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Microsoft Weekly: Bugs, Windows 11's next "Moment", and an alternate File Explorer

Microsoft Weekly graphic with a Microsoft logo on the left with a ladybug peeking from the top-left

We are racing towards the end of the year and the tech news isn't slowing down at all. If anything, it's picking up even more pace. Join us as we recap the latest news items from the Microsoft universe, which include information about even more bugs and their respective fixes, a bunch of Windows updates, and also some app updates for good measure. Without further ado, let's dive into our weekly digest for December 10 - December 16!

Windows bugs

Hide the Pain harold with a laptop and a red Windows 11 logo indicating bugs

As has been the case for the past few weeks, we learned about a lot of new bugs across various versions of Windows, along with their respective fixes, where available.

We'll start with some good news. A bug making the Task Manager unreadable on custom themes in Windows 11 version 22H2 has now been squashed by Microsoft. This fix has been offered via the latest Patch Tuesday update for the OS under KB5021255. In a similar vein, VMware has also rolled out an update to Workstation Pro and Workstation Player to fix the "unsupported processor" error when installing Windows 11 or Windows Server 2022.

Switching gears a bit, Microsoft admitted that it pushed a buggy update to Windows 11 version 22H2 and Windows 10 version 22H2 a few days ago. The update was previously available only to version 21H2 of Windows 11 and Windows 10 when bugs had been discovered. Microsoft has now acknowledged its mistake but a permanent patch for the issues is still in the works.

We also found out that the latest Patch Tuesday release has broken the creation workflow for new Network Adapters on Hyper-V hosts managed by Software Defined Networking (SDN) configured System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) in Windows Server 2019 and 2022. Once again, a fix is in the works but temporary workarounds have been issued.

Continuing down this news stream, Microsoft has rolled out an additional fix for the file copy kernel bug. However, it's currently only available as a preview in Dev Channel build 25267. The company has also noted that it has fixed Direct Access connectivity issues plaguing Windows 11 and Windows 10. A patch for those affected by gaming performance issues on Windows 11 is now generally available too.

However, a new bug that popped up yesterday has icons on the Taskbar flickering, the Taskbar becoming unresponsive, and certain apps freezing. Microsoft has initiated Known Issue Rollback (KIR) but a more permanent solution is apparently still being worked on.

Windows 11's next "Moment" and Patch Tuesday

An image showing a Windows 11 logo with the M3 sign indicating the third feature update

We heard rumblings this week that Microsoft is planning to roll out the "Moment 3" Windows 11 update containing new features sometime in May 2023. However, before you get all excited, do note that Moment 2 hasn't even been flighted yet. As such, not much else is known about this release. And while it doesn't mean much anymore, it seems like development for the Zinc semester has kicked off as well.

But let's return to the present for now. This week was Patch Tuesday week and received updates for all support versions of Windows. Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 netted KB5021291 and KB5021294 respectively, fixing a memory leak and a Daylight Savings Time (DST) issue. Meanwhile, Windows 10's KB5021233 resolved a problem with the Camera app but also introduced a few known issues. Finally, Windows 11 received KB5021234 (21H2) and KB5021255 (22H2) with a very lengthy changelog of new features and issues.

There was a Dev Channel release in this week too. Build 25267 is the final build in this channel for this year and it brings improved to the Taskbar, System Tray, File Explorer, a redesigned Windows Firewall dialog box, and more, along with several new issues, obviously. As is usually the case, a Windows Server release with the same build number was also rolled out, along with a preview of Windows Server Datacenter: Azure Edition. Windows 11 Beta Channel builds 22621.1037 and 22623.1037 with Voice Access improvements were made available too.

Lastly, if you're still using Windows 10 version 21H1 for some reason, it's time to upgrade as soon as possible as this particular version of the OS has reached end of support. And if you're an IT admin managing Windows update deployments, you may want to check out the latest Intune features which allow flexible configuration of feature updates and expedited quality updates.

An alternative to File Explorer... and other app updates

Files app logo on Windows 11 bloom background

"Files App", which won the 2022 Microsoft Store award for best file management capabilities, received a couple of major updates this week. The first migrated the app from Universal Windows Platform (UWP) to Windows App SDK with rounded corners, Windows 11-style grids, new layouts, menu items, and more. Meanwhile, the other update introduced a "fake mica" theme to further make the design more consistent with Windows 11. The good news is that all of these features are available in the Windows 10 version of the app too which means that you can take advantage of Windows 11 aesthetics on an older OS as well.

