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Microsoft Weekly: Build excitement, Windows 11 22H2 RTM, and Linux XDP

Microsoft Weekly image with Microsoft loves Linux penguin on the right and a developer clipart on th

We are at the last weekend of May and it's time yet again to recap all the important Microsoft news of the past few days. This week, there was tons of developer- and enterprise-focused news from Build 2022, some more details about Windows 11 version 22H2 RTM, and then some updates to Microsoft's apps and services to cap it all. Without further ado, let's dive into our weekly digest for May 21 - May 27.

Build 2022 news galore

A graphic of apps in the Microsoft Store

Microsoft held its annual Build conference this week and it had lots of updates to share across various developer, enterprise, and consumer domains.

For starters, Android apps on Windows 11 are finally coming to five more countries, namely France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK. This expansion will happen later this year. Talking about storefronts, Microsoft is working on an app restore functionality for the Microsoft Store so you can seamlessly transition between devices with all your apps being installed with a single click. The firm is also introducing better discoverability for Microsoft Store apps by showing ads for them in the storefront itself as well as surfacing them in Windows 11 Search results. Win32 app submissions are now open for all too and you can also leverage new features like automating submissions through a CI/CD GitHub Actions or Rest APIs pipeline, testing for app visibility, viewing app telemetry, and responding to user reviews directly.

Microsoft also confirmed that developers will be able to build companion widgets for their apps in Windows 11 later this year. And if you want to build and test ARM-native apps through your favorite toolchain and programming languages, keep an eye out on the Project Volterra hardware kit coming later this year.

Meanwhile, for organizations looking to scale their infrastructure on the cloud, Microsoft has announced Dev Box. This is a Windows 365-powered solution that offers powerful, development-ready workstations in the cloud. It also integrates with Intune and Microsoft Endpoint Manager. The service is currently in private preview with a waitlist.

Developers and teams investing in data solutions should check out Microsoft's Intelligent Data Platform. It aims to unify databases, analytics, and data governance on the cloud, enabling customers to rapidly adapt to changing landscapes while continuing to draw insights. The firm also announced a bunch of new features for Microsoft Purview, Azure Synapse, SQL Database, Cognitive Services, Machine Learning, Arc, and more.

For developers and teams working in low-code solutions, Microsoft revealed Power Pages that allows you to quickly build and customize fully functioning websites. There were enhancements made to existing Power Platform products including Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents, Power Automate, and Power BI too.

There were a bunch of announcements related to Microsoft Teams too. Link unfurling for rich actionable card previews is coming soon and so is integration with Power Apps. Independent software vendors (ISVs) can build new Live Share experiences. And the Teams JavaScript 2.0 SDK, Teams Toolkit for Visual Studio Code, and the Teams Toolkit CLI have all hit general availability (GA).

Windows 11 version 22H2 RTM

Windows 11 22H2 RTM

This week, a Microsoft document quietly confirmed that Windows 11 version 22H2 RTM build is build 22621 that was released to Windows Insiders earlier this month. In the same document, Microsoft also noted that Windows Hardware Compatibility Program (WHCP) submissions will continue until September 5, which means that we can expect the feature update to begin rolling out in that month or October. And if you're unsure about what to expect when updating to Windows 11 version 22H2, check out our detailed run-down on all the new features here.

Microsoft also rolled out build 25126 to the Windows 11 Dev Channel this week. It has improvements to the Accounts settings page, especially for people who are Microsoft 365 customers. That said, there are other improvements and known issues too, so do check out the linked article before you update.

Apart from this, Microsoft released an optional Cumulative Update to Windows 11 in the form of KB5014019 that bumped the build to 22000.708. The key highlight of this release is that it brings Windows Spotlight to the desktop but there are enhancements and bug fixes for other areas such as the Start menu too. That said, if you are a Trend Micro customer, know that this optional update also breaks its ransomware protection capabilities.

In the same vein, Windows 10 netted build 19044.1739 (KB5014023) as an optional update in the Release Preview Channel as well. The changelog is quite lengthy, but a key highlight is that it fixes numerous app crashes.

