Microsoft starts forced upgrades of older Windows 11 versions to Windows 11 23H2

Devices that still run older versions of Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system will be upgraded to Windows 11 version 23H2 automatically, according to Microsoft.

The announcement was posted on the official Windows 11 version 23H2 release health website. There, Microsoft notes that the latest version of its Windows 11 operating system is entering a new rollout phase.

The company writes:

Windows 11, version 23H2, also known as the Windows 11 2023 Update, is now entering a new rollout phase. We are starting to update eligible Windows 11 devices automatically to version 23H2.

The change affects consumer devices running Windows Home or Pro only. Managed devices are not affected. Microsoft notes as well that only compatible -- Microsoft uses the term 'eligible' -- Windows PCs will be upgraded without user say in the matter.

PCs that still run older versions of Windows 11 will be upgraded using machine learning. Microsoft says that this ensures that the feature update is rolled out safely to devices that will reach end of support soon.

This is not the first time that Microsoft has updated Windows devices automatically.

Windows 11: two versions are supported

Microsoft supports two versions of its Windows 11 operating system currently. Besides Windows 11 version 23H2, which it released in late 2023, it also supports Windows 11 version 22H2. The latter was released in late 2022 and is nearing its end of support date. Microsoft ends support for Windows 11 version 22H2 on Oct 8, 2024.

The release version of Windows 11 is no longer supported by Microsoft. Most Home devices are likely also running on newer versions of the operating system.

There is little reason not to upgrade to Windows 11 version 23H2 at this point. Microsoft fixed all open issues and while it is unlikely that the operating system is truly free of issues, administrators may find this reassuring.

There is one reason not to upgrade to this new version right now: the upcoming release of Windows 11 version 24H2.

Windows 11 version 24H2

Microsoft will release a new feature update for Windows 11 in the second half of 2024. This feature update, which won't be Windows 12, will focus heavily on AI. Some believe that it will pave the way for Windows AI PCs, but it is too early to tell based on current development builds.

Some administrators may want to skip Windows 11 version 23H2 entirely. They could upgrade to Windows 11 version 24H2 right away after all.

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