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    • By Abhay V
      Patch Tuesday: Here's what's new for Windows 8.1 and 7
      by Abhay V



      Today is the second Tuesday of the month, which means it's Patch Tuesday, the day that Microsoft released cumulative updates for all supported Windows versions. This month, the debutant is Windows 11, which is receiving its first-ever official Patch Tuesday update. Other supported versions include Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and select Windows 7 users who have opted to pay for Extended Security Updates.

      As is always the case, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 updates are classified into monthly rollup and security-only updates. While the former can be installed via Windows Update, the latter can only be manually downloaded and installed. Usually, these versions are only served one update per month, unlike Windows 10 which receives a mid-month preview update.

      To begin with, Windows 8.1 users are receiving KB5006714, which is the monthly rollup. The update can also be downloaded from the Update Catalog here. Here is the complete changelog for the update:

      The update also brings with it a long-standing known issue, which seems to have been on the list for months. You can head to our previous coverage to check out the known issue. The security-only update for this version is KB5006729 and can be only be installed manually by downloading the package from here.

      The changelog notes that the patch includes "miscellaneous security improvements to internal OS functionality", which is the only listed fix. The known issue is identical to that of the monthly rollup.

      Moving on to Windows 7, the monthly rollup is termed KB5006743, which can be downloaded manually from here. The list of fixes is almost identical to that of the Windows 8.1 update, save for the first line item that relates to the DCOM activation failures. As for known issues, the release shares the rename issue with Windows 8,1, along with another problem that listed below:

      Symptom

      Workaround

      After installing this update and restarting your device, you might receive the error, "Failure to configure Windows updates. Reverting Changes. Do not turn off your computer", and the update might show as Failed in Update History.

      This is expected in the following circumstances:

      If you are installing this update on a device that is running an edition that is not supported for ESU. For a complete list of which editions are supported, see KB4497181.

      If you do not have an ESU MAK add-on key installed and activated.

      If you have purchased an ESU key and have encountered this issue, please verify you have applied all prerequisites and that your key is activated. For information on activation, please see this blog post. For information on the prerequisites, see the How to get this update section of this article.

      The security-only update for Windows 7 and the corresponding Windows Server release is KB5006728, which can be found for manual download here. The update shares the known issues with the monthly rollup and contains fixes that are identical to that of the security-only update for WIndows 8.1.

      As mentioned earlier, Windows 7 updates will only head to those that have paid for extended updates. Windows 8.1 updates, however, are available for all supported SKUs.

    • By Steven P.
      Nvidia GeForce 472.12 release is the first official Windows 11 Game Ready Driver
      by Steven Parker

      Nvidia today has launched its latest GeForce Game Ready 472.12 WHQL driver. Although the previous driver, released on August 31 supported Windows 11, Nvidia has made a point of stating that this release is the first official Windows 11 Game Ready driver, with the following announcement in the release notes:

      Here's what's new

      As usual, the new 472.12 driver also fixes some bugs:

      There are also some unresolved issues that remain:

      The 472.12 Game Ready driver is now available for download on the GeForce Experience app. Those looking for the official standalone installation links can find them below:

      Desktop GPUs:

      Download: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 | Windows 11, 10 – Standard | DCH

      Notebook GPUs:

      Windows 11, 10 - Standard

      You may find more details on the official blog post here, and here are the release notes.

    • By Abhay V
      Microsoft Weekly: Patch Tuesday, Windows 11 update blocks for VMs, and Office 2021
      by Abhay V



      With the passage of another week, it’s time to look at all the Microsoft stories that happened September 12 through September 18. As usual, there were new Windows 11 builds for the Dev and Beta channels, but they came with them some bad news for users running the OS on certain VMs. Considering that this week brought the second Tuesday of the month, Microsoft also released the monthly Patch Tuesday updates for all supported Windows versions. These updates were accompanied with new apps, Office LTSC and Office 2021 release dates, and much more.

      Windows 11 builds, update blocks for VMs, Patch Tuesday, more


      As is the case every second Tuesday of the month, Microsoft released cumulative updates for all supported Windows versions. These included supported Windows 10 versions – including for specific SKUs, Windows 8.1 users and those on Windows 7 that opted for Extended Security Updates (ESUs). The updates fixed a Windows zero-day vulnerability discovered earlier this month and brought other quality improvements. While the improvements were welcome for most users, the firm posted an advisory acknowledging that the August patches that contained fixes for the PrintNightmare vulnerability were breaking the ability for some users to print without admin credentials. This impacts commercial customers than any other, considering end users do not have access to admin credentials.

      As for Windows 11, new builds were released for both Dev and Beta channel Insiders. The Dev channel was served build 22458 that brought a few fixes. While a new ‘Sign-in options’ link in the power menu was mentioned, it was made available with build 22454, but missed being noted in the changelog. Beta channel users received build 22000.194 that brought a bunch of new in-box apps that Dev channel users have been testing. These include the new Clock app with Focus Sessions, Calculator, and the unified Snipping Tool experience. More are on the way, though, such as the new Paint and Photos apps.

