Microsoft in 2022: year in review

Microsoft in 2022: year in review

What kind of 2022 did Microsoft experience? The company made some big moves during the course of this year, including a gargantuan near-$70 billion acquisition – mired in controversy – and it also brought the first major feature update to Windows 11. Let’s take a deep dive into how Microsoft fared across the software, hardware, and gaming fronts over the past year.

Windows 11’s big update (and bugged updates)

Windows 11 is still relatively new, having arrived late in 2021, and the biggest thing to happen to the OS this year was the debut of its first major update. (Remember that there’ll only be one feature update per year now, rather than twice yearly as was the case in the past). The Windows 11 2022 Update (informally known as 22H2) pitched up in September, applying a whole lot of polish, alongside some major and useful changes to the interface. We were also treated to a new system of ‘Moments’, fancy Microsoft jargon for smaller updates more agilely applied as needed outside of the big yearly feature upgrade.

Some of the notable improvements piped through included the introduction of tabs for File Explorer, allowing for multiple folders to be opened in one File Explorer window, in the same way there are multiple tabs in a browser. That represented the delivery of a long-promised feature from Microsoft. The taskbar also received a lot of attention, with a taskbar overflow panel being brought in, and after lots of clamoring from a good many Windows 11 users, drag-and-drop functionality was finally returned to the taskbar.

File Explorer tabs in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Indeed, it seems that something of a theme for the year was Microsoft listening more to feedback and user needs, as another much complained about aspect of the taskbar – the removal of the option to ungroup apps on the bar, a piece of functionality that’s in Windows 10 – looks set to be remedied. Or at least that facility has been present in testing with Windows 11, and should be here soon, fingers crossed, for those who don’t want multiple instances of the same app combined on the taskbar.

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