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    • By Steven P.
      PowerToys 0.48.1 Experimental includes Video Conference Mute utility and one fix
      by Steven Parker

      PowerToys is Microsoft's open source project that offers a collection of nifty tools that people can use to customize the Windows 10 UI and experience to their liking. As we know, depending upon feedback and general stability, some of the utilities also make their way to the OS. A prominent example of this is Snap Layouts and Snap Groups in Windows 11 which borrow heavily from the FanzyZones tool in PowerToys.

      Last week, Microsoft released PowerToys version 0.47.1 to address stability issues and fix bugs. Today, the company has rolled out version 0.48.1 which inlcudes the Video Conference Mute utility and everything in 0.47.1. Microsoft does note in the changelog that they expect there may be issues with this Experimental release, so if you're not up for unexpected issues, stay on the stable 0.47.1 release.

      The change log for PowerToys 0.48.1 Experimental, can be seen below:

      Change log
      To find out more about the Video conference mute utility, which is still in Preview, head over to the Video Conference Mute overview. There's also a bunch of known issues in this version, which can be viewed below:

      Current known issues and limitations:
      Those who would like to try PowerToys for the first time can grab the version 0.47.1 installer from the app's GitHub page, but please note that this release is on the "Experimental" train, so only prerelease versions will be prompted for updates. In addition, this release will not be on WinGet. Microsoft is evaluating if this is something people would be interested in.

    • By hellowalkman
      New Rectify 11 re-design project for Windows 11 claims to change MMC, Admin Tools, more [Update]
      by Sayan Sen

      When it comes to Windows 11 changes, one thing that most would agree is that aesthetically, the new OS looks quite a bit different than Windows 10 was. Perhaps it's also because the appearance is essentially the User Interface that users are constantly interacting with making it naturally more noticeable.

      However, not everyone is a fan of the changes. For example, the centered Start Menu is something many dislike, and hence some of them, the capable ones, like one of our readers, Dot Matrix, made one in the classic Windows 10 style.

      Likewise, a new tool, dubbed "Rectify 11" by MikeRosoft6009, is being worked on that is looking to redesign some of the elements of Windows 11. The project claims to include design changes in:

      Setup theme Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Administrative Tools Start menu (StartIsBack comes integrated within Rectify 11) A future version (v2) of the application promises to bring fluent Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) icons too.

      Version 1 (v1) for the application is available for download which you can find here. Bear in mind that this is an unofficial third-party ISO so proceed at your own risk. Also, it is noteworthy that the setup start screen shown above is from v2 and the one in v1 may be slightly different.

      via Anonimo (Twitter)

      Update: As pointed out by some of our eagle-eyed readers, it appears that the developer had unintentionally published a pre-activated WIM (Windows Imaging Format) file with the v1 ISO that it had shared via Twitter user FireCube. It seems they were totally correct and the developer has promised that this will be rectified in the future v2 build version that will be published later. Hence, for those who can't wait, it seems there will be bad news as there probably won't be any v1 available.

      Here is a screenshot from the Rectify 11 website:

      Hence, we are also removing the pre-activated ISO which we had linked earlier.

    • By Karthik Mudaliar
      Latest update to Parallels Desktop brings full support for Windows 11 and macOS Monterey
      by Karthik Mudaliar

      Parallels Desktop 17.1 is bringing great improvements for Windows 11 and macOS Monterey. Thanks to a change in the way Parallels handles TPM, there's now full support for running a virtualized version of Windows 11.

      Although support for Windows 11 on Parallels Desktop came months ago, this particular update enables automatic support for TPM. This allows users to automatically run Windows 11 without having to switch TPM on manually. For macOS users, the update brings support for macOS Monterey as the host OS and further improvements on M1 chips.

      Parallels, in its blog post, explains:

      The new update also brings added support for several games like World of Warcraft, Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition, Tomb Raider 3, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and more.

      In addition to this, the update delivers support for VirGL in Virtio GPU. This enables Linux 3D acceleration out of the box on all supported Mac computers, brings visual performance improvements and uses Wayland protocol in Linux VMs.

