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    • By hellowalkman
      Microsoft releases Windows 11 build 22483.1011 to test the servicing pipeline; ISOs also available
      by Sayan Sen

      Microsoft has released a new Windows 11 build 22483.1011 (KB5007484) to the Dev Channel. The new build does not bring anything new to the table as it is a cumulative update with which the company is testing its servicing pipelines as it is often known to do. These updates are necessary in order to make sure that the builds can be served to users without any noteworthy issues or hiccups.

      Hence, all the bug fixes and improvements that were announced with the earlier released build 22483 to the Dev Channel are carried over into this. There's a long list of it which you can find the details about here.

      Interestingly, while there are no new changes made in this build, servicing test builds like these before have been known to break some features. For example, Windows 10 Build 21292.1010 caused issues for x64 emulation on ARM PCs.

      Moving on, and although this isn't exactly new news, Microsoft released ISOs for Build 22483 yesterday that you can find on the official site here.

    • By hellowalkman
      AMD's latest chipset driver fixes Windows 11 CPPC2 issues on Ryzen
      by Sayan Sen

      If you're an AMD Ryzen CPU user running Windows 11, there's some good news for you today. The company has released its latest chipset driver version and it comes with the performance patch for a Windows 11 issue that was causing the release version of the OS to not properly schedule the fastest available cores appropriately due to a problem with the Collaborative Processor Performance Control (CPPC) mechanism. As a result, applications that weren't very threaded would lose performance. The issue was one of the two problems - the other one being an L3 cache latency issue - that were noted on Zen CPUs. You can read about these in detail in the original report here.

      In its release notes for the driver, AMD says:

      The driver adds a new Ryzen Power Plan which comes optimized for Windows 11 which should fix this CPPC2 bug.

      While the new driver patches performance issues on Windows 11, it is also available for Windows 10 on all Zen-based systems. However, on Windows 11, the driver is only compatible with Zen+-based CPUs and newer, and it makes sense since anything older than Zen+ isn't supported on Windows 11 either way. In terms of chipset support, all available Zen-based chipsets are supported by this driver.

      The driver also fixes an OpenGL error pop-up and installs a new AMD UART Driver version which adds support for 4Mbps baud rate.

      There are a few known issues too:

      If you wish to download the new chipset driver, head over to AMD's official site where you can find the relevant links.

    • By Usama Jawad96
      Closer Look: Voice typing in Windows 11
      by Usama Jawad

      Windows 11's staggered rollout began a couple of weeks ago (check out our review here), but due to the nature of distribution, it may not be available to everyone just yet. If you can't wait to get Windows 11, there are ways to trigger it immediately, but perhaps it's wiser to know what the OS has in store before you do so. This is why we have been discussing Windows 11's features in detail for the past couple of months in our ongoing Closer Look series.

      So far, we have taken a look at Search, Widgets, the Start menu, Snap Layouts and Snap Groups, the Taskbar, quick settings and notifications, Virtual Desktops, power and battery settings, default apps configurations, File Explorer, context menus, Teams integration, the updated Clock app in Windows 11, the Microsoft Store, the Snipping Tool, the Paint app refresh, the lock screen, and the revamped Photos app. Today, we'll be discussing a relatively smaller feature, namely voice typing in Windows 11.

      For the purpose of this hands-on, we'll be taking a look at the generally available Windows 11 build versus a publicly available and up-to-date Windows 10 (version 21H1 build 19043.1288).

      Voice typing settings in Windows 10 Voice typing essentially allows you to type in a text field using just your voice. It's more of an accessibility setting so I haven't used it in my workflows before but it's definitely a nice option to have if you have a need for it.

      Weirdly, voice typing isn't referred to as such in Windows 10. If you search the term "voice typing" via Windows Search or even in the Settings, you'll come up with nothing. Instead, the capability is buried inside Ease of Access > Speech > Talk instead of type. And that's interesting because there are essentially no settings for this capability. All it has is a tip saying that you can use the Windows key + H combination or the dedicated button on your touch keyboard to make use of voice typing. It also includes a hyperlink that takes you to a guide about voice typing in Windows 10.

      Voice typing in Windows 10 Voice typing is fairly easy to use. Once you launch it, you get a very wide search bar-like box at the top of your screen. You can't resize it but you can drag it around to reposition it. Upon launch, if you have a text field highlighted, it will automatically start listening for your voice but you can also click on the mic icon to manually initiate it. There are a bunch of voice commands that you can utilize to move your cursor or to punctuate your text in specific formats, and you can view them in detail in the aforementioned guide.

      I found voice typing to be fairly accurate in its detection and interpretation of my voice even though I was using my laptop's mic and I don't even have an American accent (I live in Pakistan). That said, Microsoft does note that dictation commands are only available if you have your OS language set to US English, and that text symbols, and letters are only supported in a handful of languages including Simplified Chinese, French, German, English, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. For other languages, Microsoft has recommended the use of Windows Speech Recognition instead.

      Voice typing settings in Windows 11 With Windows 11, the first thing I noticed was that Microsoft has made its accessibility setting more accessible. Now, if you search "voice typing" in Windows Search or Settings, you'll be guided to the dedicated section for this capability. I found this to be a really pleasant change considering how much I use Windows Search to find stuff on my PC.

      Talking about the dedicated section, it is organized better and takes up less space. It also follows the design language of Windows 11. That said, I found it a bit odd that the hyperlink that took you to the guide for voice typing no longer appears to be there even though Microsoft has a dedicated page for voice typing in Windows 11 here too.

