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Microsoft Weekly: too many ads in Windows 11, Windows 10, and Edge

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In this episode of Microsoft Weekly, we look at Microsoft adding more ads to Windows 11 and Microsoft Edge, Patch Tuesday updates with their fixes, compatibility blocks, and full-screen banners, the Moment 5 Update arriving to all users, old Windows Server builds leaking (they are old after all), some fresh wallpapers, Windows XP celebrating ten years since its final security update, and more.

Table of contents:

  1. Windows 10 and 11 news
  2. Windows Insider Program
  3. Updates are available
  4. Gaming news
  5. Great deals to check
  6. A blast from Microsoft's past
  7. Random fact about Microsoft

Windows 11 and 10

Here we talk about everything happening around Microsoft's latest operating system in the Stable channel and preview builds: new features, removed features, controversies, bugs, interesting findings, and more. And of course, you may find a word or two about older but still supported versions.

Microsoft released the April 2024 Patch Tuesday updates for all supported Windows 10 and 11 versions. This month's release is extra notable because it delivers the Moment 5 Update features to all users. Windows 11 received KB5036893, and Windows 10 got KB5036892.

Shortly after receiving the April 2024 Patch Tuesday updates, Windows 10 users started complaining about full-screen banners promoting Windows 11 on unsupported PCs, even though Windows 10 has over 18 months of active support ahead of it. Yikes.

A Windows 11 ad in Windows 10

Besides the slightly intrusive Windows 11 ad, the latest Patch Tuesday updates reportedly irritate users with all sorts of bugs, instabilities, slowdowns, and error codes, such as 0x8007000d/0x800705b9.

On the bright side, Microsoft has finally lifted a two-year-old upgrade block preventing Windows 10 users from upgrading to Windows 11. It was related to the Intel Smart Sound Technology Audio Controller driver on systems with 11th-generation Intel Core processors. Affected customers can now get the fixed drivers from Windows Updates and safely upgrade to Windows 11 without worrying about blue screens of death due to poor compatibility.

The next-generation Windows on ARM PCs are coming in a few months, and according to a new report, Microsoft is pretty confident in its latest venture. Leaked documents revealed that the company is sure the new AI PCs with ARM processors would be able to beat Apple's M3-based MacBook Air. The Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 will be among the first AI PCs to hit the market this summer.

Windows enthusiasts discovered that Microsoft had updated the appraisers.sdb file in Windows 11 build 26100 and added a whole bunch of apps that could theoretically block you from updating to Windows 11 version 24H2. Check out the full list here.

Windows 11 24H2 with a gradient background

Speaking of Windows 11 24H2, as it turned out, the leaked LTSC build does not check hardware requirements if you select the IoT Enterprise LTSC Edition.

Recent Patch Tuesday updates also quietly introduced a new UCPD driver that prevents apps from changing your default settings using registry tweaks and hacks. Microsoft has not officially announced this change, so its exact purpose is currently unknown.

Windows Insider Program

Here is what Microsoft Released this week for testing in the Windows Insider Program:

Windows 11 Windows 10
Canary Channel Nothing in Canary this week Not Applicable
Dev Channel Nothing in Dev this week Not Applicable
Beta Channel 22635.3495 with ads in the Start menu and a new Settings section with linked PCs and consoles. Not Applicable
Release Preview Channel 22631/21.3520 with improved Widgets icons, TCP fixes, and more. Nothing in RP this week for Windows 10

The biggest Windows Insider (and Windows in general) story of this week was the one about Microsoft adding more ads to the Start menu. The latest Windows 11 Beta Channel now features app recommendations ads "to help you discover great apps from the Microsoft Store." The OS might even get a dedicated button for ads and promos on the taskbar.

226353495 screenshots

All those ad shenanigans led to a couple of Microsoft veterans calling out the company, mocking the current state of things, bad Start menu performance in Windows 11, and more.

Microsoft has not announced it yet, but Windows Insiders have already spotted a bunch of new features coming soon to the Snipping Tool app. The upcoming updates should allow users to add emojis to their screenshots, correct HDR images for SDR monitors, and scan QR codes on screenshots.

Finally, here is some news for Windows Server 2025, which is currently in preview. Microsoft published a blog post with a feature summary of what is coming to its server-focused version of Windows 11. If that is not enough, check out Windows Server 2012 build 8019, which leaked onto the internet in its full glory.