      What did come as a surprise for Insiders was the inability for those running these builds in certain VMs – including on supported hardware – to update to the new builds, thanks to the enforcement of TPM requirements for virtual machines as well. This means that those running Windows 11 preview builds on anything but VMWare Workstation Pro or Hyper-V Manager included with Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows will be blocked from receiving future updates. Currently, Oracle seems to be readying a passthrough driver for TPM for VirtualBox, making its offering suitable to run Windows 11 builds.

      Additionally, there was some news concerning those that were running Windows 11 builds on M1-powered MacBooks through solutions like Parallels Desktop. The Redmond giant has said to The Register that running Windows 11 on M1 Macs is not a “supported scenario”, casting doubt on whether there will be future blocks that render it difficult to run Microsoft’s latest OS on M1-powered machines.

      Lastly, Microsoft announced that users can now delete their Microsoft account passwords to completely rely on alternate forms of authentication, further making the case for a password-less world. While the ability is available for consumer accounts now, the company aims to bring it to accounts that use Azure Active Directory (AAD) as well.

      Office 2021, Office LTSC, new apps, and app updates


      The biggest news this week relating to new apps came in the way of the announcement of Office 2021’s release date. The perpetual version of Microsoft’s productivity suite of offerings for consumers will be made available starting October 5, coinciding with the release of Windows 11. The version for commercial customers, Office LTSC, is now generally available. The LTSC versions differs from the consumer variant in some ways, one of which includes the support lifecycle. What both have in common though, is that they will not receive new features like the Microsoft 365 versions.

      The start of the week also saw the arrival of the Movies Anywhere app for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One users, bringing a native solution for watching purchased Movies Anywhere content in addition to the Movies & TV app. Another potential app expected to make it to the Microsoft Store is the firm’s own PowerToys suite, a listing for which was spotted this week. However, it seems like the listing will only introduce an installer for the app that then pulls in the suite of tools. PowerToys experimental version 0.46 also made it to testers, bringing a bunch of fixes. Another Microsoft app to receive an update was Edge, as Edge Dev users received a new build that brought a quick way to hide the extensions button from the menu from the address bar along with a bunch of bug fixes.

      Talking about browsers, it was discovered that the latest version of Firefox allows users to directly change their default browser preference without going through the cumbersome steps to do so, which is a welcome change. It is not clear if this will be mirrored by more apps and browsers going forward, but the Redmond company has received backlash from browser rivals for making the process complicated and less user-friendly.

      Mozilla also announced that it will begin setting Bing as the default search engine on Firefox as part of a test. This will apply to just one percent of desktop users and the test is expected to conclude in early 2022.

      Xbox Game Pass additions, Remote Play on Windows, and more


      This week, Microsoft announced the titles being added for Xbox Game Pass subscribers, which is the second drop for the month. There are 13 games being added, with eight of them being day-one launches. The list includes Aragami 2, Sable, SkateBird, I Am Fish, and many more. Additionally, there are 11 more games that have touch controls enabled when they are streamed through the cloud. There are five titles leaving the service, which happens on September 31.

      If those wanting to run these games on Xbox Series X|S consoles are looking for additional storage and do not want to shell upwards of $200 on an expansion card, a 500GB option might be on its way, at least if a listing spotted in France is to be believed. However, if you have one of those consoles and wish to stream it to your PC, you can now do so using the updated Xbox app on Windows. The app also brings cloud gaming, giving users another way to use the service in addition to doing so from the web.

      Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Live Gold members are also receiving a second round of games for the month, with Games with Gold bringing Mulaka for Xbox One and Samurai Shodown II for Xbox 360. Lastly, there are a bunch of discounts as part of Deals with Gold, bringing discounts for titles from the Assassin's Creed, Halo, Forza, and other franchises.

      There doesn’t seem a week that goes by without Halo Infinite news. While minor, this week brought leaked images of Craig the Brute, showing off some visual improvements. This also hints towards the possible arrival of new gameplay that might show off the visual improvements being made.

      Moving on, Call of Duty fans might be interested to learn that Call of Duty 2022 – possible called Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 – might launch next year. Call of Duty: Vanguard, on the other hand, is slated to launch in November this year.

      Rounding off gaming news is the announcement of a new beta build of Age of Empires IV being made available this weekend. The invites for the beta included almost anyone who wished to try it out. Improvements made thanks to feedback from testers include a further zoom out distance, balance tweaks for English and Chinese civilizations, and a bunch of bug fixes.

