Microsoft Weekly: More builds, Edge in more places, and more games

This past week was a little less heavy on the gaming side – as was to be expected following the massive influx from E3 -, but it wasn’t totally quiet. We got to see the arrival of Chromium Edge on older Windows versions, some Windows 10 builds, and more. You can find that – as well as the usual little bit extra – below, in your Microsoft digest for the week of June 15-21.

More builds

This week didn’t feature quite the barrage of gaming news like the week before it, because E3 is now behind us. Consequently, the flow of news returned to its usual pace, and the majority of Windows 10 versions – save for 1507 and 1903 - got some hefty patches on Wednesday. They are:

  • October 2018 Update (1809): KB4501371, build 17763.592 – Addresses issues ranging from Edge and UWP apps not being able to print, to Storage Spaces not being repaired properly and programmatic scrolling not working as intended in IE 11.
    • Known issues: Operations like rename may fail when performed on files or folders within a Cluster Shared Volume (STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL 0xC00000A5); After installing KB4493509, devices with certain Asian language packs may get error “0x800f0982-PSFX_E_MATCHING_COMPONENT_NOT_FOUND”; Certain devices may start up to a black screen during the first logon, post update install. Restart to fix the issue.
  • April 2018 Update (1803): KB4503288, build 17134.858 – similar changelog to 1809, with the addition of fixes for Office 365 apps not working when deployed as App-V packages, and the fix for Windows Account Manager failing when using TPM (Trusted Platform Module). It’s worth noting that custom views in Event Viewer have now been fixed and work as intended, though this is part of 1809’s changelog too.
    • Known issues: Operations like rename may fail when performed on files or folders within a Cluster Shared Volume (STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL 0xC00000A5); Certain devices may start up to a black screen during the first logon, post update install. Restart to fix the issue.
  • Fall Creators Update (1709): KB4503281, build 16299.1237 – very similar changelog to 1803.
    • Known issues: Operations like rename may fail when performed on files or folders within a Cluster Shared Volume (STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL 0xC00000A5);
  • Creators Update (1703): KB4503289, build 15063.1897 – changelog similar to 1709, with the exception of a fix for the bug which allowed users to disable the sign-in background image, despite this being disabled via policy.
    • Known issues: Operations like rename may fail when performed on files or folders within a Cluster Shared Volume (STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL 0xC00000A5);
  • Anniversary Update (1607) LTSC, Server 2016: KB4503294, build 14393.3053 – similar changelog to 1903, with the addition of fixes related to LDAP, CRL, and ActiveX controls when using Windows Defender Application Control.
    • Known issues: SCVMM cannot enumerate and manage logical switches on the host after installing this update; ; After installing KB4467684, the cluster service may fail to start with error “2245 (NERR_PasswordTooShort)”; Operations like rename may fail when performed on files or folders within a Cluster Shared Volume (STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL 0xC00000A5); Some devices running Server 2016 with Hyper-V enabled may enter BitLocker recovery mode with error “0xC0210000”; Certain applications may fail to run as expected on clients of Active Directory Federation Services 2016.

As Server was mentioned, it’s worth noting that Microsoft released the first Server Insider build from the 20H1 branch this past week. It brings a few new features for Windows Admin Center – like better VM management and more comprehensive Azure integration -, a few fixes, and quite the list of known issues. Then again, it’s slated for release in the first half of 2020, so this isn’t much of a surprise. For those wondering, this is build 18917 and it’s available now.

In addition to the one for Server, the identically numbered SDK Preview is also out, complete with no major changes.

Those of you that have at least build 18917 in the Fast ring still installed should now be able to manage either a group or a lone notification from the notification toast (or banner) itself. In other words, you can turn off notifications for say Snip & Sketch straight from the banner.

Of course, the Insider Program never quite settles down – unless you’re in the Slow ring -, so testers got to play with build 18922 this week. It brings forth a number of new features like the still rough Cortana beta app. Make sure to check out our hands-on for a full highlight of new features in 18922.

This is an Insider build, so there are obviously a few rough edges like the update possibly failing the first time around with error 0xc0000409, or Home editions not being able to see the download progress % change. On the flip side, testers shouldn’t be getting errors 0x80010105 or 0xc0000005 when installing recent builds, Windows Ink Workspace shouldn’t take quite as much space, and more.

