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Windows 11 may work with VirtualBox as Oracle apparently preps a passthrough driver for TPM
by Sayan Sen
With the latest Windows 11 Beta Channel build 22000.194, Microsoft added Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 requirement for Virtual Machines (VMs) too, which means a Windows 11 build running via virtualization won't receive further updates if the player doesn't satisfy the newly added requirement. Essentially, VMs will also have to fulfill the same criteria now as the host systems.
Likely in preparation for that, Oracle seems to be working on a new driver implementation for VirtualBox with the help of which the new driver should be able to perform a passthrough and use the host PC's TPM module for overcoming this new Windows 11 criteria. The VirtualBox Changeset number 90946, added on the 27th of last month, lists this new change.
The changeset 90946 states:
It is possible that Oracle was internally aware of the upcoming Windows 11 TPM necessity for VMs, which was officially unveiled by Microsoft about a couple of weeks later with the Beta Channel build version 22000.194.
Other VM options, like VMWare, also offer the option for virtual TPM (vTPM) enablement on its Workstation Pro platform.
Microsoft says that a secure PC is at the forefront of its Windows 11 vision which is why it has been stressing so much on its necessity, and even VMs aren't getting a pass.
Ability to move the Windows 11 taskbar is the most requested feature on Feedback Hub
by Anmol Mehrotra
In June, Microsoft announced the Windows 11 update which brought a new UI, features and under the hood changes to the operating system. However, along with the features, the company also removed some features, one of which was the ability to move the taskbar.
For a long time, Windows has offered an option to move taskbar, allowing users to put the taskbar in one of the four sides of the screen. However, with Windows 11, users will be restricted to having the taskbar at the bottom of the screen as Microsoft has removed the option to move it to the sides or to the top. You can view our deep dive on the Windows 11 taskbar and the changes from Window 10 in our Closer Look article.
Removing the ability to move the taskbar did not sit well with Windows users and an entry on the Feedback Hub has now gained over 20,000 upvotes with users demanding Microsoft to bring back the ability to move taskbar to the sides or the top. On the Feedback Hub, users note that they don't plan to upgrade to Windows 11 unless Microsoft adds the feature as the location of taskbar is integral to their daily workflow.
Unfortunately, Microsoft has posted a generic response to the thread which you can read below:
With Windows 11 slated to roll out from October 5, we don't expect to see the feature back in time. However, we do hope that Microsoft takes the feedback into consideration and adds the feature back at a later stage. You can find the Feedback Hub entry here to give your own upvote or comment.
By Steven P.
Lightning Deal: Windows 11 compliant Beelink SEI8 MiniPC down to just $407.15
by Steven Parker
Today on Amazon, and only for a few hours, you can bag a Beelink SEI8 MiniPC at 15% off for only $407.15, saving you $71.85 off the $479 list price.
Here are some of its highlights:
This means it is fully compliant for the free Windows 11 upgrade which will happen next month, in October, since it includes the TPM 2.0 requirement.
This deal ends today, September 17 at midnight EDT 9:00 pm PDT on Amazon, so you will have to act quickly if you are thinking of getting a MiniPC, or wait until another such deal comes along.
This item qualifies for free shipping and returns and currently holds a 4.3 out of 5 star rating based on around 100 customer reviews. You can also opt for the 16GB RAM + 512GB storage (NVMe) option for $68 more, depending on your needs, but you're probably not going to get an upgrade that cheap.
Get the Beelink MiniPC for $407.15 (list price $479) 15% off
As an Amazon Associate, Neowin may earn commission from qualifying purchases.
By Usama Jawad96
PowerToys is coming to the Microsoft Store in Windows 11
by Usama Jawad
Microsoft PowerToys is a collection of handy utilities that can be used to customize certain Windows features and capabilities to your liking. And as we are seeing in Insider Preview releases of Windows 11, some PowerToys utilities also become integrated at an OS-level, like Snap Layouts and Snap Groups. Now, PowerToys has been spotted in the Microsoft Store for Windows 11.
As spotted by XDA, a listing for PowerToys has appeared in the Microsoft Store present in Windows 11. It essentially offers consumers another way to get access to the utilities. Prior to this, the only ways to get PowerToys were to either download the installer from GitHub or use a package manager like winget.
Interestingly, as noted by some on GitHub, it isn't a "conventional" listing that we are familiar with on Windows 10. Instead, it downloads a regular installer through which you can then install PowerToys. This is because the Microsoft Store in Windows 11 supports any and all apps, irrespective of their framework and technology. This essentially means that developers can publish Win32, .NET, UWP, Xamarin, Electron, React Native, Java, and Progressive Web Apps directly to the storefront, and will be responsible for its update mechanism.
Unfortunately, the listing does not appear to be live on any of our machines and Virtual Machines (VMs) running Windows 11, so we have not been able to validate the aforementioned claim. Based on the wording of PowerToys lead Clint Rutkas and the release status of a request on GitHub, it seems like it was a premature listing that has now been pulled.
Regardless, this is not the "first-party" application to make its way to the Microsoft Store in Windows 11. Microsoft Edge, Visual Studio, and Visual Studio Code are already available in the storefront in Microsoft's latest OS.
By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft Office 2021 is coming on October 5, LTSC available today
by Usama Jawad
Back in February, Microsoft announced upcoming updates to two variants of Office, namely Office Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) and Office 2021. Both are quite similar in nature with a key difference being that the former is meant for organizational use and the latter is intended for consumers. Both offer five years of mainstream support via a one-time "perpetual" license purchase, but that also means that they won't get any new features or updates until the next perpetual license release. They are primarily intended for organizations and consumers who can't migrate to the cloud to take advantage of Microsoft 365, which gets updated way more frequently.
Microsoft announced a commercial preview of its LTSC releases in April, and now it has announced that Office LTSC has become generally available (GA) to organizations starting today while Office 2021 will hit GA on October 5, which is the same date as Windows 11's general rollout.
Microsoft has emphasized that Microsoft 365's subscription-based system is its preferred direction for the future, it understands that in some scenarios, organizations can't migrate to the cloud or connect certain services to the internet. As such, LTSC releases has more value for them. Although this LTSC release contains performance enhancements and improved accessibility, Microsoft has noted that it cannot take advantage of cloud-driven hybrid security capabilities, AI automation, and real-time collaboration. The company has noted that it will be making "investments" to make it easier for LTSC customers to shift to Microsoft 365 in the future.
Another major change from previous releases is that Office LTSC ships with Teams as part of the installed features, rather than Skype for Business, but Teams is treated differently than other Office apps. Unlike the others, it will continue to get updates continuously over time, but you also only get access to the free version of Teams, since the premium version is licensed separately. You can learn more about managing the free version of Teams here.
Office 2021 is the consumer version of "perpetual" Office and will replace Office 2019 on October 5, 2021. It will be available on Windows and macOS just like Office LTSC. If you're an IT admin at an organization looking to upgrade to Office LTSC generally available today, you can go through Microsoft's deployment instructions here.