Elsewhere, there were tons of updates for other apps too. We'll start off with Microsoft Teams where Microsoft is working on AI-powered file sharing and automatic lowering of (digital) hands in a meeting. A couple of capabilities that have been made available right now are Multi-Question Polls to gather a broader range of feedback and new touch and Whiteboard experiences on Teams Rooms for Android. In addition, a preview of Teams Premium with a 30-day free trial has been launched. It's basically an add-on to Teams with more personalization, AI functionality, and security features built-in. When it becomes generally available early next year, it will cost $10/user/month.

With all these updates on the Teams front, you'd think that Microsoft doesn't care for Skype anymore. But you'd be completely wrong. For some reason, Skype has received an update that adds real-time translation with your "TruVoice" personal voice. What's more is that the Redmond tech firm has announced a major Skype redesign that aims to introduce a more "delightful and fun" experience.

A big Microsoft Edge logo with an IE logo inside it

Coming over to Microsoft Edge, we found out that the browser will receive an update on February 14, 2023 that will permanently disable Internet Explorer. However, this will again be a staggered process and the actual mandatory axing will happen with June 2023's Patch Tuesday updates. In related news, the final Edge Dev update for this year introduced improvements to the Sidebar while a recent Canary update began offering 15GB of free data through the Edge VPN rather than the previous limit of 1GB. While we are talking about browser updates, it's also worth highlighting that Firefox 108 is now out with Windows 11 Efficiency Mode support, PDF forms improvements, and more.

Some native Windows apps received updates too. The new Windows Media Player introduced first on Windows 11 is now available for Windows 10 Release Preview Channel users as well. It features a modern interface with improved keyboard shortcuts and assistive technologies. Similarly, Quick Assist has been updated on older Windows versions Microsoft has promised to continue supporting it moving forward. And the updated Widgets design is now being rolled out to all Windows 11 users too.

Meanwhile, other smaller updates include the discontinuation of the Microsoft Authenticator app on Apple Watch next month, version 2211 of Windows Admin Center, Soundscape going open-source, and Android 13 in Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) Preview. Finally, you may notice that the OneDrive app on Windows 11 has been redesigned, check out all the changes here.

Git gud

xbox controller on top of Windows 11

We don't have a ton of gaming news this time around but what we do have is indication that Microsoft is more intent on pitching Windows 11 as the go-to gaming platform rather than Xbox, at least in India. At a recent tech event in the country, Microsoft highlighted the gaming capabilities of Windows 11 while crickets chirped at its Xbox booth.

Over on the deals side though, the Xbox Series S is down to $239 during this holiday season. In the same space in digital gaming, Max Payne and Watch Dogs headline this week's Deals with Gold, while Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Dragon Ball The Breakers, and WWE 2K22 are on offer in this week's Free Play Days promotion. Similarly, Games with Gold is hosting Bladed Fury as its latest addition. You might also find it interesting to know that COD: MWII is having a free multiplayer event on Xbox this weekend and you don't even need Xbox Live Gold to partake.

Lastly, don't forget to check out this weekend's PC Game Deals, handpicked by our News Editor Pulasthi Ariyasinghe.

Dev Channel

The Microsoft logo in front of the EU flag

Under the spotlight

An image showing a red Windows 11 logo and number five to indicate lame features

Following up from his piece a couple of weeks ago about five great features and improvements coming soon to Windows 11, News Reporter Taras Buria went in the opposite direction a few days ago and shared his thoughts on the five not-so-good changes coming to the OS.

Stock Windows 11 education wallpaper

Taras also penned a guide on how to enable hidden themes in Windows 11, original designed for educational environments.

Wifi Calling

Meanwhile, forum member Adam Bottjen authored a nifty Tech Tip Tuesday guide explaining how to use Wi-Fi calling when you're in an area with poor reception.

High On life - Thumbnail image

Finally, News Editor Pulasthi Ariyasinghe reviewed High On Life, from the creators of Rick and Morty, talking about he was surprised by the deep combat and the overall humorous tone of the game. You can read his thoughts here.

Logging off


Our most interesting but somewhat scary news item of this week relates to a proof-of-concept (POC) which demonstrated how some anti-virus solutions could be tricked into permanently deleting your files, including those belonging to the system. Microsoft has already acknowledged the issue and patched the vulnerability in Defender and so have Avast, AVG, and Trend Micro with their respective products. Some like CrowdStrike, McAfee, and BitDefender are seemingly immune to this particular exploit.

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