A new Windows 11 feature has leaked, giving us not only a glimpse of what Microsoft has in store for its operating system in the future, but also confirming that the next major update will be called Sun Valley 2.
Many had assumed that the upcoming update, aka Windows 11 22H2 would be called Sun Valley 2, as that was the name Microsoft reportedly used internally. However, as WinCentral points out, a page on Microsoft’s public Feedback page (which has since been removed) mentions ‘SV2’ – essentially confirming that Microsoft will use the Sun Valley 2 name when talking about the new update publicly. – and not just use it as an internal code name.
More interestingly, though, a hidden new feature has been found in the latest Dev Channel release of Windows 11, known as “Suggested Actions” – and this could be one of the biggest changes yet for the new OS.
To predict the future
The “Suggested Actions” feature looks like Windows 11 will guess what to do next, depending on how you use the PC.
For example, if you mark a date, a prompt may appear suggesting you create an event in your calendar for the day you selected.
There’s not much to do at the moment other than a few screenshots, but as WinCentral suggests, Microsoft can use machine learning to better understand how you use your PC, then offer relevant suggested actions.
This feature can be quite useful if implemented properly, and can speed up some of the most common tasks we use on our PCs. Depending on how often these suggested actions appear, this could also be one of the most notable changes Microsoft has introduced to Windows.
While there is a lot of potential for this new position, there is also a lot of risk.
Analysis: bad memories of Clippy
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has tried to guess what to do next and then suggest your next steps. Most famously, Microsoft has added a particularly unappealing “helper” to its Office 97 suite, known as “Clippy.” This “smart” paperclip would pop up when you were at work, and would offer help depending on the task it thought you were doing.
So if you typed in an address and then typed in “Dear”, Clippy would pop up and say “Looks like you’re writing a letter” and offer help based on that.
The problem was that Clippy was wildly unpopular, with many people complaining that it would show up at inopportune times and give bad advice.
Clippy was so annoying, it got famous, and not for the reasons Microsoft wanted, and it ended up being a joke. Microsoft stopped shipping Office, but occasionally referred to it in self-deprecation (including a few April Fools’ Day jokes where the company pretended to bring it back, much to people’s horror).
So the “Suggest Actions” feature must be implemented carefully. If it pops up too regularly, harass users and provides incorrect help, it can quickly gain a reputation as Clippy 2.0 – and nobody wants that.
The new feature is only aimed at developers in an early build, so it might not even make it to Windows 11. We’re sure Microsoft will be keeping a close eye on early user feedback – and if there’s even the slightest suspicion that it is being compared to Clippy could pull the plug.