      Voice typing in Windows 11 Voice typing in Windows 11 is considerably different than its predecessor. When you launch it for the first time, you'll be cautioned that voice typing now uses Microsoft's online speech technologies and offers a link to the privacy statement. This is an interesting change compared to Windows 10, and that is because voice typing in Windows 11 is actually powered by Azure Speech services. Apart from potentially being faster and more dynamic, the added advantage is that it now supports lots of other languages including Bulgarian, Croatian, Hindi, Russian, Telugu, and more. All you need to do is install the language of your choice from Start > Settings > Time & language > Language & region.

      Coming over to the UI, you don't get a search bar-like box anymore. Instead, you get a very small window in which you get the mic at the center, a settings icon to the left, and a help icon to the right - which takes you to the aforementioned guide about using voice typing in Windows. Although it still can't be resized, reducing the size of this UI component is a very welcome change. You'll also notice that the icons are fresh and have rounded corners, consistent with the design language of Windows 11.

      The additional buttons for settings and help are much needed improvements too. You essentially have everything at your fingertips; or at least a launcher for everything considering that the guide is online. The fact that voice typing in Windows 11 is powered by Azure Speech services also means that you can use cloud-powered capabilities like auto punctuation, which is a welcome enhancement. You can also contribute voice clips to Microsoft to further improve the service, but that is completely optional.

      All in all, I found voice typing in Windows 11 to be a massive improvement compared to its predecessor. Microsoft has put in a good amount of effort to make its accessibility setting more accessible to users. The UI is fresh and offers more control than Windows 10. The support for more languages via Azure is a great move too as it goes some way to remove Microsoft's "U.S.-only" label, and considering that it's powered by the cloud means that it'll only get better with time.

      Take a look at the section here or select from the links below to continue exploring Windows 11 in our ongoing "Closer Look" series:

      Closer Look: Search in Windows 11 Closer Look: Widgets in Windows 11 Closer Look: Start menu in Windows 11 Closer Look: Snap Layouts and Snap Groups in Windows 11 Closer Look: Taskbar in Windows 11 Closer Look: Quick settings and notifications in Windows 11 Closer Look: Virtual Desktops in Windows 11 Closer Look: Power and battery settings in Windows 11 Closer Look: Default apps settings in Windows 11 Closer Look: File Explorer in Windows 11 Closer Look: Context menus in Windows 11 Closer Look: Microsoft Teams integration in Windows 11 Closer Look: Clock app in Windows 11 Closer Look: Microsoft Store in Windows 11 Closer Look: Snipping Tool in Windows 11 Closer Look: Paint in Windows 11 Closer Look: Lock screen in Windows 11 Closer Look: Photos app in Windows 11
    • By Steven P.
      StartAllBack 3.0 released to address Windows 11 UI shortcomings, and a giveaway
      by Steven Parker

      StartAllBack has been updated to 3.0, you may remember this program by the name StartIsBack, well according to the developer it now has a new name and a new focus for Windows 11 UI shortcomings that are plaguing early adopters. Namely: the stubborn taskbar, slow File Explorer with cut context menus and the "quite cringe start menu" (their words, not ours).

      So what does it do? StartAllBack restores taskbar from Windows 10, adopted with Windows 11 features and look. It restores the File Explorer UI and context menus, improved with Mica and Acrylic effects, as well as the classic start menu derived from Windows 7. That last point is the kicker, this app appears to mostly emulate the Windows 7 Start menu. So if you are looking for an app to restore the Windows 10 Start menu in Windows 11, this is not for you.

      Here is the changelog:

      StartAllBack costs $4.99, or $1.50 if you are upgrading from StartIsBack. The app is also included in the Rectify 11 project, which aims to provide Windows 11 clean installs with some visual fixes, as well as including StartAllBack as the default Start menu.

      We have five licenses of StartAllBack to give away, all you have to do is ensure that you follow @NeowinFeed on Twitter and retweet the above tweet that we've embedded, alternatively if you are blocking javascript, here's a link to it. We'll be using the Tweet to draw winners sometime next week!

    • By Abhay V
      Windows 11 build 22483 for Dev channel users brings more bug fixes
      by Abhay V

      Microsoft is rolling out a fresh new build for Windows Insiders in the Dev channel, bringing build 22483 that includes a bunch of bug fixes and a tiny new feature. However, those waiting for Android app support might have to wait slightly longer, as support for running Android apps will first head to Beta channel users only.

      While it is odd that a new feature is first being tested in the Beta channel instead of the Dev channel, it is likely due to the fact that support for running Android apps might be being readied for the version of Windows 11 currently available publicly. It will be no surprise to see the feature make it to the Dev channel eventually. Additionally, some fixes made as part of today's build will also make it to the Beta and Release Preview channels, before eventually making it to the generally available version.

      In terms of features, there is just one small addition, which is the ability to right-click on the “Recommended” or the “More” button in Start to refresh the items in the list. There is also a new 7th-anniversary badge in the Feedback Hub for Windows Insiders, though that has nothing to do with the build.

      Here is the complete list of fixes:

      And here is the list of known issues, some of which have been added thanks to feedback from Insiders running the previously available Dev channel build:

      Beta channel users recently received Windows 11 build 22000.282 that brought with it a ton of fixes. Expect more to be on the way as the firm further polishes the OS for a wider rollout in the next few months. With the Windows Subsystem for Android heading to these builds, it will not be surprising to see Android app support ship to general consumers before the next major update to the OS.