Windows 11 Sun Valley 2 will be finalized by summer

Windows 11 turns one year old in July 2022, and Microsoft will be giving users a birthday present – a new feature update with a long list of much-needed improvements. The update is apparently codenamed “Sun Valley 2” internally and will be similar to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Sun Valley 2 or 22H2 would be a version of Windows 11 with some significant improvements to make it faster, smoother and more modern, and to integrate WinUI more closely with the rest of the operating system. For example, a new Windows Run with dark mode might appear in this version. We are also waiting for new native applications.

The most obvious improvement will be the drag and drop support for the taskbar. As you probably know, the modern or ‘redesigned’ taskbar is perhaps the worst change in Microsoft’s new operating system, with many key features like drag and drop or right click missing.

Likewise, the taskbar is currently locked at the bottom of the screen, so it is not possible to move it to other sides of the screen. There has been a backlash on the changes, and Microsoft is apparently listening to feedback.

Windows 11 22H2, which is now expected to arrive later this summer, will add support for drag and drop. We’ll likely see the drag-and-drop functionality of the taskbar in future preview releases of Dev Channel, which is a branch of Windows 11 that allows users to test new features.

Windows 11 Sun Valley 2 leak
Taskbar drag and drop partially works after changing registry in preview builds

In fact, the preview releases already include some changes that would allow drag and drop support in a future release.

What to expect in Windows 11 Sun Valley 2

As we mentioned at the start, Microsoft also plans to improve the Windows 11 version 22H2 Start menu with new customization options. You can pin more apps or recommendations at the start.

Along with the design improvements, there will also be key changes under the hood, with significant improvements to the Windows Subsystem for Android and Windows’ ability to manage Snapshot Pools. There will be improvements to many pages in the Windows 11 Settings app and to the way the operating system handles Control Panel pages for advanced users.

Support for third-party widgets

Windows 11 currently supports built-in widgets, such as Microsoft To-Do, Microsoft Weather, News, and the Interests News Feed that’s already in Windows 10.

A whole range of third-party widgets could become available for Windows 11 as part of version 22H2 “Sun Valley 2”. The theory is that support for third-party widgets will be provided through a new API that will be included in the new OS update, with some companies already working on their own widgets.

This may bring back what we had in Windows Vista – third-party desktop gadgets, but those widgets will still be part of the Widgets panel, at least for now.

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