    • By hellowalkman
      AIDA64 confirms Windows 11 performance patch for AMD's Ryzen L3 issue works like magic
      by Sayan Sen

      A couple of days ago, Microsoft released a new Windows 11 Insider build, version 22000.282 to the Beta and Release Preview channels. The update carried plenty of changes and improvements with perhaps the most important one being a performance fix for AMD's Ryzen CPUs that were exhibiting a massive degradation in the L3 cache latency output ever since the first public release of the OS. In fact, the problem apparently was amplified after the Patch Tuesday update.

      This particular issue is different from the performance loss seen with Virtualization-based Security (VBS) enabled which is a consequence of the lack of MBEC on older CPUs.

      That is why, as confirmed by AIDA64 itself, even the latest Zen 3-based parts like the Ryzen 9 5900X were susceptible to this performance bug, even though Zen 3 is officially supported by Microsoft for Windows 11, and has significant architectural upgrades in terms of cache performance over its predecessors.

      Now that the performance patch for the issue has been released with the new Build 22000.282 (KB5006746), AIDA64 decided to test the new build as well to see if indeed Microsoft's claims are correct.

      Three test runs were done to measure the L3 cache latency under Windows 10, Windows 11 pre-patch, and Windows 11 post-patch environments. Unlike last time, a Zen 2-based Ryzen 9 PRO 3900 processor paired with a dual-channel DDR4-2667 kit on an AORUS X570 motherboard was used for the tests. The results are provided in the images below (click to enlarge):

      The obtained results show that the patch has worked like a charm and the L3 performance of Ryzen CPUs after this update is back up to where they should be. Hence, all Windows 11 insiders who are using a Ryzen-based PC should probably upgrade to this build.

      Source: AIDA64 (Twitter)

    • By hellowalkman
      Microsoft seemingly trusts Intel Evo for Windows 11 PCs, no love for AMD Advantage
      by Sayan Sen

      via rexssj (Reddit) As Windows 11 is now generally available, Microsoft has itself put out a list of recommended hardware for buyers looking to get a new Windows 11 PC. On its blog post titled "A new PC is a great way to get Windows 11" that it published on October 12, the firm has given a few general recommendations via its Windows Resource Center like choosing an SSD for the boot drive, selecting the appropriate form factor, and more such simple yet helpful stuff.

      Once you move down the page, there is another section where the company provides "a few more tips". Here, the Redmond Giant is seen recommending Intel's Evo platform for a Windows 11 laptop that "you can count on".

      Intel introduced the Evo brand last year to indicate laptops that pack its 11th Gen Tiger Lake mobile processors or newer and all the best technologies it offers in such devices. Basically, it's a certification to show that these Intel PCs are "verified wonderful" (Image below).

      In a way, it's a good thing as it is essentially meant to make buying laptops easier for uninformed customers and ensure that they are getting the latest available Windows 11-compatible products. However, unlike Intel's Evo, Microsoft does not bring up AMD's Advantage program here even though the latter's CPUs are also compatible with Windows 11.

      AMD Advantage is also a certification program similar to Intel's Evo that AMD debuted alongside its Radeon RX 6000M mobile RDNA 2 graphics. In combination with that, these laptops sport Ryzen 5000 mobile processors, and these CPUs are officially supported by Windows 11 as they fulfill the system requirements criteria for the OS.

      To be fair to Microsoft, mentioning AMD Advantage would probably make it seem like the Redmond giant is overlooking Nvidia GPUs completely since the Advantage program combines both CPUs and dedicated GPUs solely from AMD. This possibly explains why AMD Advantage isn't promoted by Microsoft the same way as Intel Evo is. And also, AMD Advantage was released much later and so these laptops are far rarer compared to Intel Evo devices.

      Still, it can certainly make someone wonder as to why there is also no mention of at least AMD processors, alongside Intel's Evo, on Microsoft's Windows 11 PC buyer's guide.

      Source: Microsoft