Although Microsoft's Panos Panay emphasized once again that Windows 11 is all about quality, it seems that the operating system's CPU usage reporting is buggy and Smart App Control isn't perfect either.

Linux XDP on Windows (and more!)

Microsoft and Linux written on the left and right respectively with a heart icon in the middle

Shifting gears now a bit to apps, services, and product updates this week, we'll start off with Microsoft porting the Linux eXpress Data Path (XDP) to Windows as an open-source initiative. XDP allows apps to achieve low latency and a high throughput in networking and is currently ready for prototyping and testing on Windows.

Microsoft 365 Apps was updated to version 2205, the highlights include automatic groupings (like @TeamOwners) for Teams channel posts and a more natural Read Aloud voice in Outlook. The Outlook app on mobile is expected to get a new feed view and the option to save attachments to OneDrive for Business next month as well. Meanwhile, Teams is set to receive chat bubbles on Android and iOS around the same time.

Microsoft also offered a detailed look at the upcoming OneNote refresh for Windows. The app will receive Windows 11 design aesthetics, better pen support, and an enhanced UX in what will hopefully (finally?) be the unification of the OneNote product on Windows desktop.

Both Windows Terminal Stable and Windows Terminal Preview received updates this week. The former brings the ability to change the bell sound, configure default launch profiles for admins, a new action, and save and restore capabilities. Meanwhile, Preview now allows you to set a single background image split across multiple panes, among many other things.

Edge Dev 103 received its final update a couple of days ago too, new features include a better Microsoft Editor, new policies, and UX enhancements to tab group management.

Finally, the Surface app was updated just a few hours ago with notifications for Windows updates, improvements to the audio equalizer and headphones tutorials volume, among other things. You can check out the changelog here.

Git gud

A conecpt of Xbox Keystone - a streaming stick to play games from the cloud
A concept image of Xbox Keystone

Coming over to our gaming section, the highlight of this week was undoubtedly the fact that Microsoft confirmed that it is pivoting away from the current implementation of its streaming stick (codenamed Xbox Keystone) for Xbox Cloud Gaming and moving to a new approach. Although a release date is still unclear, the latest rumors also say that it may come with a stripped version of Xbox or Windows as its OS.

Meanwhile, on the software side of things, an expansion of Top Gun: Maverick to celebrate the launch of the movie of the same name is now freely available for Microsoft Flight Simulator players. The update includes new missions, challenges, maneuvers, and a super-secret aircraft.

On the other hand, Sea of Thieves received the Lost Sands Adventure. An interesting aspect of this chapter is that it is up to the players to decide which faction they want to aid in order to decide the fate of Lost Sands. That said, it's better to dive into the latest Adventure as soon as possible because it goes away on June 9. Close to that date (June 7, to be more specific), you can also get started with the highly anticipated The Wild Update in Minecraft, check out all the details here.

And if you're on the lookout for some Xbox deals, skim through the latest Deals with Gold offerings here, headlined by Star Wars and Batman. But if you play exclusively on PC, do not miss out on the list of this weekend's sales across multiple storefronts, curated by Neowin editor Pulasthi Ariyasinghe.

Dev Channel

Visual Studio logo on a light background with Apple logo on the top left corner

Under the spotlight

Windows 11 22H2 Upgrade

In this digest, we have two handy guides to share with you. The first one is penned by Neowin co-founder Steven Parker and walks you through how you can update to the RTM build of Windows 11 version 22H2 right now, even though it will publicly start rolling out after a few months.

An image showing how to enable desktop stickers in Windows 11 22H2

Meanwhile, the second guide is authored by Neowin News Reporter Taras Buria and explains how you can enable desktop stickers in Windows 11 version 22H2 right now, even though the feature hasn't even been officially announced by Microsoft yet.

Logging off

Samsung printed photo taken from 200MP ISOCELL image sensor and results were enormous

Our most interesting news item of this week isn't directly related to Microsoft but does give some indication about the next avenue tech companies want to explore. Basically, Samsung took a photo of a cat from its in-house 200MP ISOCELL image sensor and then printed it out on a gigantic 28m x 22m poster for public showcase. We are yet to see a phone with this sensor, but that may change by July.

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Missed any of the previous columns? Check them all out at this link.

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