Windows 11 is getting the ability to run Win32 apps in isolation

Microsoft has revealed a range of new features coming soon to Windows 11, including Bluetooth LE Audio and Win32 apps in isolation.

Screenshot of a Windows 11 desktop and Start menu with recommended content disabled

Microsoft’s Build 2023 conference is in full swing with the company announcing Avatars for Teams, Copilot and ChatGPT plugin support in Edge, Copilot in Windows 11, and Microsoft Store improvements. Alongside all of this, it has also revealed Windows 11 enhancements for consumers and commercial users, with the highlight being the ability to soon run Win32 apps in isolation mode.

Starting from tomorrow, Microsoft is launching a preview of Win32 apps in isolation for Windows 11 customers. As the name suggests, it will allow users to run Win32 apps in an isolated environment so that they can be sandboxed from the rest of the operating system in order to further strengthen security. The idea is to leverage Windows 11’s isolation capabilities to run Win32 apps in an environment where they don’t have access to critical Windows components and subsystems. This will ensure that if someone runs a compromised Win32 app in isolation, it will be very difficult for an attacker to break through the sandbox and penetrate the rest of the system. This capability will be available from tomorrow in public preview for both enterprise customers and consumers.

Microsoft has also reminded enterprise customers about the preview for Windows 365 Boot. For those unaware, it offers a sign-in experience where the PC boots directly into Windows 365 and you simply log in through your Cloud PC credentials. This is useful for frontline workers and other environments where hardware is shared across multiple individuals and IT departments don’t need to configure separate hardware for each personnel.

There are other features in tow for Windows 11 too. The operating system is getting new privacy capabilities including an app privacy configuration that will enable users to manage presence sensing features like wake on approach and lock on leave. Yet another nifty feature is glanceable VPN on the Taskbar where if you’re connected to a trusted VPN, the internet symbol will display a shield icon to indicate that the VPN is active. Moreover, Windows 11 customers will also be to use Live captions in 10 additional languages. All the aforementioned features are scheduled for release tomorrow as part of the Moment 3 update for Windows 11. In June, WIndows 11 will also add account badging in the Start menu will show alerts for when your account needs attention.

Lastly, Microsoft has also partnered with Samsung and Intel to unveil support for Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio, delivering enhanced audio experiences for supported devices like the Galaxy Buds2 Pro. That said, consumers will have to wait for this capability too as it will land with May’s optional non-security preview release and will gradually expand to support other compatible hardware.