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Microsoft Weekly: Windows 11 22H2 issues galore, Widgets, and Outlook updates

Microsoft Weekly graphic with a ladybug in Windows 11 logo on the left and an Outlook logo on the ri

It's that time of the week again where we recap everything important that occurred in the world of Microsoft in the past few days. In this edition, we have lots of Windows 11 2022 Update bugs to discuss, along with details of recent builds and app updates. Without further ado, let's dive in to our weekly digest for October 1 - October 7.

Windows 11 2022 Update issues galore

A broken Windows 11 logo indicating bugs

Throughout the week, we heard reports about tons of bugs and issues with the Windows 11 2022 Update (version 22H2). For starters, Microsoft has confirmed throughput performance degradation of up to 40% when copying large files weighing several gigabytes or more over SMB. That said, some users might experience this reduced performance when copying local files too. In fact, some users have also reported their copying speeds being cut down by more than half. The good news is that Microsoft seems to have figured out what's causing the slowdown so we should expect a fix pretty soon.

Another issue plaguing some Windows 11 customers is that they can't install the 2022 Update on workstations with dynamic disks. People with these configurations are being greeted with error 0x8007001. There's not much that customers can complain about though because Microsoft already has public advisories indicating that dynamic disks have been deprecated in Windows.

That's not all though. Microsoft has also warned IT admins that deploying the Windows 11 2022 Update via provisioning packages is currently broken. Interestingly, Windows Autopilot is unaffected by this issue.

We also heard from Windows 11 version 22H2 customers experiencing connectivity problems while using Remote Desktop. These include random disconnections and freezes, but Microsoft is investigating this as well.

Perhaps it's not such bad news that a lot of systems aren't Windows 11-ready despite Microsoft speeding rollout for version 22H2, eh?

Widgets (and more!)

A Windows 11 logo next to MSN Weather and News logos

Microsoft rolled out Windows 11 build 25217 to the Dev Channel a few days ago too. Besides fixing issues related to the tablet-optimized Taskbar and keyboard input, this release introduces support for third-party Widgets too. This is something that Microsoft first mentioned a few months ago but developers can now finally take advantage of this capability. Microsoft has also published detailed documentation explaining how to get started building these for Windows 11.

Build 25217 also features an updated Microsoft Store experience in the way of better discoverability and enhanced performance. There's also a hidden capability that allows users to reposition the Search button on the Taskbar and you can enable it by following our brief guide here.

Additionally, Microsoft also gave a sneak peek at a new Teams Chat experience on Windows 11. It focuses on video calling and gives you a preview of your video when you open the Chat app. It's currently available only for select Insiders on build 25217.

While we are on the topic of build 25217, it's worth noting that the same version number has also been made available for Windows Server Insider Preview, but as usual, there's no dedicated changelog.

Prior to rolling out build 25217 to the Dev Channel, Microsoft also released build 252112.1010 (KB5019342) in the same ring to test the pipeline. Furthermore, it made build 22621.608 (KB5017389) available to the Release Preview Channel with tabbed File Explorer, Suggested Actions, a new Taskbar overflow menu, and more in tow. There are other hints that some Windows 11 version 22H2 features could also make their way to version 21H2 for those not wanting to upgrade.

In related news, it seems like Windows 10 version 22H2 is close to release as ISO links for the version have been spotted online. No one really knows what improvements, if any, it will pack but there might be some enhancements to Defender.

And for those keeping track of the Windows 11 on Lumia project would be disappointed to know that the project has seemingly reached the end of the line because of Microsoft's updated ARM v8.1 requirements with the Windows 11 2022 Update.

Outlook and other app updates

Outlook logo on a dark background with a link icon below it and New Features written at the bottom l

Microsoft made some improvements on the Outlook front this week. It has started testing unfurling links in Outlook. What this means is that rich actionable card previews will be surfaced in Outlook whenever someone attaches select URLs. You can then take appropriate action directly from the card preview without opening the URL. Of course, this doesn't work by magic, with web and app developers required to make changes to their respective portals.