Windows Server 2012 R2 leaked build 8019

Updates are available

This section covers software, firmware, and other notable updates (released and coming soon) delivering new features, security fixes, improvements, patches, and more from Microsoft and third parties.

Microsoft will host its annual Build conference in May 2024, and its schedule is already spoiling some news. The official Build 2024 website revealed that Microsoft is working on AI-powered "Advanced Paste" for PowerToys and other AI-based experiences for Windows 11.

Microsoft has updated Outlook for Android with a new feature that lets you use the email client to sign into your Microsoft Account securely. Microsoft says with this feature, you "don't need to remember or type any passwords or use a one-time SMS code."

Speaking of security, Microsoft Edge received patches in the Stable Channel to resolve three high-severity Chromium vulnerabilities. The update also fixes sync-related issues that can lead to browser crashes.

Start11, everyone's favorite Start menu alternative, received a new update with early optimizations for Windows 11 version 24H2. Since the app does not rely on legacy code to do its magic, it should not fall victim to Microsoft's crusade against UI tweaking apps like ExplorerPatcher or StartAllBack.

Start11 app

Other notable updates include the following:

Here are the newest drivers released this week:

Here is our weekly recap of the new features coming soon to Microsoft's productivity apps, such as Outlook, Teams, and more.

To finish the updates section, check out these newly published stock wallpapers found in the recently announced and launched Surface Pro 10 for Business. If you want to spice your desktop up with some alternative color variants of the stock "Bloom" wallpaper, you will like those four new backgrounds.

Windows 11s Bloom Surface Pro 10 wallpaper mixed with light and dark

On the gaming side

Learn about upcoming game releases, Xbox rumors, new hardware, software updates, freebies, deals, discounts and more.

EA Play, a subscription service that lets you access dozens of Electronic Arts games for one monthly or yearly fee, now costs more. This week, EA announced the first price hike for EA Play and EA Play Pro.

Forza Motorsport received the latest update with a new track, a fresh set of cars, and many various fixes. Racers can now take it to Brands Hatch, a popular racing track in the United Kingdom. The new cars include the 2019 Ginetta G55 GT4, the 1970 Matra-Simca #146 Equipe Matra-Simca MS650 Tour de France, and the 2016 Ligier #11 Euro International JS P3.

Forza Motorsport

Bethesda has finally set the release date for Fallout 4's next-gen update. It will be available on April 25, alongside additional PC optimizations, Steam Deck verifications, and other neat upgrades for the game about post-apocalyptic Boston.

Fallout 4 next-gen free content

Sea of Thieves is coming soon to PlayStation 5, and the game's official account is already hyping things up by claiming that its closed beta is experiencing a high volume of players, resulting in longer waiting times to hop on. This could indicate that the game is set to be a big hit on Sony's console.

Deals and freebies

The Epic Games Store is giving away Ghostrunner until the next Thursday. As usual, for more special offers and deals, check out our weekly Weekend PC Game Deals series.


Other notable gaming news include the following:

To finish the gaming section, check out Robbie Khan's Gulikit KK3 Max review. This premium controller has great performance, solid materials, onboard memory for tweaks, and a bunch of extra accessories.

Gulikit KK3 Max Controller

Great deals to check

Every week, we cover many deals on different hardware and software. The following discounts are still available, so check them out. You might find something you want or need.



PC Components:

Phones, tablets, and laptops:

Monitors and TVs:

A blast from Microsoft's past

John Callaham's weekly "Look back" series provides throwbacks into the past, detailing the company's products, partnerships, mishaps, and successes from years ago.

This week, Windows 3.1 celebrated 32 years since its RTM. Codenamed "Janus," this rather minor upgrade delivered some notable changes, such as TrueType support, Windows Media Player, screensavers, SVGA support, and more.

A Windows XP logo

Another anniversary, a rather sad one, is Windows XP's 10th year since its last security update. On April 8, 2014, Microsoft ended the five-year-long period of extended security updates for one of the most legendary Windows versions ever released.

Random fact about Microsoft

And here is a randomly selected piece of trivia about the company, Windows, and other Microsoft-made things.

The European Union is after big companies these days, forcing them to adopt more competition-friendly practices. The situation is anything but new, and Microsoft is no stranger to it. Did you know that in late 2005, the Korean Fair Trade Commission forced the software giant to release a special version of Windows XP without Windows Media Player and Windows Messenger?

Windows XP Home (K) and Pro (KN) were released on the South Korean market, and both included links to third-party messengers and media players, similar to how iOS shows third-party browsers during its setup in the EU.

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