      Dev channel
      Microsoft helps bring TEALS computer science curriculum to more schools PSA: Microsoft is ending support for Silverlight next month Xbox is returning to the Tokyo Game Show this year Microsoft’s Brad Smith becomes the vice-chair of the board Teams is getting Customer Lockbox that prevents unauthorized access from Microsoft Commercial Surface customers get more spares for repairs Logging off
      We have been taking a detailed look at the various features and options being added with Windows 11 as part of our Closer Look series. This week, we went through the Default apps settings for the OS, which has been criticized for being less user-friendly by both users and app makers alike. Here is everything you need to know.

      Missed any of the previous columns? Check them all out at this link.



      If you’d like to get a daily digest of news from Neowin, we have a Newsletter you can sign up to either via the ‘Get our newsletter’ widget in the sidebar, or through this link.

    • By Copernic
      StartIsBack++ 2.9.16
      by Razvan Serea



      StartIsBack++ restores original Windows 10 start menu with all its features: search, pinned and recently used apps, fully customizable settings. Start button and Start menu look and behave exactly as they used to in Windows 7.

      StartIsBack is lightweight and secure: it does not require administrator rights to install, consumes minimal amount of system resources, does not run additional processes or services.

      What's hot about StartIsBack on Windows 10 now:

      Live badges for modern apps on taskbar and Start menu! Ability to reduce resource usage by disabling newer Start menu and Cortana processes from prelaunching Ability to use adequately sized (32x32) large icons and larger start menu button on taskbar Modern icon glyphs on Start menu right hand pane Modern blur, drop shadow and immersive context menus for start menu Fully dynamic DPI aware start menu and configuration app New modern style with round user picture Lots of new minor additions and tweaks Changes in StartIsBack++ 2.9.16:

      Fixed update toast not displaying

      Download: StartIsBack++ 2.9.16 | 1.4 MB (Free to Try, $3.99 to Buy)
      View: StartIsBack Home Page

      Get alerted to all of our Software updates on Twitter at @NeowinSoftware

    • By Abhay V
      Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Patch Tuesday updates are now live
      by Abhay V



      Microsoft is releasing updates for all supported Windows versions today as part of its Patch Tuesday updates. This includes the Windows 10 versions currently supported, both completely and for specific SKUs, Windows 8.1, and customers that have opted for extended Windows 7 security updates. However, unlike Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 do not receive mid-month updates and are locked to just one update per month, unless there are urgent security fixes.

      As usual, there are two types of Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 updates – monthly rollup and security-only updates. While monthly rollups are served through Windows Update, security-only updates can only be manually installed. Both these updates are available for download through the Update Catalog. This month, there is also an IE security update rolling out to Windows 7 and 8.1 users, which you can check out here under KB5005563.

      To begin with, Windows 8.1 and the corresponding Windows Server release - Windows Server 2012 R2 - users are receiving monthly rollup KB5005613, which can be manually downloaded from the Update Catalog here. The improvements made as part of the update include the fix for the zero-day vulnerability:

      The known issue listed for the update is mentioned below:

      Symptom

      Workaround

      Certain operations, such as rename, that you perform on files or folders that are on a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) may fail with the error, “STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL (0xC00000A5)”. This occurs when you perform the operation on a CSV owner node from a process that doesn’t have administrator privilege.

      Do one of the following:

      Perform the operation from a process that has administrator privilege.

      Perform the operation from a node that doesn’t have CSV ownership.

      Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.

      The security-only update is KB5005627 and can be found here for manual download and installation depending on the version. As mentioned earlier, these are not available through Windows Update. The changes and fixes are identical to that of the monthly rollup.

      Next up are Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. The monthly rollup heading out to these customers is termed KB5005633 and can be manually downloaded from here. These updates are only available for those that have opted for paid updates. The changes and fixes are as follows:

      As is always the case, the known issues are separately mentioned in the KB article. Here is the list for Windows 7 users to note:

      Symptom

      Workaround

      After installing this update and restarting your device, you might receive the error, "Failure to configure Windows updates. Reverting Changes. Do not turn off your computer", and the update might show as Failed in Update History.

      This is expected in the following circumstances:

      If you are installing this update on a device that is running an edition that is not supported for ESU. For a complete list of which editions are supported, see KB4497181.

      If you do not have an ESU MAK add-on key installed and activated.

      If you have purchased an ESU key and have encountered this issue, please verify you have applied all prerequisites and that your key is activated. For information on activation, please see this blog post. For information on the prerequisites, see the How to get this update section of this article.

      Certain operations, such as rename, that you perform on files or folders that are on a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) may fail with the error, "STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL (0xC00000A5)". This occurs when you perform the operation on a CSV owner node from a process that doesn’t have administrator privilege.

      Do one of the following:

      Perform the operation from a process that has administrator privilege.

      Perform the operation from a node that doesn’t have CSV ownership.

      Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.

      The security-only update for this version is KB5005615 and can be manually downloaded from here. Just like for Windows 8.1, the fixes and known issues in the security-only update are identical to that of the monthly rollup.

      As usual, you can head to the linked KB articles to read through more information about the updates and useful links.