Edge in more places

Maintaining the theme of testing, those who opted for the Canary channel to test the new Chromium-based Edge (or Edgium), can now take a look at the more expansive dark mode coverage which now encompasses Settings. Keep in mind that in order for this to work you need to both set your OS preference to dark, and have “Microsoft Edge theme” set to “Enabled” in edge://flags. For those counting, the relevant build here is 77.0.195.0.

That’s not to say that Canary is the only one to switch to version 77, as Edge Dev followed not long after. If you’re on this channel, you should expect build 77.0.189.3, which unfortunately doesn’t add the extensive dark theme coverage from 77.0.195.0. The Send Feedback dialog does support dark theme now, though. There are fixes like those for the bug which upon opening Settings as a guest caused the browser to crash, or the bug which caused a crash when the user chose Read Aloud, or downloads using a generic icon instead of the file’s own icon.

And if you thought that somehow Microsoft wasn’t all that serious about its revamped browser, the Seattle-based software and hardware maker has released a new WebView2 SDK – promised back at Build in May. This, of course, is underpinned by the new Chromium-based Edge browser. Only some Win32 C++ APIs are supported currently, though UWP, WinForms, and WPF are coming soon.

Finally, for those eagerly awaiting the arrival of Edgium on older versions of Windows – even regular Windows 8 for some reason -, the day is at long last here. Specifically, build 77.0.197.0 was made available to these operating systems, which of course means that it’s from the Canary channel – the only one available currently. It doesn’t have support for dark theme or AAD sign-in, but the more stable Edge Dev channel should be made available soon. That could bring forth the aforementioned missing features.

More games

At E3 2019, Microsoft had a lot to show – just how much you can check out via our recap -, and among the things shown was a 2020 reboot for Microsoft Flight Simulator, complete with stunning visuals. To ease the worry of fans of the series, the company has confirmed that the title is set to support third-party and community-made content. In other words, it’ll have mod support.

PC fans of Microsoft’s oldest FPS franchise, Halo, are set to get closer to their goal of playing the entire series on their computer, as 343 Industries announced that testing for Halo: The Master Chief Collection PC will kick off next week “if everything goes according to plan”. The dev will start with Halo: Reach, to which a small subset of those who signed up to the Halo Insider program will get access. Be advised that access to the upcoming test for Reach is set to be conducted via Steam, the other platform on which Halo: MCC is set to launch.

Speaking of launching, the company has also made available four titles which users can play with their eyes. These are Tile Slide, Match Two, Double Up – based on 2048 -, and finally Maze.

Also four is the number of titles coming to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC this month. These are Resident Evil: Revelations and Rare Replay on console – already available -, as well as Torment: Tides of Numenera plus Goat Simulator on PC, both available starting June 27.

In addition, there are a number of games leaving the console subscription, including Next Up Hero on June 27, as well as Dead Island Definitive Edition, Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition, Shadow Complex Remastered, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and Zombie Army Trilogy, all on June 30.

Lastly, city builder fans and those who enjoy Cities: Skylines on console can now buy the Industries expansion for the Colossal Order-developed title on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The Fast ring

Hot corner

Hot corner is a section of The Fast ring dedicated to highlighting five Microsoft-related stories that haven’t been covered over here, but might be of interest.

Logging off

We end the column with a bit of news regarding the May 2019 Update, as well as a rather weird potential new keyboard button.

To start off, those who are still on 1803 – which is set to reach end of support on November 12 -, will start to be updated automatically to 1903. While starting with 1903 the company won’t usually outright force the update on users’ machines, it will do so under one condition: if the version of Windows on the user’s PC is nearing end of support.

In addition to this, the firm will also tell users if their PCs aren’t ready to receive 1903, though this can potentially fly in the face of the move described in the previous paragraph. Just how exactly Microsoft plans to work around this situation is unclear.

And speaking of updates, 19H2 was supposed to start testing by now, though news on that front has been surprisingly scarce. Our own Rich Woods thinks this lack of communication isn’t a great look for the Redmond giant.

Lastly, in a bit of a weird twist, the Redmond firm is apparently testing a new “Office key” for keyboards. Taking the place of the menu key on the right of the keyboard, this would function much like the Windows key does. It’ll be used as part of shortcut combos to speed up tasks and, as a survey that the company sent out mentions, it could possibly be used “cross-app”. This presumably means cross-app within the confines of the Office suite.

Missed any of the previous columns? Be sure to have a look right here.

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