Windows 11 24h2: Release Date, Features, How to Install

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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Windows 11 24h2 update is expected to be larger than the previous version and includes new features.
  • The update is available in the Release Preview Channel for customers to preview.
  • New features include HDR background support, Sudo for Windows, Wi-Fi 7, AI Voice Clarity, and more.
  • The update introduces the new Copilot Key for next-gen AI features like Windows Recall and Live Captions.
  • Windows 11 24h2 is estimated to be generally available around September - October 2024.

The wait for the official launch of Windows 12 seems to be getting longer. Microsoft recently confirmed that this year’s Windows update will be Windows 11 24h2 — a new version packed full of AI tools.

The Windows 11 24h2 update is expected to be a much larger Operating System (OS) update than the previous 23h2 version.

While Microsoft has yet to officially release the version in the wild, it is now available on its Release Preview Channel for customers to preview.

Expected features in this Windows 11 update include HDR background support, Sudo for Windows, Energy Server, Wi-Fi 7, AI Voice Clarity and many more.

The version will support the new Copilot Key, which will open the door to next-gen AI features like Windows Recall, Windows Studio Effects, Live Captions, and Cocreator.

In this article, we have compiled all the new features of Windows 11 24h2, the rumored release date, and a quick guide on how to download the new update on your Windows PC.

When Is Windows 11 24h2 Coming Out?

Estimated Release Date: September – October 2024

Microsoft stated in their blog post published on May 22 that they have started rolling out Windows 11, version 24H2 in their customer’s Release Preview Channel and will gradually increase the rollout overtime ahead of the general availability (GA) of the version later in the Fall of 2024.

Users who want to experience Windows 11 24h2 right away can install the Release Preview build using the ISO Build version 26100.712 or later. It is important to note that Microsoft earlier announced in May that Copilot+ PCs will have this Windows 11 24h2 preloaded when they start shipping on June 18.

Outside these Copilot+ PCs, every other Windows 11 PC will get this 24h2 update towards the end of the year when the update is expected to reach full maturity and be ready for general availability. So, expect the Windows 11 24h2 release date around September or October of 2024.

Windows 11 24h2 System Requirements

A CPU with “POPCNT” is Required

It looks like much older PCs will not be able to install the new Windows 11 24h2. Bob Pony, a popular Microsoft leaker on the X platform, shared that “a CPU with the instruction ‘POPCNT’ is now required for users to install this version of Windows 11. This means that without the population count instruction, the system will not boot.

POPCNT has been around for at least since SSE4.2, so if you have a CPU that’s 14 years old, you might not be able to run the instruction. CPUs released after 2010 with system files that include the Windows 11 kernel and USB XHCI drivers already rely on this POPCNT instruction.

In addition to this POPCNT requirement, the older Windows 11 requirements like TPM 2.0, 4GB+ RAM, Secure Boot, and Intel/AMD CPUs released after 2018 will still apply for this new 24h2 version.

Other hardware requirements for the new Windows 11 24h2 include 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with two or more cores on a 64-bit processor or system on a chip (SoC) and 64 GB or greater available disk space.

Windows 11 24h2 New Features

Next-gen AI Copilot+ PC features, HDR background support, AI Voice Clarity, Sudo for Windows, Wi-Fi 7

Windows 11 24h2 will be the first version of Microsoft Windows to ship with artificial intelligence features that are exclusive to new AI PCs with dedicated NPUs.

These new sets of AI PCs, called Copilot+ PCs, will be powered by ARM-based Snapdragon X Elite chipset, and will start shipping on June 18, 2024.

Highlights of the Windows 11 24h2 AI features that will accompany these PCs include: Windows AI Recall which keeps track of everything you do on your PC, AI Cocreator for generative AI images based on your sketches, Live Captions which uses AI to translate 40+ different languages from live or pre-recorded audio and video in real-time, and many more AI-powered features.

Other new features that will be available to those not using the Copilot+ AI PCs but have installed the Windows 11 24h2 update are AI Voice Clarity for removing background noise when on a call or recording, and Energy Saver which reduces your PC’s energy consumption by minimizing system performance.

There is also Sudo (‘superuser do’) which allows Windows users to run elevated processes through the command line with different configuration options. By default, this Sudo feature will be off for security reasons, but users can easily enable the feature in the Settings app if they intend to use it.

We will also see Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth LE Support, Windows Studio Effects, AI Depth Wallpapers, a New Update Mechanism, and many more new features.

In the coming months, Microsoft will continue to share details of new features and improvements that will be included in the Windows 11 24h2. So we will keep you updated.

How Do I Get Windows 11 24h2?

Windows 11 24h2 is already available in the Windows Preview Channel for Windows Insiders.

If you’re already in the Windows Preview Channel, and your PC meets the Windows 11 hardware requirements, then you can install the 24h2 version by using the Microsoft “seeker” experience in the Windows Update.

For Windows 11 24h2 downloads, follow this instruction: Go to PC Settings —> Select Windows Update —> Choose Download —> Install.

Once you’ve installed Windows 11 24h2,  you will automatically start receiving service updates via the Windows Update monthly till the 24h2 version reaches full maturity.

It is important to note that Windows Insiders in the Dev and Canary Channels will not be able to switch to the Release Preview Channel since they are on build already and do not need to switch.

If you intend on getting the new Copilot+ AI PCs slated to start shipping in the second half of June, you don’t need to install Windows 11 24h2. The PCs are already preloaded with the Windows 11 24h2 version, which includes some exclusive Copilot+ AI features.

The Bottom Line

The Windows landscape is poised to take a new breath with this upcoming Windows 11 24h2 update. From all indications, Microsoft is not lagging in modern software development. Their recent romance with the AI world is maturing by the day and have come to roost in their latest offerings.

The Windows 11 24h2 will be fully loaded with many AI features, from Copilot for Windows and AI Voice Clarity to Energy Server and everything in between.

The AI PCs shipping with Windows 11 24h2 preloaded will also likely be a game changer for Microsoft users who desire an immersive AI experience. As Windows 11 24h2 nears full maturity, we will keep you posted on any new features that Microsoft adds in the pipeline.

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