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By Steven P.
Microsoft is working on a fix for KB5001030 install fail in Windows 10 build 21364
by Steven Parker
Yesterday, Microsoft released Windows 10 build 21364 to Windows Insiders in the dev channel, the build brought quite a few new features such as support for Linux GUI apps, an Eco mode in Task Manager, as well as Task Manager improvements for Microsoft Edge, and more. However, as is common with preview builds, there were also a few known issues to consider.
One such issue was added to the Windows Insider Blog post announcement after the build was released stating that some Insiders were reporting error 0x80092004 when installing KB5001030 – 2021-02 Cumulative Update Preview for .NET Framework 3.5 and 4.8 after updating to the build. As such, it doesn't affect everyone. In our own testing, the Cumulative Update installed before build 21364 did and we have not run into any problems.
Microsoft says they are working on a fix for KB5001030 for a future build, until then there isn't much that people can do since it is no longer possible to officially disable and hide individual updates. However if it bothers you that much, the tool can still be downloaded on third party sites, which will enable you to scan and hide the update so that Windows Update doesn't try to install it each time.
Windows 10 build 21364 is now available with support for Linux GUI apps
by João Carrasqueira
With another Wednesday comes yet another build of Windows 10 for Insiders enrolled in the Dev channel. This time, we're getting build 21364, and just like we've seen for the past couple of weeks, this is coming from the co_release branch.
While that would suggest new features aren't being added as quickly in the immediate future, there's quite a bit packed into this one. For example, you can now run Linux GUI apps through the Windows Subsystem for Linux, instead of being limited to command line interfaces. There are also Task Manager improvements for Microsoft Edge, and more. Here's the full list:
There are also a couple of smaller changes in this build, such as Night Light enabling or disabling immediately when toggled manually:
As usual, you'll also find a long list of fixes in this build, though some other improvements are hidden in Microsoft's list, like support for out-of-process x64 shell extension on ARM64 devices:
Finally, the list of known issues is fairly small this time around and it seems like Microsoft is ironing out a lot of the problems in these builds, maybe because the update should be nearly finalized. Here's what you need to look out for:
As usual, you can download the update from Windows Update manually by checking manually, but it should be installed sooner or later if you're enrolled in the Dev channel. It's still unclear if all these changes will make their way to a full feature update later this year or if plans have changed in light of the reported Windows 10X delays.
KB5001391 Cumulative Update in Windows 10 Release Preview resulting in bugchecks [Update]
by João Carrasqueira
Earlier this week, Microsoft rolled out a new cumulative update, labeled as KB5001391, to Windows Insiders in both Beta and Release Preview channels. This brought the News and Interests feature, previously exclusive to the Dev channel, to those users.
However, it seems that the update might be causing some major issues for some users, as they're experience bugchecks resulting in green screens of death (GSOD) - the equivalent of BSOD for Insiders - specifically mentioning a BAD_POOL_CALLER error. The bugcheck apparently happens soon after starting the computer, making PCs essentially unusable. Users have also reported that uninstalling the cumulative update solves the problem.
The issue doesn't appear to be very widespread, as there are only a few reports to be found in the Feedback Hub and on Reddit that we could find. We also haven't experienced any issues on our machines running Windows 10 version 21H1.
Finding some issues with Insider builds is not something that should surprise users, but a system crash like this is probably more than most are ready to handle, especially for users in the Release Preview ring, who probably expect builds that are nearly ready for general availability. If you're interested in checking out News and Interests, you may want to hold off on installing the update.
If you happen to have already installed the update and you're experiencing issues, you can head to Settings -> Update and Security, and click View update history. Then choose Uninstall updates, and find KB5001391, then uninstall it and restart. You may also want to head back into Settings and pause updates for a few days until a fix is made available.
Update: Twitter user Cristian Rodríguez seems to have found another workaround for the crashes. Uninstalling the Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) driver should also fix the issue for those interested in testing the newest build.
