It's that time of the week again, where we recap everything important that went on in the world of Microsoft in the past few days. This was quite an eventful week in the Redmond camp due to the rollout of the Windows 11 2022 Update, a significant Dev Channel build, and some news about upcoming Surface devices. Without further ado, let's dive in to our weekly digest for September 17 - September 23.
Windows 11 2022 Update
Our biggest news category of this week undoubtedly relates to the rollout of the Windows 11 2022 Update (also known as version 22H2) kicking off - following ISO links leaking a day early. The first major update to Windows 11 has started rolling out as of September 20 and is currently being made available to seekers. As with all major Windows updates, you might not see get it immediately either. For those curious, it will enjoy two years of support.
The update brings a lot of new features including those related to gaming, security, accessibility, and more. But it doesn't stop here. Microsoft has also announced plans to brings more features to Windows 11 next month including the tabbed File Explorer, a Photos app revamp, Suggested Actions, Taskbar Overflow, and the ability to share content to more devices through nearby sharing. However, if you simply can't wait for some reason, here's how you can get these capabilities right now (at your own risk).
The Redmond tech firm had some updates to share regarding the app situation on Windows 11 too. Android apps are coming to 31 countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The Amazon Appstore will offer over 20,000 Android apps. Meanwhile, the Microsoft Store itself now has over 900 million customers and the Microsoft Store Ads pilot has launched too.
Microsoft revealed that it is making significant improvements to the Windows Update process too. Updates will now have smaller footprints and Windows Update will be carbon-aware. The company has boasted that adopting Window 11 itself will save enterprise customers millions of dollars over the next three years, this claim is backed by data from Forrester. But for enterprise customers and consumers who can't upgrade to Windows 11, rest assured that Windows 10 version 22H2 is coming next month.
It hasn't been all smooth sailing for Windows 11 version 22H2 though. Those with Nvidia graphics cards are experiencing random stuttering and screen-tearing in games, and this is a matter that Nvidia is still investigating. Meanwhile, some haven't been able to install the update itself because it fails with the error code 0x800f0806. However, a Neowin reader may have figured out a fix that you might want to look at.
Of course, this section is only a summary of all the announcements that Microsoft made regarding the Windows 11 2022 Update, you can check out our detailed coverage on the topic here.
Windows 11 Dev Channel build 25206
Just because Microsoft announced the rollout of the Windows 11 2022 Update this week does not mean that the company took a break from releasing Insider builds.
In fact, Microsoft released Dev Channel build 25206 for Windows 11 Insiders just a few days ago. It's a relatively major build with support for Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR) on external displays, an updated "Open with" dialog box, significant improvements to SMB authentication rate limiting, and fixes for OneDrive and Windows Sandbox, among other things. We got the same build number 25206 for Windows Server vNext, but as usual, there's no proper changelog.
On the same day, Microsoft also released Beta builds 22621.601 and 22622.601 (KB5017384) for Windows 11 Insiders. The update doesn't contain any new features but there are a bunch of bug fixes and a single known issue in two. In the same vein, build 22621.607 (KB5017389) was made available to the Release Preview Channel too, and it has a very lengthy list of bug fixes that you can view at your leisure here.
Speaking of bug fixes, Microsoft recently rolled out an optional update for Windows 10 and Windows 11 customers ahead of next month's Patch Tuesday. We're highlighting it again because it fixes a Daylight Saving Time (DST) issue plaguing some Windows customers.
Finally, Microsoft has released the new Photos app for Insiders. It has better OneDrive integration, Memories, and it gets rid of the legacy video editor. It will become available to Windows 11 version 22H2 users next month.
Surface on the horizon
Amidst all the excitement for the Windows 11 2022 Update this week, Microsoft also announced that its next Surface event will take place on October 12, which is just under three weeks from today.
This time around, we expect the company to show off the 9th-gen Surface Pro with Intel and ARM processors, the 5th-gen Surface Laptop, a long-overdue Surface Studio refresh, and new accessories. There are also speculations about Microsoft preparing a gaming-focused Surface Laptop with 12th Gen Intel processors and Nvidia 3000 Series graphics cards.
A recent report has also claimed that the upcoming Surface Laptop "5" will ditch AMD processors in favor of Intel's 12th Gen offerings. However, this has not been corroborated by other reputable sources as of yet, so take this rumor with a grain of salt.
In terms of what we have on hand today though, Microsoft has finally resolved the "No Bootable Device" error that had (soft-)bricked Surface Go and Go 2 devices a few months ago. You can find out more details about the patch here.
On the gaming front, we have already mentioned that the Windows 11 2022 Update packs a few enhancements, but it is also pertinent to highlight the Windows HDR Calibration app that is now available for all Windows 11 users who want to calibrate their HDR displays for the optimal viewing experience.
Additionally, the Xbox September 2022 update has introduced lots of new features including customizable RGB lighting on the second-gen Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, a revamped Library UX, better store management, and more. Microsoft is also testing the ability to mute the Xbox startup sound in the Alpha ring.
Coming over to games in general, Frozen Plant II content is now available in Minecraft and Arkane's Deathloop has finally ditched its PlayStation console exclusivity and arrived on Xbox Series X|S. It's also available on Xbox Game Pass, with other new additions being Grounded, Slime Rancher 2, and Valheim, among others.
Finally, in terms of discounts, we have Dead Island Definitive Edition and Hunting Simulator 2 in Microsoft's latest Xbox Free Play Days promotion. Meanwhile, the Deals with Gold promotion is headlined by Halo and Mafia franchises. But if you're a PC purist, you might want to check out this Weekend's PC Game Deals with titles handpicked by our News Editor Pulasthi Ariyasinghe.
- Spellcheck capabilities in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge can apparently expose your passwords to Google and Microsoft, respectively
- Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is now available Android Enterprise COPE devices and tamper protection is now enabled by default for all customers
- Edge Canary has restored a bunch of Chromium flags like Mute site and CTRL+H to History page
- Microsoft has announced a 10% dividend increase for shareholders
- Microsoft thinks labeling fake news as "false" could be misinterpreted as censorship
- Canonical and Microsoft have brought systemd support to Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)
- UK regulator Ofcom is probing the cloud space dominated by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google
- Viva Engage now has an Answers capability
- Microsoft is launching a "living atlas" in collaboration with some partners
Under the spotlight
This week, News Reporter Taras Buria wrote a handy guide on how you can disable the Search button that hovers above the dock in iOS 16. The feature has been a bit controversial but it is redundant in a way since Apple allows you to take advantage of the functionality through the swipe-down gesture anyway.
Meanwhile, Adam Bottjen - better known as "Warwagon" on the Neowin forums - explained how you can restart you display driver on Windows with ease next time you run into an issue with it. Check out his latest Tech Tip Tuesday edition here.
This week's most interesting news item relates to Mozilla alleging that tech giants like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are unfairly restricting consumer choice and driving people to their own browsers. Its latest report is titled "Five Walled Gardens: Why Browsers are Essential to the Internet and How Operating Systems Are Holding Them Back" and it talks about how the three most popular browsers (Chrome, Edge, Safari) enjoy a bigger user base because of their respective parent companies. Such claims aren't new but they haven't elicited a response from the involved firms yet.
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