Home Microsoft Windows 11, published by mistake tool to enable hidden functions

Windows 11, published by mistake tool to enable hidden functions

by Marcos

Microsoft has let slip a link to a tool that allows internal engineers and testers to activate features still hidden and in development of the preview version of Windows 11.

The link to the tool in question – which appeared in the documentation of two “bug bashs” published in the Windows Feedback Hub – has been removed, but the tool, called StagingTool, is now in the public domain and can be used by any Windows Insider who has downloaded it to enable features that are not yet active. As a result, it circumvents Microsoft’s A/B testing procedures, which proposes two different variables of an element or feature to two different groups and evaluates user reactions to decide in which direction to proceed.

In practice, the StagingTool software consists of a command-line text interface. It is therefore not dissimilar to the Windows Command Prompt and allows you to activate the features knowing their identifiers, many of which are published and updated on GitHub when a new version of the Windows 11 Insider preview comes out.

For Microsoft the damage is limited, this is because there are already unofficial tools in circulation such as Mach2 and ViveTool that allow you to do what StagingTool also does. In this case, however, users have access to Microsoft’s official methodology.

The next big update for the Microsoft operating system will come with Windows 11 23H2 which will be distributed as an enablement pack. It will therefore share the same code base of Windows 11 22H2 but will still introduce important features starting from artificial intelligence that will be the heart of the new AI assistant Copilot and will also be implemented in the Windows Terminal. Also not to be overlooked is the integration into the operating system for RGB lighting control, finishes for the command bar and native support for RAR and 7z archives.

The arrival of the new version of Windows, scheduled for autumn, could coincide with the retirement of the original version of the Microsoft operating system. Starting October 10, in fact, Windows 11 21H2 will no longer receive cumulative updates and will therefore no longer be able to count on new features and security patches.

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