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By Usama Jawad96
Forza Motorsport 7 is being removed from storefronts in September
by Usama Jawad
Microsoft's Turn 10 Studios released Forza Motorsport 7 back in October 2017, to high praise. We awarded it a 9/10 rating in our review, praising the dynamic weather system, multiplayer capabilities, and the wide assortment of cars and tracks on offer. However, the developer has now announced that the game is being delisted from storefront in September.
In a blog post, the company mentioned that Forza Motorsport 7 will hit its end of life status on September 15, 2021. This essentially means that the title and its DLC will be delisted from the Microsoft Store and won't be available on Game Pass either. That said, players who already own the game will still be able to re-download it and play as usual, including online services.
Game Pass players who purchased DLC but not the title itself will also be given a token for the full game through the Xbox Message Center. This token will be provided by August 2, and is redeemable up until September 15, 2023. Additionally, Forza Motorsport 7 is up for a massive discount until September 15, 2021. The Standard Edition can now be purchased for $9.99 (previously $39.99), Deluxe costs $14.99 (previously $59.99), and Ultimate can be yours for $19.99 (previously $79.99).
The reason for the game being delisted just four years after launch is quite simple, albeit unfortunate. All Forza titles utilize licenses to use real names of cars, tracks, and brands. Once these third-party licenses expire, these games have to depart from storefronts. The in-engine trailer for the next Forza Motorsport was already shown a year ago while Forza Horizon 5 is scheduled for a launch this November as well.
By News Staff
Pay What You Want for this Essential 2021 Excel Wizard Bundle
by Steven Parker
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Halo Infinite's first Insider test is now live, here's what's in it
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Halo Infinite is finally coming out this holiday, but before then, select Halo Insiders can now join a technical preview by 343 Industries to test the brand-new features on the game's multiplayer side. Although server issues held the launch back a little, the first ever flight for Halo Infinite is now active across PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S, with it running from today until 10AM PT on August 2.
Insiders will be battling against bots in 4 vs 4 Slayer matches across the Live Fire, Bazaar, and Recharge maps during the test. As the test progresses through the weekend, the difficulty of the bots will ramp up and the map rotation will change.
In an interesting twist, 343 says it will be enabling Social Arena Slayer for player versus player matches at the tail end of the flight if some engagement criteria are met. In the meantime, players are encouraged to go after those bots with a vengeance.
Also being tested in this flight are weapon drills from the Academy training section for 12 guns, the battle pass (with free credits) and menu UIs, as well as the revamped Halo Waypoint experience (vNext) across the web and mobile platforms.
The known issues of this flight can be seen here, which include a particularly nasty one that enters players into rounds with only three players, with the final player being added a minute into the match. Updating graphics drivers is recommended too. 343 pointed at the Radeon Software Adrenalin 21.7.2 driver that released this week specifically to get a large performance boost on AMD graphics cards.
343 has also made available helpful pages with flight installation instructions, a rundown of content, and active play sessions in the Insiders portal in Halo Waypoint. Keep in mind the website will only work for those who have received an invite for this preview session.
There still may be some hiccups in the Waypoint invites department or the Xbox Insider Hub app, and 343 is working on fixes. PC players still waiting on their code or unable to access Waypoint to activate the flight can head here and scroll down to see if they have received a "July Tech Preview" Steam key for redeeming.
By Abhay V
Microsoft releases optional Windows 10 updates with a ton of fixes
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft has released cumulative updates for the three most recent versions of Windows 10, along with version 1909 currently supported for specific SKUs, as part of its “C” week release. These optional “quality” updates are usually released one or two weeks after Patch Tuesday. These fixes will also be rolled into the next month’s Patch Tuesday updates for those who choose to avoid installing these patches.
The update rolling out to Windows 10 versions 2004, 20H2, and 21H1 is KB5004296, bumping up the build numbers to 19041.1151, 19042.1151, and 19043.1151, respectively. Since the three versions are based on the same codebase – with versions 20H2 and 21H1 being just enablement packages –, they are serviced with identical patches.
The same update will soon roll out to Insiders running Windows 10 version 21H2 in the Release Preview channel, bumping the version to 19044.1151. These are Insiders that were moved from the Beta channel to Release Preview due to the incompatibility of their systems for Windows 11. Users with compatible devices, however, received the first Windows 11 build today.
As for what’s new with the updates, there is the usual crop of bug fixes, addressing issues with gaming reliability and more. While the changelog does note a fix for a printing issue when using a USB connection, the firm is yet to address the problem relating to printing and scanning when using smart card authentication.
