Microsoft Weekly: Edge on the rise, exploits, and a Windows 11 build

Microsoft Weekly image with hacker clipart on the right and Edge logo on the left

We are at the end of yet another week and while this one wasn't as packed as the previous one, we still have a lot of ground to cover when it comes to recapping everything important that happened in the Microsoft-verse in the past few days. There is a quite a bit of news related to Edge, some about exploits, and a new Windows 11 build for good measure. Let's dive into our weekly digest for May 28 - June 3.

Microsoft Edge gaining momentum

The logos of the four most popular browsers in line of their popularity

This time, we will start with news about Microsoft Edge. The Redmond tech firm's latest browser is slowly gaining popularity with each passing month. Edge is solidifying its second place in the desktop market and currently commands a share of 10.11% globally. Of course, there's still a long way to go to even pose a threat to Chrome (66.1%), but the browser still has a lead of almost one percentage point compared to Apple Safari at the third place.

This week, Microsoft also rolled out Edge 102 to the Stable channel. Surprisingly, the only updates mentioned in the changelog are related to policies, with functional updates nowhere to be found. That doesn't mean that you won't spot anything else either. In fact, the latest release also packs a Windows 11 UI and Mica effect that can be toggled, find out how to do so here. That said, Edge 102 seems to have broken printing for many users too so if that's a critical part of your daily workflow, be a bit cautious.

There were a bunch of updates for Edge Insiders too. Edge Canary now has a capability that allows the browser to pull data from Chrome each time you launch it. The same channel also has a feature that enables users to share files and notes across devices seamlessly.

Meanwhile, Edge 103 has landed in the Beta channel with better profile switching controls and enhanced security. And Edge 104 has arrived in the Dev Channel with a new group policy and a whole lot of bug fixes, check out the details here.

New Windows 11 Dev Channel build

Windows 11 promo

Microsoft rolled out Windows 11 build 22531 to the Dev Channel recently. Interestingly, this release primarily contains a bunch of bug fixes and an updated Microsoft Store experience with faster navigation, better app updates, and more. If you are an active Microsoft Store customer, you should also check out the list of all Microsoft Store App Awards winners. And if you're a Spotify subscriber on a Windows on ARM device, you'll likely be pleased to hear that a native version of the app is now available as well.

It is important to note that build 22531 is a version 23H2 Sun Valley 3 (Copper) build and some information about its kernel leaked this week too.

Last month's Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA) update has also made its way to all Windows 11 Insiders. Pertinent features include Android 12.1, a redesigned Settings app, better integration with Windows, and improved input.

Windows 10 Insiders haven't been left in the cold either. The Release Preview ring for the OS received build 19044.1741 (KB5014023) which contains a bunch of bug fixes and improvements. The same build is also available as an optional "C" release for those running a generally available and supported version of Windows 10.

Exploits, exploits, exploits!

Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool open on Windows 10 desktop with a warning sign below it

These have been a tricky past few days for Microsoft when it comes to cybersecurity. We recently learned about a zero-day vulnerability that can enable malicious Office documents to invoke Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool (MSDT), which can lead to unauthenticated remote code execution (RCE). All supported versions of Windows and Windows Server are affected and while a fix is still not available, there are some mitigations that should be deployed in the interim.

We also found out about a separate vulnerability related to protocol handling. The flaw can combine multiple other flaws to allow a Word document to trigger Windows Search and perform unauthenticated actions, practically without user interaction. We are still waiting for a fix for this too, but in the meantime, check out the mitigations here.

It's not all bad news when it comes to Office apps, though. Simple Markup view and Dark mode for Word on the web are coming soon, text predictions for the Mac client will be available within a few months. That said, Excel is losing a few features due to low usage and Microsoft not renewing partnerships with some partners.

On Teams side, you might have noticed that the desktop client is faster in some areas than it was a year before. You will soon be able to set your preferred directory for downloads of Teams files too. And if you missed all the features that graced Teams in the past month, check out a recap here.

Git gud

A Windows 11 logo next to a Steam logo

Windows 11's market share among Steam users is growing steadily with the OS now commanding a share of almost 20%. Of course, Windows 10 is still the undisputed leader at 73.89% but the bottom line that will likely matter to Microsoft is that over 95% of all Steam gamers surveyed are using its operating systems.

And while this is not related to gaming hardware, if you're rocking Nvidia's enterprise RTX or Quadro graphics cards, you'll want to check out a new driver that supports Windows 11 version 22H2.

Meanwhile, if you're an Xbox Games with Gold subscriber, you should know that this month's offerings have been revealed. The latest selection includes Project Highrise: Architect's Edition, Raskulls, Aven Colony, and Super Meat Boy. In fact, you can grab the latter two titles right now. However, if this doesn't tickle your fancy, check out the latest discounts on offer via this week's Deals with Gold. Also, the latest Xbox Game Pass offerings include Assassin's Creed Origins, Ninja Gaiden, and more.

While we are on the topic of Xbox gaming, you can now reveal secret Xbox achievements across multiple platforms and hardware.

If you're purely a PC gamer, don't forget to grab Wolfenstein: The New Order for free via the Epic Games Store for a limited time. And as always, don't miss out on the list of best gaming deals across multiple storefronts, curated every weekend by Neowin's Editor Pulasthi Ariyasinghe.

Dev Channel

Mailbox open on a laptop with Exchange Server written on the left on a blue background 2021 is cross

Under the spotlight

A curvy road with pins featuring logos of Windows 10 Windows 11 and a question mark

A few days ago, I penned my thoughts on how giving consumers more visibility over the Windows development process would encourage proactive engineering rather than reactive. While it's not a perfect solution, it could solve some existing problems and complaints that people have with Microsoft's operating system. Read my thoughts on the topic here.

Logging off

A stack of servers in a room with a red skull icon superimposed and Confluence logo on the bottom le

Our highlight for this week relates to a critical vulnerability in Atlassian Confluence Server and Data Server. The issue affects practically every version of the products (except those hosted on Atlassian Cloud), leading the vendor to urge customers to immediately restrict internet access and turn off instances of Confluence and Data Server.

The vulnerability can lead to remote code execution and if you're an IT admin or a security professional at an organization which uses either of the aforementioned products, it is recommended that you apply patches as soon as possible and check out other mitigations here too.

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