Microsoft has also fixed a bug in Outlook which was causing the app to crash or become unresponsive on startup. The crashfix is now available in the current channel version 2209 (build 15629.20156) and semi-annual enterprise channel (Preview) version 2208 (build 15601.20158).

PowerToys 0.63 is live too and a key improvement this time around is that the installer's size has been reduced by over 30%. Meanwhile, Microsoft Edge 106 is available in the Stable channel with better security and policy updates. And PolyBase has a new version in SQL Server 2022 boasting new features such as data virtualization, querying data at the locations where it is resident, and usage of REST APIs.

In third-party updates, Vivaldi 5.5 is out with Tasks Panel, a faster Address Field, support for Snap Layouts in Windows 11, improved Mail and Calendar onboarding, and more.

Speaking of updates, it's also worth highlighting that the Surface Pro X has netted Dolby Atmos support and improved performance in the October 2022 firmware update. Finally, the alleged specs of the entire Surface Laptop 5 have leaked online and it seems like AMD Ryzen fans are out of luck, check out the details here.

Git gud

An illustration showing various operating systems logos orbiting the Steam logo

On the gaming front, you might be interested to know that you might be able to get slightly better performance by turning off certain security features in Windows 11, but do so at your own risk and by weighing the potential benefits. Still, it's worth at least knowing about considering that apparently 25% of Steam gamers are now on Windows 11.

Meanwhile, Xbox gamers will want to check out this week's Deals with Gold headlined by Fallout and Max Payne franchises, Game Pass additions featuring A Plague Tale: Requiem, Scorn, Chivalry 2, along with three Xbox Free Play Days titles. You might even be able to nab certain Xbox controller variants for cheap on Amazon or grab some really cool gear as part of the Xbox + Doritos + Rockstar Energy partnership. As usual, don't forget to view this Weekend's PC Game Deals handpicked by Neowin News Editor Pulasthi Ariyasinghe while you are here.

There is a new build present in the Xbox Alpha Skip-Ahead ring as well. It comes with fixes for several issues, including the audio cutting out abruptly and force feedback not working with some steering wheels used to play racing games. There is also a fix so that local languages are used across the whole system software, where they weren’t before.

And while the company continues to face strict investigation in the UK, Microsoft's proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard has now been approved in Brazil.

Under the spotlight

A screenshot of Windows 11 desktop build 25211 with Taskbar context menu open

Earlier in the week, I wrote an editorial that argued that Microsoft's latest changes to the Windows 11 Taskbar in the Insider Preview proves that simplicity just for the sake of simplicity isn't always worth it.

copy CTRLC

Meanwhile, forum member Adam Bottjen penned an editorial that complained about how unreliable ctrl c + ctrl v is in Windows. Although some of our readers have seemingly never experienced issues with it, many readers echoed Adam's sentiments.

Address bar

Adam also wrote a handy guide on how you can quickly navigate to the search bar in a browser without using a mouse in his latest edition of Warwagon's Tech Tip Tuesday.

Power Delete Suite options

Fellow News Editor Paul Hill authored three guides in the past week too. The first is about using a tool that can scrub a lot of your Reddit activity in minutes.

The Semiphemeral logo

And the second guide details how to do roughly the same on Twitter (what are you trying to hide, Paul? *wink wink*).

Google Opinion Rewards logo and screenshot

Finally, the last guide explains the process of earning Google Play credits or PayPal cash with Google Opinion Rewards.

Logging off

A display showing live tiles on Windows 8

As we log off for this week, I want to direct your attention to not one, but two interesting stories of the week. The first is about an inside look at an early version of Windows 8 with a considerably different Task Manager app, IE 9, and multi-monitor setup. This version was never released to the public.

Meanwhile, the second piece is about an entrepreneur settling a trademark dispute with Microsoft over the product "Word Windows". The product has now been renamed to "Word Window" with both parties satisfied with the rebranding, catch up on all the juicy details here.

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