Here are the highlights of the updates heading out to versions 2004, 20H2, and 21H1:
And here is the complete list of fixes, which is a fairly long one:
And here are the known issues listed in the changelog that users must be aware of:
When using the Microsoft Japanese Input Method Editor (IME) to enter Kanji characters in an app that automatically allows the input of Furigana characters, you might not get the correct Furigana characters. You might need to enter the Furigana characters manually.
Note The affected apps are using the ImmGetCompositionString() function.
We are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.
Devices with Windows installations created from custom offline media or custom ISO image might have Microsoft Edge Legacy removed by this update, but not automatically replaced by the new Microsoft Edge. This issue is only encountered when custom offline media or ISO images are created by slipstreaming this update into the image without having first installed the standalone servicing stack update (SSU) released March 29, 2021 or later.
Note Devices that connect directly to Windows Update to receive updates are not affected. This includes devices using Windows Update for Business. Any device connecting to Windows Update should always receive the latest versions of the SSU and latest cumulative update (LCU) without any extra steps.
To avoid this issue, be sure to first slipstream the SSU released March 29, 2021 or later into the custom offline media or ISO image before slipstreaming the LCU. To do this with the combined SSU and LCU packages now used for Windows 10, version 20H2 and Windows 10, version 2004, you will need to extract the SSU from the combined package. Use the following steps to extract the using SSU:
Extract the cab from the msu via this command line (using the package for KB5000842 as an example): expand Windows10.0-KB5000842-x64.msu /f:Windows10.0-KB5000842-x64.cab Extract the SSU from the previously extracted cab via this command line: expand Windows10.0-KB5000842-x64.cab /f:* You will then have the SSU cab, in this example named SSU-19041.903-x64.cab. Slipstream this file into your offline image first, then the LCU. If you have already encountered this issue by installing the OS using affected custom media, you can mitigate it by directly installing the new Microsoft Edge. If you need to broadly deploy the new Microsoft Edge for business, see Download and deploy Microsoft Edge for business
After installing the June 21, 2021 (KB5003690) update, some devices cannot install new updates, such as the July 6, 2021 (KB5004945) or later updates. You will receive the error message, "PSFX_E_MATCHING_BINARY_MISSING".
For more information and a workaround, see KB5005322.
Those running Windows 10 version 1909 Enterprise, Education, or IoT Enterprise will be offered KB5004293, bumping up the version to build 18363.1714. You can head to the knowledge base article to look at the complete list of fixes and known issues.
Those looking to download the update manually can do so from the Update Catalog here for versions 2004, 20H2, and 21H1, and here for version 1909. However, the updated packages have not been made available at the time of writing. As mentioned earlier, these updates will show up as optional updates and are opt-in only. The fixes in these patches will be rolled into the Patch Tuesday packages next month.
By Abhay V
Microsoft releases the first Windows 11 build for the Beta channel
by Abhay Venkatesh
It’s a new week, which means it’s time for a new Windows Insider build. However, this time, it's Beta channel users who are receiving a new update in the way of Windows 11 build 22000.100. This is the first Windows 11 build being released for the Beta channel, giving users of that channel the first official way to run the latest generation of Windows.
The build heading out today is the one that was released to the Dev channel last week, which means that along with the complete new OS, users will be receiving all the fixes that have been made through the course of the Dev channel releases. These include tweaks such as the improved UI elements in the taskbar and other areas to better align them with the Windows 11 design language, a search box in the Start Menu, and more. This is to be expected since Beta channel releases are considered more stable.
It must be noted that the new Teams chat experience will not be enabled for Beta channel users yet. However, that should be enabled for those users soon. You can take a look at all the new Windows 11 features in our run-down here.
In addition to all the bug fixes and improvements, the build contains a bunch of known issues, some of which have been added since build 22000.100 was released. We have listed only the new known issues that the firm is adding to the latest build based on feedback from those running these builds – which happen to be close to 1% of the total number of Windows machines:
With the OS now being promoted to the Beta channel, it is a hint that the company is hitting a certain threshold of stability since Beta channel builds usually are more reliable. The company also notes that Dev channel users who wish to stay on more stable builds should move to the Beta channel now. However, this does not mean that the builds are ready for daily use on main machines since anything can go wrong with test versions.
Additionally, Dev channel builds aren't exactly tied to specific versions, so those who jumped onto the Dev channel just to try out Windows 11 have this so-called magic window to jump to a more stable channel to continue testing builds a step away from the bleeding edge. As for Dev channel users, the firm confirmed via a tweet that there will not be a new build this week.