Welcome to the latest edition of Microsoft Weekly where we recap all the important stuff that happened in the world of Microsoft within the past few days. This time we have updates regarding Windows 11, the future of Windows as a whole, and some enhancements for IT admins and developers. Without further ado, let's dive into the latest Microsoft Weekly digest covering January 15 - January 20!
Both Windows 10 and Windows 11 received some updates this week. We will start with Windows 10 which netted KB5019275 to introduce storage alerts for OneDrive, along with numerous bug fixes for flickering News and Interests widget on Taskbar, File Explorer, and more. This is an optional preview updates and basically showcases what's to come in the next Patch Tuesday for the OS.
Meanwhile, Windows 11's Release Preview build 22000.1515 backported several of version 22H2's features to the original release, version 21H2. These include Spotlight Theme for the Personalization page, a redesigned Settings app, and OneDrive storage alerts. Windows 11 version 22H2 bagged a Release Preview build containing bug fixes for TPM, search indexing, thread deadlock, and more.
Customers on other Insider channels weren't left out in the cold either. The latest Beta build got rid of the Microsoft account sign-in requirement for Widgets and fixed several bugs. On the other hand, Dev Channel build 25281 brought improvements to the Graphics page in Settings and Windows Spotlight. Notably, tabbed Notepad is also available in this build but it seems like desktop Search is getting the ax.
Windows 11 version 21H2 received the KB5022370 Dynamic Update, which improves the setup binaries. And while Microsoft is investigating an issue related to unresponsive Taskbar and Start menu due to a conflict with ClickShare, it seems like pretty much everyone is sleeping on display MPO problems.
The future of Windows
Since we have discussed new builds for both Windows 10 and Windows 11, let's talk about some news items related to the future of the operating system as a whole too. During AMD's keynote at CES 2023, Microsoft's Panos Panay talked about how AI will be deeply integrated in a future version of Windows (Windows 12?). The executive teased exciting possibilities through AI-intensive workloads that blur the lines between cloud and edge.
In the same vein, it seems like Microsoft is ready to try out some experimental features with Windows 11 Insiders. The latest Dev Channel build contains references to such a capability but it's unclear how it will function and which features will be consider experiment, considering that Insider channels are for testing new capabilities anyway.
Although it seems like Microsoft is very eager about what's to come in Windows 11 and beyond, Windows 10 is now more evidently on the back-burner. The company has announced that it will stop selling license keys for the operating system through its website. Similarly, optional non-security preview releases won't be offered to Windows 10 version 20H2 and 21H2 moving forward. They are now reserved for version 22H2 only.
But if you care less about what Microsoft plans to do with its hardware and software, and care more about what you could potentially be able to do without the Redmond tech firm's blessing, check out the advancements on the Surface Duo project with regards to dual-booting Android and Windows on the hardware.
Visual Studio and other software upgrades
Microsoft had some decent updates for developers and IT admins this week. Notably, Visual Studio is getting a better search functionality through All-in-One Search, which does exactly what the name implies. Visual Studio 17.5 Preview 3 has also introduced a spell-checker for some programming languages and Markdown files.
And if you're a developer or an enterprise customer eager to try out Windows 11 version 22H2, look no further than Microsoft's evaluation virtual machines, which have just been updated to include the OS.
Some IT admins (and other consumers) may also want to know that Microsoft has renamed the Office Insider program to Microsoft 365 Insider. Meanwhile, those managing Exchange Server upgrades should fill out this survey in which Microsoft is inquiring about how to improve the update deployment process, with one possibility being automatic updates.
With regards to other software updates, Edge Dev 111.0.1619.2 adds password import from CSV files, better protections from third-party apps hijacking your browser settings, an improved ad-blocking experience on iOS, and more. Meanwhile, Edge 109 Stable has a new build to patch an issue related to special characters. But if you absolutely hate Edge, don't forget to check out the updated MSEdgeRedirect.
We'll start off this section with confirmation that highly anticipated AAA title Forspoken will support DirectStorage technology only on Windows 11. This is provided that your system can even handle its jaw-dropping requirements.
Meanwhile, Sea of Thieves players can kick off their The Secret Wilds Adventure, which runs until February 2. It has players continuing to look for a solution for Tasha the tavern keeper's growing skeleton curse. After talking to Madame Olivia, players will now receive Briggsy’s Mask to retrace her steps using hidden starfields, which will hopefully lead to a cure.
Lastly, on the deals side we have Tiny Tina's Wonderlands and Space Crew Legendary Edition available through Xbox Free Play Days, along with Autonauts through Games with Gold. But if you're a PC purist, check out this Weekend's PC Game Deals, curated by our News Editor Pulasthi Ariyasinghe.
- Azure OpenAI is now generally available, ChatGPT will be offered as a service soon
Microsoft Phone Link's "Recent Websites" now works on Samsung Galaxy Book and smartphones
Outlook for iOS is getting a new navigation bar soon
Surface Pro 7 has been updated with Windows Hello and third-party dock improvements
Under the spotlight
A few days ago, I was finally offered Windows 11 on my Windows 10 PC. However, I don't feel the urge to upgrade due to multiple reasons, find out more here.
On the other hand, News Reporter Taras Buria penned a couple of guides for some hidden features present in the latest Windows 11 Dev Channel build. The first is a better volume mixer while the second is a redesigned Windows activation UI.
Finally, forum member Adam Bottjen talked about how to pin a website to your Taskbar in his latest Tech Tip Tuesday article.
This was a bit of a somber week in the tech industry. First, Amazon began the layoffs of 18,000 employees, then, Microsoft eliminated 10,000 jobs as had been rumored. And just when it seemed like the dust had finally settled in big tech, Google proceeded to lay off 12,000 employees. It's been a sad week and we wish all those impacted the best of luck in finding new and better roles.
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