Microsoft is reportedly reviving the Microsoft Store with a new UI and policies
by João Carrasqueira
Microsoft is reportedly planning to reinvigorate the Store app on Windows 10 with a new design and policy changes that make the platform more appealing for both end-users and developers. The information comes from Zac Bowden of Windows Central, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Most Windows 10 users, even some die-hard Microsoft fans, can likely recognize that the current Microsoft Store is far from being the centralized hub for installing apps that Microsoft wanted it to be. In fact, Microsoft itself has come up with other tools to install apps on Windows 10 more conveniently, specifically the Windows Package Manager that was released last year. Not only that, but the Xbox division created its own storefront for games, further cementing that navigating the Microsoft Store isn't all that pleasant.
With these purported changes, Microsoft apparently wants to change that. The new Store app will fall in line with the UI changes that are expected as part of the big Sun Valley refresh that's been rumored for some time now. That refresh targets Windows 10 as a whole, and we've seen some glimpses of those changes in Windows 10 Insider preview builds and apps like Alarms & Clock. The new Store app will have new layouts, iconography, and fluid animations.
The latest design for Alarms & Clock on Windows 10 Of course, it's not all about the UI, and Microsoft seemingly wants to change some policies, too, hoping to bring in more apps, which is a weak point for the platform right now. Bowden points to three major policy changes: first, developers will be able to submit unpackaged Win32 apps to the store, meaning both EXE and MSI packages will be supported; second, those apps will be able to manage updates using their own cloud distribution network (CDN), meaning apps with built-in update systems no longer need to use Microsoft's update system; and finally, apps will be able to bypass Microsoft's commerce platform and use their own revenue streams without giving Microsoft a cut of their revenue.
These are all major changes, and they would make the Microsoft Store arguably a better fit for the expectations of users on a PC. In its current form, it's with the Google Play Store and iOS App Store, but one could argue that the expectations for mobile platforms are significantly different from those of a PC. These policies could allow the current Windows app ecosystem to thrive as it always has, simply offering a hub for apps to be easily accessible.
According to the report, Microsoft will be taking the opportunity to bring many of its own apps to the Store since these changes are in place. Apps like Teams, Office, Edge, and Visual Studio are all said to be coming to the Store, signaling that Microsoft actually believes in the ecosystem.
This is all said to be coming in the fall, which is also when we expect the Sun Valley refresh for Windows 10 to show up, and Microsoft could announce these changes at this year's Build, followed by a public preview some time after that. However, the new Store could be brought over to older versions of Windows 10, too.
Microsoft is bringing News and Interests to Windows 10 versions 21H1, 20H2, and 2004
by João Carrasqueira
Microsoft is bringing the News and Interests feature that's been in testing in the Dev channel of the Insider program to older versions of Windows 10, including 21H1, 20H2, and 2004 (via Windows Central). The company released new cumulative updates to users in the Beta and Release Preview channels of the Insider program, bringing the feature to versions 21H1 and 20H2 today.
News and Interests has been a big highlight for Microsoft with the Dev channel since December, but it was believed to be part of a future feature update for Windows 10, so it's interesting to see Microsoft bring it to older versions. The fact that it's already rolling out to the Beta and Release preview channels also suggests we could see it being officially available significantly sooner than initially thought.
As to what News and Interests is, it's essentially a taskbar widget that gives you quick access to recent news and other information you may be interested in, like stocks, sports scores, or traffic information about a specific route you may usually take. It also makes it so that you have weather information displayed directly on the taskbar.
The feature is rolling out with builds 19043.962 for users running Windows 10 version 21H1 in the Beta channel or for pre-release validation in the Release Preview channel in commercial environments. For regular users in the Release Preview channel, running version 20H2, they'll see build 19042.962 instead, but they'll get the feature all the same. In fact, the two updates are exactly the same, labeled KB5001391, which makes sense considering they have the same bits. Here's the full changelog for both builds:
Just like version 20H2, Windows 10 version 21H1 is a simple enablement package, meaning they have the exact same bits, but certain features only light up in the newer release. It looks like this one will be coming to all versions based on the same bits, though. You can read our guide to what's new in Windows 10 version 21H1 here.