially available in Windows 11 version 22H2. A number of built-in apps are also expected to get updates, including Notepad and Groove Music, both of which are already in preview.

What's more, the Mail and Calendar apps are expected to be replaced by Microsoft's "Project Monarch" Outlook client in 2022. Microsoft had planned to launch a preview version of the Monarch client this year, but for unknown reasons that didn't happen. The client is still in development, so perhaps we'll hear more about the new client in the coming months.